Re: The '.' at the head of the default sys.path

Steven D. Majewski (
Wed, 15 Jun 1994 11:39:27 -0400

On Jun 15, 8:35, Mike Tibbs wrote:
> I second Ken's proposal.
> There have been times when I needed to completely replace the sys.path
> and it would have been nice to do it via PYTHONPATH.
> -- End of excerpt from Mike Tibbs <>

I happen to usually want '.' at the head of my sys.path, but I don't
see that the default values make much difference one way or the other
(1) It's is easy to change them to what you want at build time.
(2) By definition, it is a site-specific value, and no code SHOULD
be broken by any value.

However: although having PYTHONPATH's value prepended to the
builtin-value is a convenience, it's clear that there are times
when what you WANT is to override the defaults completely.
( especially for server scripts )

So I propose that:




be give two different interpretations. One replaces the
value of sys.path and the other prepends it's value to

I'm not picky about which is which, and maybe someone
can suggest a better convention ( maybe it makes more
sense for the colon to go at the end for prepending ? )
but I agree the the current conventions don't make for
very secure scripts. However, most of my use is
interactive, which is why I like the current defaults
as long as there is a way to MAKE a secure script.
Right now, the only method is to use my 'ImportFrom'
hack to give an explicit pathname for import. ( Which,
come to think of it, is probably the best way to do
it anyway, but the above proposal would be a pretty
minimal change. )

- Steve Majewski (804-982-0831) <sdm7g@Virginia.EDU>
- UVA Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics