| Big Iron |
Last time out, I introduced the fundamental unit of software abstraction - the function - and demonstrated it in the context of a Python program. I illustrated how functions can be used to package code into reusable modules which, when combined with arguments and return values, add a whole new level of flexibility to your code. Finally, I talked at some length about variable scope inside and outside functions, and discussed some of the tools Python offers to assist in optimal usage of functions.
However, packaging your code into functions is just the beginning. Python also allows you to create collections of shared code fragments, or "modules", which may be imported and used by any Python program. Powerful, flexible and very interesting, modules can be one of the most potent weapons in a Python developer's arsenal...so long as they're used correctly.
Over the course of this article, I'll be exploring Python modules in detail, together with examples of how to create, import and use modules in your own development activities. As if that wasn't enough, I will also be looking at some of the built-in modules that ship with Python, and demonstrating how they can speed up code development. So let's get going, shall we?
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