import packet.module without importing packet.__init__ ?

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Sun Sep 11 00:51:18 EDT 2011

Gelonida N wrote:

> There's still something, that I am philosophycally missing.
> Wy do I have to import the entire tree if I'm just interested in a leave.

You don't. Python just imports the branches leading to the leaf, not the
entire tree.

> But if I know that I just want to boil some eggs I would really
> appreciate if I could just say
>> from kitchen.pot import boil
>> boil(eggs)
> without having the side effect of getting pans and knives also loaded
> into memory.

In your example, you stated that kitchen explicitly imports kitchen.pans and
kitchen.knives. So in that case, take it up with the designer of the
kitchen package -- it was his decision to import them, just like he
imported re and math and httplib. (For example.) 

If kitchen is your package, then it is your choice: if you want to have
control over when sub-packages get imported, then don't automatically
import them in If you want them to be automatically imported,
like os and os.path, then automatically import them. If you don't, don't.

But note that you cannot expect to import kitchen.pot without importing
kitchen first.

> One package in question is a huge django application.
> Within the package is one module defining some constants and tiny
> functions, which I would like to reuse from some command line tools,
> which should start quickly without loading any of the django specific
> modules. (the startup penalty and the memory overhead would be noticable)
> I am using rpc4django, which expects, that of the django
> application exports some all rpc functions
> which will basically import 95% of the django application and the entire
> django frame work (none of which were required by my command tool,
> support utility for this application)
> I could of course create a separate package just for this tiny sub
> module, but somehow it doesn't feel right to me.

Why should it be a package? Just make it a stand-alone module.

Or use path manipulation from your command line tool to import it on its
own. It might be somewhat of a hack, but if need to do it, do so.

Or do something like this:

+--  # lightweight, nearly empty
+--  rpc/
     +--  # huge, imports my_app.module1, my_app.module2, etc.

then point rpc4django at my_app.rpc instead of my_app.


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