14.2. Packages

A package is a set of modules or sub-packages. A package is actually a directory containing either .py files or sub-directories defining other packages.

The dot (.) operator is used to describe a hierarchy of packages and modules. For instance, the module Bio.WWW.ExPASy is located in the file PYTHONHOME/site-packages/Bio/WWW/ExPASy.py. This module belongs to the Bio.WWW package located into the PYTHONHOME/site-packages/Bio/WWW/ directory.

14.2.1. Loading

When loading a package, the __init__.py file is executed. If the __init__.py defines classes, functions, etc... they become available at once, as shown in the following example:

Example 14.2. Using the Bio.Fasta package

	    >>> import Bio.Fasta
	    >>> handle = open("data/ceru_human.fasta")
	    >>> it = Bio.Fasta.Iterator(pin, Bio.Fasta.SequenceParser())
	    >>> seq = it.next()
	    >>> print seq.seq
	    >>> it.close()

However, loading a package does not automatically load the inner modules. For instance, even though the Bio.Fasta package directory contains the following files:

	      % ls Bio/Fasta
              FastaAlign.py   FastaAlign.pyc  __init__.py     __init__.pyc
this does not imply that importing the Bio.Fasta package loads the Bio.Fasta.FastaAlign module:
	      >>> import Bio.Fasta
	      >>> Bio.Fasta.FastaAlign.parse_file("data/ceru_human.fasta")
	      AttributeError: 'module' object has no attribute 'FastaAlign'
	      >>> from Bio.Fasta import *
will however load the Bio.Fasta.FastaAlign, because this module is mentioned in the __all__ attribute in the Bio/Fasta/__init__.py file:
	      __all__ = [

Other attributes of interest for packages and modules:

  • __name__
  • __path__
  • __file__

Exercise 14.2. Bio.SwissProt package

Which import statements are necessary to make the following code work?

	    expasy = ExPASy.get_sprot_raw('CERU_HUMAN')
	    sp = SProt.Iterator(expasy, SProt.RecordParser())
	    record = sp.next()
	    print record.keywords


Exercise 14.3. Using a class from a module

Why does the following code issue an error?

	    from Bio.SubsMat import FreqTable
	    dict = ...  # whatever
	    f = FreqTable(dict, 'COUNT')
	    TypeError: 'module' object is not callable


Exercise 14.4. Import from Bio.Clustalw

Why does the following code not work?

	    from Bio.Clustalw import *
	    NameError: name 'ClustalAlignment' is not defined