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Functions for working with modules

While not very useful in creating working applications, python provides you with a number of functions which are useful for getting information about the modules (and their corresponding namespaces) that you're using in your program. The dir function returns a list containing all of the names defined within a module. With no arguments, it is equivalent to the locals function; given a module name, it displays the the names defined in that module. The globals function does the same thing for names defined in the global environment. The vars function works similarly, but returns a dictionary whose keys are the names of the objects defined in a module, and whose values are the objects themselves.

The help function, mentioned briefly in Section [*], can be passed a module name to get an overview of the use of the module. Recall that this function is only available when running python interactively.

Phil Spector 2003-11-12