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Python Tips: Understanding Why __import__ Requires fromlist

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Have you ever encountered the TypeError: ‘NoneType’ object is not subscriptable error while using the __import__() function in Python? If you have ever struggled with this frustrating error, then it’s time to understand why the fromlist parameter is required in Python’s __import__() function.

Fortunately, this article is a helpful guide that will walk you through the reasons why the fromlist parameter is essential in the __import__() function. You will discover how to eliminate the TypeError error and gain a better understanding of how to properly use the __import__() function in your Python code.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced Python programmer, this article provides an in-depth explanation that will help you avoid unnecessary glitches in your code. So, if you’re ready to become an expert in Python programming, keep reading to uncover the secret of the fromlist parameter in the __import__() function.

With this article, you will learn how to overcome this common Python error and streamline your code. Discover the magic of the fromlist parameter and explore its importance in Python programming today. Don’t settle for ambiguous code! Embrace the power of the __import__() function by delving into this informative article now.

th?q=Why%20Does%20Python'S%20  import  %20Require%20Fromlist%3F - Python Tips: Understanding Why __import__ Requires fromlist
“Why Does Python’S __import__ Require Fromlist?” ~ bbaz


Python is a popular programming language that is known for its simplicity and versatility. Its built-in __import__() function is particularly useful when importing modules in your code. However, sometimes you may encounter the TypeError: ‘NoneType’ object is not subscriptable error while using this function, which can be frustrating. This article aims to explain why this error occurs and how to prevent it by using the fromlist parameter.

The fromlist Parameter

The fromlist parameter is an optional argument that can be used with Python’s __import__() function. It specifies the list of module names that should be imported. If you are importing a single module, then the fromlist parameter is not needed. However, if you are importing multiple modules, then it is required to avoid the TypeError error.


If you want to import two modules module1 and module2 using __import__() function, the code will be:

“`pythonimport __import__(‘module1,module2’)“`

This will result in a TypeError: ‘NoneType’ object is not subscriptable error because you did not specify the fromlist parameter.

However, if you use the fromlist parameter to specify the module names to be imported, the code will work without any errors. Here’s an example:

“`pythonimport __import__(‘module1,module2’, fromlist=[‘module1’, ‘module2’])“`

Why You Need the fromlist Parameter

The fromlist parameter is essential because it informs Python about the modules that need to be imported. Without it, the __import__() function returns an empty module, represented by the NoneType object. When you try to access the attributes of the empty module like you would with a regular module, you get the TypeError error.

Comparison with Other Import Methods

In Python, there are several ways to import modules into your code, including:

  • import statement
  • from…import statement
  • __import__() function

The import statement is the simplest and most common way to import a module. However, if you only want to import a specific function or variable from a module, then you can use the from…import statement instead.

The __import__() function is also an option, but it is less commonly used because it is more complicated than the other methods. However, it can be useful for dynamically importing modules at runtime when the exact module name is not known in advance.

Opinions on Using the __import__() Function

While the __import__() function can be useful in certain situations, it is generally recommended to use the import or from…import statements instead. These methods are simpler and easier to understand, especially for beginners. The __import__() function can be confusing and may lead to errors if not used correctly. Therefore, unless you have a specific reason to use it, it is best to stick with the import and from…import statements.

The Bottom Line

The __import__() function in Python can be a powerful tool for importing modules dynamically. However, you need to be careful to avoid the TypeError: ‘NoneType’ object is not subscriptable error, which can be frustrating and time-consuming to debug. By using the fromlist parameter, you can ensure that Python knows exactly which modules to import and eliminate this error. Overall, while the __import__() function can be useful, it is often simpler and safer to use the import and from…import statements in your code.

Table Comparison of Import Methods

Method Description Example
import statement Imports an entire module
import module
from…import statement Imports specific functions or variables from a module
from module import function1, variable1
__import__() function Imports modules dynamically at runtime

Thank you for taking the time to read this article on Python Tips. We hope that you have learned something new and valuable about the __import__ function and its relationship to the fromlist parameter.

As you may now understand, the fromlist parameter is necessary because it tells Python which specific parts of a module you want to import. Without it, Python would simply import the module as a whole, which could lead to unwanted side effects or errors.

If you are new to Python or just starting to dive deeper into its functionality, we encourage you to continue learning about this versatile language. There are many resources available online, including forums, tutorials, and documentation, that can help you explore the many features and capabilities of Python.

Once again, thank you for visiting our blog and we look forward to sharing more tips and insights with you in the future.

Python Tips: Understanding Why __import__ Requires fromlist

  • What is the purpose of __import__ in Python?
  • The __import__ function is used to dynamically import a module into a Python program. This allows you to load a module at runtime rather than at compile time, which can be useful for certain applications.

  • Why does __import__ require a fromlist?
  • The fromlist argument is used to specify which objects from a module should be imported. When you import a module, Python actually creates a new namespace for that module and puts all of its objects into it. By default, when you import a module using __import__, Python only creates the namespace for the module and does not actually import any objects. You need to use the fromlist to specify which objects you want to import.

  • What happens if you don’t specify a fromlist?
  • If you don’t specify a fromlist, Python will still create the namespace for the module, but it won’t actually import any objects into it. This means that you won’t be able to access any of the objects in the module without explicitly importing them later.

  • Can you import all objects from a module using __import__?
  • Yes, you can import all objects from a module using __import__ by specifying * as the fromlist argument. However, this is generally not recommended because it can lead to namespace collisions and make your code harder to understand.

  • Are there any alternatives to using __import__?
  • Yes, there are several alternatives to using __import__. One common alternative is to use the importlib module, which provides more powerful and flexible importing functionality. Another alternative is to use the exec function to dynamically execute Python code that includes import statements.