oguz bilgic about

Proposal for Package-wide Imports

October 2013

In go language, you have to specify every single external or std package on top of each .go file they will be used. Here is an example usage of import statement from popular docker linux container project.

    import (
            "encoding/binary"
            "errors"
            "fmt"
            "github.com/dotcloud/docker/iptables"
            "github.com/dotcloud/docker/netlink"
            "github.com/dotcloud/docker/proxy"
            "github.com/dotcloud/docker/utils"
            "log"
            "net"
            "strconv"
            "sync"
    )

This explicit import statements make code very readable, since you can immediately follow which function/struct/interface comes from which external package. However, having explicit import statement with the urls of external packages in each source code file in you packages sometimes becomes difficult to maintain.

My proposal for this problem is creating some sort of global or package-wide import statement. Let's call it gimport for now. So either in your package's main.go file or import.go file you specify the external dependencies once and those packages become available for all the .go files in your packages.

Here is an example import.go file, for docker example above:

    gimport (
            "github.com/dotcloud/docker/iptables"
            "github.com/dotcloud/docker/netlink"
            "github.com/dotcloud/docker/proxy"
            "github.com/dotcloud/docker/utils"
    )

Such a statement would decrease the code duplication, decouple the source code files and paths' of the external packages, and finally would make it more readable and maintainable since most of the required external packages are just listed in just one file.

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