In Python, a package and a module are both organizational units that allow you to organize and structure your code. However, they have distinct purposes and behaviors.
A module in Python is a file that contains Python code. It can define functions, classes, variables, and other objects. Modules provide a way to encapsulate related code and enable code reuse across multiple programs. Modules can be imported and used by other modules or scripts to access the functionality and data they provide.
Here's an example of a module called
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# my_module.py def greet(name): print("Hello, " + name + "!") def calculate_square(num): return num ** 2
In the above code,
my_module.py is a module that defines the
calculate_square() functions. Other modules or scripts can import and use these functions by including an
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import my_module my_module.greet("Alice") # Output: Hello, Alice! result = my_module.calculate_square(3) print(result) # Output: 9
A package in Python is a way to organize related modules into a directory hierarchy. It typically consists of multiple module files, which are organized in a directory with an associated
__init__.py file. The
__init__.py file can be empty or can contain initialization code for the package.
Packages provide a structured approach to organizing modules and allow for a hierarchical naming scheme. They enable better organization and separation of concerns in larger projects. Packages can also be imported and used similarly to modules, allowing access to the contained modules and their functionality.
Here's an example of a package structure:
my_package/ __init__.py module1.py module2.py
In the above structure,
my_package is a package directory. It contains an
__init__.py file, which signifies that it is a package, and two module files (module1.py and
__init__.py file can contain initialization code for the package, and the module files can define the functionality specific to each module.
To use modules from a package, you can import them using the package name followed by the module name:
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import my_package.module1 from my_package import module2 my_package.module1.function1() module2.function2()
In the above code, the
module1 is accessed using the package name and module name (my_package.module1), while
module2 is imported directly using the
from statement (from my_package import module2).
To summarize, the key differences between a package and a module in Python are:
- A module is a single file that contains Python code, while a package is a directory hierarchy that contains multiple module files.
- Modules encapsulate related code and provide code reuse, while packages provide a structured way to organize related modules and enable hierarchical naming.
- Modules can be imported and used individually, while packages are imported as a whole, allowing access to the contained modules.
- Packages require an
__init__.py file to signify that it is a package, while module files can exist independently without any specific requirements.
Understanding the distinction between packages and modules is essential for organizing and structuring your code effectively, especially in larger projects.