[SciPy-Dev] prepending underscores to private module names

Ralf Gommers ralf.gommers@googlemail....
Fri Jun 3 18:38:27 CDT 2011

On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 10:05 PM, Robert Kern <robert.kern@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 14:57, Ralf Gommers <ralf.gommers@googlemail.com>
> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > A while ago we discussed making a clear distinction between public and
> > private modules by using underscores consistently, see
> > http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.comp.python.scientific.devel/14936.
> >
> > I've done this for a few modules now, see
> > https://github.com/rgommers/scipy/tree/underscores. Most files could
> simply
> > be underscored, some other would conflict with extension modules so I
> also
> > had to append _py to the name. Also I added a file doc/source/api.rst
> that
> > states which modules are public (up for discussion of course).
> >
> > With google code search I checked how common it is to import from modules
> > that are supposed to be private, for example "from
> scipy.optimize.optimize
> > import fmin". It's not very common but does happen, so deprecation
> warnings
> > should be put in.
> >
> > Before going further I'd like to check that this looks okay to people.
> What
> > do you think?
> I'm still -1 on it. I think it's unnecessary and potentially disruptive.
> It will indeed be disruptive for those users who imported from private
modules, they will get deprecation warnings and would need to update their
code. Those same users can run into trouble anyway though unless we treat
everything that is now ambiguous as public.

Unnecessary, I disagree. Even among developers it is not clear what the
public API is. This is the clearest way to solve it.

An alternative would be to just document very clearly what the API is. Just
saying "The public API of a package is determined by any number of
conventions which may or may not be documented explicitly." doesn't help

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