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Between A Rock And...Another Rock - Python

Python allows developers to logically group functions togetherinto modules, which can be imported and used by any Python program. In thisarticle, find out what a module is, learn how modules and module namespaceswork, and check out the default modules that ship with Python

  1. Python 101 (part 7): Dinner With A Hungry Giant
  2. Mercury Rising
  3. Between A Rock And...Another Rock
  4. Love Bytes
  5. Enter The Hungry Giant
  6. From Python, With Love
  7. Doing The Math
  8. String Theory (And Other Interesting Stuff)
  9. Bucking The System
By: Vikram Vaswani, (c) Melonfire
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 5
August 07, 2001

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The elements within a module - variables, functions, other imports - are referred to as "module attributes".

The "import" keyword is used to search for the named module and load it if found. Once the module has been successfully imported, functions and variables contained within it can be accessed by prefixing their names with the module name. Since each module sets up an independent namespace, this is a handy way to avoid name clashes.

To see how this works, consider the following example, which uses two modules, each containing a function named rock():

def rock(): # module huey.py print "Between a rock and a hard place"

def rock(): # module dewey.py print "Rock on!"

Let's see what happens when I try to use these in a program:

>>> import huey >>> import dewey >>> huey.rock() Between a rock and a hard place >>> dewey.rock() Rock on! >>>

Since each module attribute has a unique prefix, it's possible to distinguish between attributes with the same name in different modules, and thereby avoid name conflicts.

You'll be interested to know that everything you do in Python takes place within the context of a module. Even commands typed into the interactive command-line interpreter take place within the bubble of Python's top-level module, named "__main__".

>>> More Python Articles          >>> More By Vikram Vaswani, (c) Melonfire

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