FAQ
I'm having trouble understanding how namespaces work in modules. I want to
execute a module within the interpreter and then have values that are
calculated persist so that other modules that get executed can retrieve them.

For example, consider the two simple modules below. The first method fails
and I'm not sure exactly why. (Note: assume one instance of an interpreter.
In my case a 3rd party software tool that starts an interpreter when it
launches).


Two alternate ways of running it:

1. (FAILS: RESULTS A = 0) Use the module "test" itself as the driver using
the conditional statement if (__name__=="__main__"):

test.py
run2.py

or,

2. (SUCCES: RESULTS A = 10) Use "run.py" as the driver.

run.py




_________test.py__________________


import sys,os

A = 0

def getA():
global A
return A

def run():
global A
A = 10

if (__name__=="__main__"):
run()


_________run.py__________________

import test

test.run()
print "A = " + str(test.getA())



_________run2.py__________________

import test

print "A = " + str(test.getA())

--


Peter Bismuti
Boeing Information Technology
Renton, WA
(425) 234-0873 W
(425) 442-7775 C

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  • Davisn90210 at Nov 13, 2007 at 4:30 am

    On Nov 12, 5:30 pm, "Peter J. Bismuti" wrote:
    I'm having trouble understanding how namespaces work in modules. I want to
    execute a module within the interpreter and then have values that are
    calculated persist so that other modules that get executed can retrieve them.
    Modules retain state their state across all imports in the same
    interpreter instance. Module state is not shared among different
    instances of the interpreter.
    For example, consider the two simple modules below. The first method fails
    and I'm not sure exactly why. (Note: assume one instance of an interpreter.
    In my case a 3rd party software tool that starts an interpreter when it
    launches).

    Two alternate ways of running it:

    1. (FAILS: RESULTS A = 0) Use the module "test" itself as the driver using
    the conditional statement if (__name__=="__main__"):

    test.py
    run2.py
    Ok, what do you mean by this? Do you mean run test.py and then run
    run2.py? In so, then you will have *two* instances -- one for each
    file being executed. You can only have one main module per
    interpreter instance. I suspect this is the source of your confusion.
    or,

    2. (SUCCES: RESULTS A = 10) Use "run.py" as the driver.

    run.py

    _________test.py__________________

    import sys,os

    A = 0

    def getA():
    global A
    return A

    def run():
    global A
    A = 10

    if (__name__=="__main__"):
    run()
    Here, A is only initialized when the module is loaded iff it is the
    main module. If it's not the main module, then it will have A set to
    0 until some other code calls run().
    _________run.py__________________

    import test

    test.run()
    print "A = " + str(test.getA())
    This code calls test.run(), which is necessary for A to be 10.
    _________run2.py__________________

    import test

    print "A = " + str(test.getA())

    --
    This code gets the value of test.A without calling test.run(). Since
    test.run() was not called, A is the value it was initialized when the
    test module was loaded -- namely, 0.

    Hope this helps,

    --Nathan Davis
  • Peter J. Bismuti at Nov 13, 2007 at 3:30 pm
    I'm not sure how to better state my question than to post my code.

    The question boils down to which namespace to variable in the module (in this
    case A) end up in depending on whether or not the module is simply imported
    by another module which acts as the driver (run.py is __main__), or when the
    module drives itself (test.py __main__).

    For example: my guess is that in the first case A ends up in the namespace of
    test and could be referenced by test.A, in the second case A ends up in the
    global namespace (and therefore must be referred to as simply A by other
    modules).

    Can anyone please shed some light on this for me?

    Thanks


    I'm having trouble understanding how namespaces work in modules. I want
    to execute a module within the interpreter and then have values that are
    calculated persist so that other modules that get executed can retrieve
    them.
    Modules retain state their state across all imports in the same
    interpreter instance. Module state is not shared among different
    instances of the interpreter.
    For example, consider the two simple modules below. The first method
    fails and I'm not sure exactly why. (Note: assume one instance of an
    interpreter. In my case a 3rd party software tool that starts an
    interpreter when it launches).

