Working with external libraries in Python makes use of the
import keyword. While this can go anywhere in your file, it’s almost always best to import libraries at the top of each file where they’re used. For example, in the last section, we were able to call upon the built-in
json library by calling
import json at the top of our code.
Importing modules with the
import keyword is usually the best method, because it preserves the module’s namespace. However, you can also use the
from <module> import <object> syntax to import a specific object (function, variable, subclass, etc.) from a module into your program’s namespace.
For example, if we wanted a random integer between 0 and 100, we could use
>>> import random >>> random.randint(0, 100) 42
Notice that the namespace is preserved (we needed to call
random.randint()). If we use
>>> from random import randint >>> randint(0, 100) 64
For the next chapter, we’ll be using an excellent 3rd part library called
requests to make light work of retrieving data from web APIs. To install the
requests library, run this on your command line:
(env) $ python -m pip install requests
This runs the
pip module and asks it to find the
requests library on PyPI.org (the Python Package Index) and install it in your local system, so that it becomes available for you to import. We’ll dive a little more into this later.