This module provides an interface to the mechanisms
used to implement the import statement. It defines the
following constants and functions:
- get_magic ()
Return the magic string value used to recognize byte-compiled code
files (.pyc files). (This value may be different for each
- get_suffixes ()
Return a list of triples, each describing a particular type of module.
Each triple has the form
type), where suffix is a string to be appended to the
module name to form the filename to search for, mode is the mode
string to pass to the built-in open() function to open the
file (this can be
'r' for text files or
'rb' for binary
files), and type is the file type, which has one of the values
PY_SOURCE, PY_COMPILED, or
C_EXTENSION, described below.
- find_module (name[, path])
Try to find the module name on the search path path. If
path is a list of directory names, each directory is searched
for files with any of the suffixes returned by get_suffixes()
above. Invalid names in the list are silently ignored (but all list
items must be strings). If path is omitted or
list of directory names given by
sys.path is searched, but
first it searches a few special places: it tries to find a built-in
module with the given name (C_BUILTIN), then a frozen module
(PY_FROZEN), and on some systems some other places are looked
in as well (on the Mac, it looks for a resource (PY_RESOURCE);
on Windows, it looks in the registry which may point to a specific
If search is successful, the return value is a triple
(file, pathname, description) where
file is an open file object positioned at the beginning,
pathname is the pathname of the
file found, and description is a triple as contained in the list
returned by get_suffixes() describing the kind of module found.
If the module does not live in a file, the returned file is
None, filename is the empty string, and the
description tuple contains empty strings for its suffix and
mode; the module type is as indicate in parentheses above. If the
search is unsuccessful, ImportError is raised. Other
exceptions indicate problems with the arguments or environment.
This function does not handle hierarchical module names (names
containing dots). In order to find P.M, i.e., submodule
M of package P, use find_module() and
load_module() to find and load package P, and then use
find_module() with the path argument set to
P.__path__. When P itself has a dotted name, apply
this recipe recursively.
- load_module (name, file, filename, description)
Load a module that was previously found by find_module() (or by
an otherwise conducted search yielding compatible results). This
function does more than importing the module: if the module was
already imported, it is equivalent to a
reload()! The name argument
indicates the full module name (including the package name, if this is
a submodule of a package). The file argument is an open file,
and filename is the corresponding file name; these can be
'', respectively, when the module is not being
loaded from a file. The description argument is a tuple, as
would be returned by get_suffixes(), describing what kind
of module must be loaded.
If the load is successful, the return value is the module object;
otherwise, an exception (usually ImportError) is raised.
Important: the caller is responsible for closing the
file argument, if it was not
None, even when an exception
is raised. This is best done using a try
... finally statement.
- new_module (name)
Return a new empty module object called name. This object is
not inserted in
The following constants with integer values, defined in this module,
are used to indicate the search result of find_module().
The module was found as a source file.
The module was found as a compiled code object file.
The module was found as dynamically loadable shared library.
The module was found as a Macintosh resource. This value can only be
returned on a Macintosh.
The module was found as a package directory.
The module was found as a built-in module.
The module was found as a frozen module (see init_frozen()).
The following constant and functions are obsolete; their functionality
is available through find_module() or load_module().
They are kept around for backward compatibility:
- init_builtin (name)
Initialize the built-in module called name and return its module
object. If the module was already initialized, it will be initialized
again. A few modules cannot be initialized twice -- attempting
to initialize these again will raise an ImportError
exception. If there is no
built-in module called name,
None is returned.
- init_frozen (name)
Initialize the frozen module called name and return its module
object. If the module was already initialized, it will be initialized
again. If there is no frozen module called name,
None is returned. (Frozen modules are modules written in
Python whose compiled byte-code object is incorporated into a
custom-built Python interpreter by Python's freeze utility.
See Tools/freeze/ for now.)
- is_builtin (name)
1 if there is a built-in module called name which
can be initialized again. Return
-1 if there is a built-in
module called name which cannot be initialized again (see
0 if there is no built-in
module called name.
- is_frozen (name)
1 if there is a frozen module (see
init_frozen()) called name, or
0 if there is
no such module.
- load_compiled (name, pathname, file)
Load and initialize a module implemented as a byte-compiled code file
and return its module object. If the module was already initialized,
it will be initialized again. The name argument is used
to create or access a module object. The pathname argument
points to the byte-compiled code file. The file
argument is the byte-compiled code file, open for reading in binary
mode, from the beginning.
It must currently be a real file object, not a
user-defined class emulating a file.
- load_dynamic (name, pathname[, file])
Load and initialize a module implemented as a dynamically loadable
shared library and return its module object. If the module was
already initialized, it will be initialized again. Some modules
don't like that and may raise an exception. The pathname
argument must point to the shared library. The name argument is
used to construct the name of the initialization function: an external
C function called "initname()" in the shared library is
called. The optional file argument is ignored. (Note: using
shared libraries is highly system dependent, and not all systems
- load_source (name, pathname, file)
Load and initialize a module implemented as a Python source file and
return its module object. If the module was already initialized, it
will be initialized again. The name argument is used to
create or access a module object. The pathname argument points
to the source file. The file argument is the source
file, open for reading as text, from the beginning.
It must currently be a real file
object, not a user-defined class emulating a file. Note that if a
properly matching byte-compiled file (with suffix .pyc or
.pyo) exists, it will be used instead of parsing the given
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