    Two alternate ways of running it:

    1. (FAILS: RESULTS A = 0) Use the module "test" itself as the driver
    using the conditional statement if (__name__=="__main__"):

    test.py
    run2.py
    Ok, what do you mean by this? Do you mean run test.py and then run
    run2.py? In so, then you will have *two* instances -- one for each
    file being executed. You can only have one main module per
    interpreter instance. I suspect this is the source of your confusion.
    or,

    2. (SUCCES: RESULTS A = 10) Use "run.py" as the driver.

    run.py

    _________test.py__________________

    import sys,os

    A = 0

    def getA():
    global A
    return A

    def run():
    global A
    A = 10

    if (__name__=="__main__"):
    run()
    Here, A is only initialized when the module is loaded iff it is the
    main module. If it's not the main module, then it will have A set to
    0 until some other code calls run().
    _________run.py__________________

    import test

    test.run()
    print "A = " + str(test.getA())
    This code calls test.run(), which is necessary for A to be 10.
    _________run2.py__________________

    import test

    print "A = " + str(test.getA())

    --
    This code gets the value of test.A without calling test.run(). Since
    test.run() was not called, A is the value it was initialized when the
    test module was loaded -- namely, 0.

    Hope this helps,

    --Nathan Davis
    --


    Peter Bismuti
    Boeing Information Technology
    Renton, WA
    (425) 234-0873 W
    (425) 442-7775 C
  • Peter J. Bismuti at Nov 13, 2007 at 4:09 pm
    How is that state different depending on whether a module has been simply
    imported (#2. some other block of code has __name__ == "__main__") and the
    script itself being run (#1. and having __name__=="__main__")?

    Ultimately, what I want is for a module to remember (persist) the value of A,
    regardless of how the module has been loaded into the interpreter.

    Thanks
    Modules retain state their state across all imports in the same
    interpreter instance. Module state is not shared among different
    instances of the interpreter.
    For example, consider the two simple modules below. The first method
    fails and I'm not sure exactly why. (Note: assume one instance of an
    interpreter. In my case a 3rd party software tool that starts an
    interpreter when it launches).

    Two alternate ways of running it:

    1. (FAILS: RESULTS A = 0) Use the module "test" itself as the driver
    using the conditional statement if (__name__=="__main__"):

    test.py
    run2.py
    Ok, what do you mean by this? Do you mean run test.py and then run
    run2.py? In so, then you will have *two* instances -- one for each
    file being executed. You can only have one main module per
    interpreter instance. I suspect this is the source of your confusion.
    or,

    2. (SUCCES: RESULTS A = 10) Use "run.py" as the driver.

    run.py

    _________test.py__________________

    import sys,os

    A = 0

    def getA():
    global A
    return A

    def run():
    global A
    A = 10

    if (__name__=="__main__"):
    run()
    Here, A is only initialized when the module is loaded iff it is the
    main module. If it's not the main module, then it will have A set to
    0 until some other code calls run().
    _________run.py__________________

    import test

    test.run()
    print "A = " + str(test.getA())
    This code calls test.run(), which is necessary for A to be 10.
    _________run2.py__________________

    import test

    print "A = " + str(test.getA())

    --
    This code gets the value of test.A without calling test.run(). Since
    test.run() was not called, A is the value it was initialized when the
    test module was loaded -- namely, 0.

    Hope this helps,

    --Nathan Davis
    --


    Peter Bismuti
    Boeing Information Technology
    Renton, WA
    (425) 234-0873 W
    (425) 442-7775 C
  • Gabriel Genellina at Nov 14, 2007 at 5:57 am
    En Tue, 13 Nov 2007 13:09:01 -0300, Peter J. Bismuti
    <peter.j.bismuti at boeing.com> escribi?:
    How is that state different depending on whether a module has been simply
    imported (#2. some other block of code has __name__ == "__main__") and
    the
    script itself being run (#1. and having __name__=="__main__")?
    It's not different at all, or I don't understand the question.
    Ultimately, what I want is for a module to remember (persist) the value
    of A,
    regardless of how the module has been loaded into the interpreter.
    It doesn't care. If you have a variable A in (the global namespace of) a
    module, it's there, no matter how the module has been loaded. A namespace
    has no concept of "history", it's just a mapping from names to objects.

    Unless you're talking about this situation (should be on the FAQ, but I
    can't find it):

    --- begin one.py ---
    A = 1

    if __name__=='__main__':
    print "In one.py, A=", A
    import two
    print "In one.py, after importing two, A=", A
    --- end one.py

    --- begin two.py ---
    import one
    print "In two.py, one.A=", one.A
    one.A = 222
    print "In two.py, after modifying one.A=", one.A
    --- end one.py

    Executing:
    python one.py
    you get this output:

    In one.py, A= 1
    In two.py, one.A= 1
    In two.py, after modifying one.A= 222
    In one.py, after importing two, A= 1

    In this (pathological) case, there are TWO different instances of the
    one.py module, because modules are indexed by name in the sys.modules
    dictionary, and the first instance is under the "__main__" name, and the
    second instance is under the "one" name.
    So: don't import the main script again.

    --
    Gabriel Genellina

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