What is __init__.py for in a Python source directory?


In Python, the __init__.py file is a special file that is used to mark a directory as a Python package. When a directory contains an __init__.py file, Python treats it as a package, and you can import modules from that package using the import statement.

The __init__.py file can contain Python code, but it is not required to contain anything. It can be an empty file, or it can define variables, functions, classes, or other objects that you want to make available when the package is imported.

The __init__.py file is executed when the package is imported, so you can use it to set up the package or to perform any initialization that is required. For example, you can import submodules of the package, define global variables or functions that are used by the package, or set up logging or configuration settings.

Here’s an example of what an __init__.py file might look like:

# This is the __init__.py file for the mypackage package

from . import module1
from . import module2

# Define a global variable that is used by the package

# Define a function that is used by the package
def my_function():
print(“Hello from my_function()!”)


In this example, the __init__.py file imports two submodules of the package (module1 and module2), defines a global constant (MY_CONSTANT), and defines a function (my_function()) that can be used by the package. When the mypackage package is imported, the code in the __init__.py file is executed, and the modules and objects defined in the file become available to the package and its submodules.


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