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Dependency injection library

Project description


Dependency injection (DI) library for python

PyPI version PyPI Supported Python Versions GitHub Actions (Tests)

About DI

Dependency injection can be thought of as a software engineering pattern as well as a framework. The goal is to develop objects in a more composable and modular way.

The pattern is: when creating objects, always express what you depend on, and let someone else give you those dependencies.

The framework is meant to ease the inevitable boilerplate that occurs when following this pattern, and dilib is one such framework.

See the Google Clean Code Talk about Dependency Injection.

Quick Start

There are 3 major parts of this framework:

  • dilib.{Prototype,Singleton}: Recipe on how to instantiate the object when needed. dilib.Prototype creates a new instance per call, while dilib.Singleton ensures only 1 instance of the object exists per config field.
  • dilib.Config: Nestable bag of params (types and values) that can be loaded, perturbed, and saved.
  • dilib.Container: The object retriever--it's in charge of materializing delayed specs that are wired together by config into actual instances (plus caching, as necessary per the spec chosen).
import dilib

class Engine:

# An implementation of the engine API that makes network calls
class DBEngine(Engine):
    def __init__(self, addr: str, user: str):
        self.addr = addr
        self.user = user

# An implementation of the engine API designed for testing
class MockEngine(Engine):

class Car:
    # Takes an Engine instance via constructor injection
    def __init__(self, engine: Engine):
        self.engine = engine

class EngineConfig(dilib.Config):
    db_addr = dilib.GlobalInput(str, "some-db-addr")
    db_user = dilib.LocalInput(str)
    adj_db_user = dilib.Prototype(lambda x: x + ".foo", x=db_user)

    # Objects depend on other objects via named aliases
    engine = dilib.Singleton(DBEngine, db_addr, user=adj_db_user)
    # Or equivalently, if DBEngine used dilib.SingletonMixin:
    # engine = dilib.DBEngine(db_addr, user=adj_db_user)

class CarConfig(dilib.Config):
    # Configs depend on other configs via types. Here, CarConfig depends on EngineConfig
    engine_config = EngineConfig(db_user="user")

    car = dilib.Singleton(Car, engine_config.engine)

# Get instance of config (with global input value set)
car_config = CarConfig().get(db_addr="some-other-db-addr")

# Perturb here as you'd like. E.g.:
car_config.engine_config.Engine = MockEngine()

# Pass config to a container that can get and cache objs for you
container = dilib.Container(car_config)

assert container.engine_config.db_addr == "some-other-db-addr"
assert isinstance(, Car)
assert is  # Because it's a Singleton


  • Car takes in an Engine instead of making or getting one within itself.
  • For this to work, Car cannot make any assumptions about what kind of Engine it received. Different engines have different constructor params but have the same API and semantics.

Compare with Other DI Frameworks


A prominent DI library in python is pinject.

Advantages of dilib

  • Focus on simplicity. E.g.:
    • foo = "a" rather than bind("foo", to_instance="a").
    • Child configs look like just another field on the config.
  • Getting is via names rather than classes.
    • In pinject, the equivalent of ctr.__getattr__() takes a class (like Car) rather than a config address.
  • No implicit wiring: No assumptions are made about aligning arg names with config params.
    • Granted, pinject does have an explicit mode, but the framework's default state is implicit.
    • The explicit wiring in dilib configs obviates the need for complications like inject decorators and annotations.
  • Minimal or no pollution of objects: Objects are not aware of the DI framework. The only exception is if you want the IDE autocompletion to work in configs (e.g., car = Car(engine=...)), you have to inherit from, e.g., dilib.SingletonMixin, but this is completely optional. In pinject, on the other hand, one is required to decorate with @pinject.inject() in some circumstances.


Another prominent DI library in python is dependency-injector.

Advantages of dilib

  • dilib discourages use of class-level state by not supporting it (that is, dilib.Container is equivalent to dependency_injector.containers.DynamicContainer).
  • Cleaner separation between "config" and "container" (dependency-injector conflates the two).
  • Easy-to-use perturbing with simple config.x = new_value syntax.
  • Easier to nest configs via config locator pattern.
  • Child configs are typed instead of relying on DependenciesContainer stub (which aids in IDE auto-complete).
  • Easier-to-use global input configuration.
  • Written in native python for more transparency.


Prevent Pollution of Objects

The dependency between the DI config and the actual objects in the object graph should be one way: the DI config depends on the object graph types and values. This keeps the objects clean of particular decisions made by the DI framework.

(dilib offers optional mixins that violate this decision for users that want to favor the typing and auto-completion benefits of using the object types directly.)

Child Configs are Singletons by Type

In dilib, when you set a child config on a config object, you're not actually instantiating the child config. Rather, you're creating a spec that will be instantiated when the root config's .get() is called. This means that the config instances are singletons by type (unlike the actual objects specified in the config, which are by alias). It would be cleaner to create instances of common configs and pass them through to other configs (that's what DI is all about!). However, the decision was made to not allow this because this would make building up configs almost as complicated as building up the actual object graph users are interested in (essentially, the user would be engaged in an abstract meta-DI problem). As such, all references to the same config type are automatically resolved to the same instance, at the expense of some flexibility and directness. The upside, however, is that it's much easier to create nested configs, which means users can get to designing the actual object graph quicker.

Factories for Dynamic Objects

If you need to configure objects dynamically (e.g., check db value to resolve what type to use, set config keys based on another value), consider a factory pattern like:

import dilib

class Foo:
    def value(self) -> int:

class FooFactory:
    def get_foo(self) -> Foo:

class FooClient:
    def __init__(self, foo_factory: FooFactory):
        self.foo_factory = foo_factory
    def get_foo_value(self) -> int:
        foo = self.foo_factory.get_foo()
        return foo.value

class FooConfig(dilib.Config):
    db_param = dilib.Object("some-db-addr")
    foo_factory = dilib.Singleton(FooFactory, db_param)
    foo_client = dilib.Singleton(FooClient, foo_factory=foo_factory)


The next design goal is to add typing to dilib, e.g.:

import dilib

class SomeConfig(dilib.Config):
    x = dilib.Object(1)  # Should pick up x as int
    y: Engine = dilib.Singleton(DBEngine, ...)  # Pick the base class for type

# ...
ctr = ...  # Container type should be dilib.Container[SomeConfig]
x = ctr.config.x  # Type systems should pick up that x is an int

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