"from module import data; print(data)" vs "import module; print(module.data)"

Dan Stromberg drsalists at gmail.com
Thu Feb 25 11:15:16 EST 2016

On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 7:39 PM, Steven D'Aprano
<steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info> wrote:
> On Thursday 25 February 2016 12:07, Dan Stromberg wrote:
>> Could people please compare and contrast the two ways of doing imports
>> in the Subject line?
> from module import data; print(data)
> import module; print(module.data)

>> Is it fair to say that the former increases the surface area of your
>> shared (sometimes mutable) state?
> No, I can't say that it is. If anything, the opposite is the case: it
> decreases the surface area, because `data` now is local to the importing
> (not imported) module. Rebinding data will not affect anything else.

> There are two scenarios (`from module import...` versus `import ...`), each
> with two cases: mutation, and rebinding:
> (1) from module import data
> (a) Mutation (only applies to mutable data like lists, dicts etc)
> In place mutation affects everything relying on module.data regardless of
> how or where it is accessed.

We have some scenarios where "data" is an instance of a class, and we
need to monkey patch it for unit testing.

My intuition is telling me that "module.data; data.mutate()" would be
easier to monkey patch in a way that all modules will see.  Is that
fair to say?


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