Write Pythonic Code Like a Seasoned Developer Transcripts
Chapter: Style guidance from PEP 8
Lecture: Import statements

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0:01 The first PEP 8 recommendation that we are going to look at
0:03 is around importing modules and packages.
0:05 So let's switch over here to PyCharm and have a look at some not-so-great code.
0:09 You can see on line seven here, we are importing collections,
0:12 the recommendation from PEP 8 is that all module level imports
0:16 should go at the top, unless there is some sort of function level import
0:19 you are doing kind of unusual, conditional things.
0:22 And notice there is a little squiggle under here,
0:24 and that's actually PyCharm saying "here is a PEP 8 violation,
0:27 a module level import is not at the top of the file."
0:29 So we can take this and put it at the top of the file, now everything is happy.
0:34 So let's look at few other things we can do,
0:37 we could say "from os import change directory, change flags and change owner."
0:44 This is a good way to import a bunch of items
0:47 from os and not have to state their name,
0:49 we could do this a different way, using what's called a wildcard import,
0:53 we could say from os import *,
0:55 now that would import the three listed above,
0:58 but it would also import every symbol defined in os.
1:01 Now what's wrong with this?
1:03 Imagine up here I imported another module,
1:05 from my module import path, so if I write this code,
1:10 line four and line six, path is not going to be what you think it is,
1:14 because we are importing path here
1:16 but then we are importing every symbol from os
1:18 using what is called the wildcard import,
1:20 and os also has a path so it is going to overwrite the definition of path here.
1:25 So it's why it's always recommended to use this style of importing.
1:28 You may wonder why this is gray in PyCharm,
1:31 PyCharm is just trying to help us out saying
1:33 "here are some unused imports you can actually remove",
1:35 but if I write something like "c = chdir",
1:38 then that part will go away.
1:40 But of course, because we are importing the same thing twice
1:42 basically it's also saying, I'll move that.
1:45 Here we go, so now it says "you are using change dir, change owner but not change flags",
1:49 down below it's using "change owner".
1:52 All right, now "change flags", if I do something with that, it also lights up.
1:56 All right, so there was never a problem with that import,
1:59 that was just PyCharm trying to tell us "hey, look out,
2:01 you are actually not using that import."
2:03 Another mistake that people make is they might say something like this,
2:06 "import collections, os" and let's say "multiprocessing",
2:10 they may put multiple imports on a single line.
2:14 That also works just fine, however, again,
2:16 PEP 8 recommends that you put one import per line
2:19 so it's very clear line by line what you depend on here,
2:24 so we could fix this by saying, let me just put a "no:", something like that,
2:28 and we could of course fix this, like so, "import os", "import multiprocessing".
2:35 So this would be the recommended way to write what was on line four.
2:39 So let's look at that import guidance a little more clearly.
2:43 Here we have at the top two bad styles of imports,
2:47 first line: "import sys, os, multiprocessing", on a single line;
2:51 PEP 8 says "do not import multiple modules on a single line",
2:55 and avoid "from module import star", these wildcard imports
2:59 because you may accidentally, unknowingly overwrite other imports.
3:03 So we have our better set of imports,
3:06 "import sys, import os, import multiprocessing",
3:09 and these of course are going to allow us to use "module name.symbol" name
3:14 so "os.path" for example, in this sort of namespace style,
3:17 and that's really nice to know where the particular symbol
3:21 that you are working with, like "path", where it came from.
3:23 If you don't want to use that namespace style,
3:25 you can use the final import we have here, "from os import path,
3:29 change mod and change owner".
3:31 PEP 8 also have some guidance on the order and grouping of your imports.
3:36 It says the standard library imports should go at the top,
3:39 related third party imports should go in a little section below that
3:43 and then finally, local app other models within your own code should be put last.
3:48 Of course, all three of those go at the top of the file.
3:52 Another thing that's nice about PyCharm - it does this for you automatically
3:56 if you hit Command+Alt+L for reformat file.