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Thursday, July 2, 2015

A bit of Python path hackery

Like many people, I have a directory in $HOME for useful python code I write. Similar to MATLAB's "Documents/MATLAB" directory, I want those files to be easily available if I'm hacking new stuff. The typical way of handling this is to do:

import sys
sys.path.append('/path/to/my/dir')
       
 
but that is a bit ugly, and has the problem that if I'm doing an IPython Notebook (as I often do), this append function gets reevaluated if I reexecute the cell in which I do all my imports (since as I'm edition the notebook and adding stuff, I would do a lot). Besides I now have sys in my namespace.

I could just dump it into ".local/lib/python3.4/site-packages" (too hidden, outside the tree that is synced between machines), or link "Documents/Python" to that path, but then I don't want to have pip install stuff there, and also, there might be times I don't want "Documents/Python" to be in the path.

So here's my solution.  I place a file in ".local/lib/python3.4/site-packages" and ".local/lib/python2.7/site-packages" with a name like "LocalPath.py", and this file contains

       
import sys

myPythonDir = '/home/jthiem/Documents/Python'
if myPythonDir not in sys.path:
    sys.path.append(myPythonDir);
    
 
I can now do
       
import LocalPath
 
and have instant no-fuss access to my homebrew packages.  Now isn't that nice.