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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. (This is sometimes referred to as the "Hollywood principle": "Don't call us; we'll call you.")

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.


dilib is available on PyPI:

pip install dilib

Quick Start

There are 3 major parts of this framework:

  • dilib.{Prototype,Singleton}: A recipe that describes how to instantiate the object when needed later. dilib.Prototype indicates to the retriever that a new instance should be created per retrieval, while dilib.Singleton indicates only 1 instance of the object should exist. (Both spec types inherit from dilib.Spec.)
  • dilib.Config: Nestable bag of types and values, bound by specs, that can be loaded, perturbed, and saved.
  • dilib.Container: The object retriever--it's in charge of materializing the aforementioned delayed specs that are wired together by config into actual instances (plus caching, if indicated by the spec).
from typing import Optional

import dilib

class Engine:

# An implementation of the engine API that makes network calls
class DBEngine(Engine):
    def __init__(self, addr: str, token: Optional[str] = None):
        self.addr = addr
        self.token = token

# 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, default="some-db-addr")

    token_prefix = dilib.LocalInput(str)
    token = dilib.Prototype(lambda x: x + ".bar", x=token_prefix)

    # Objects depend on other objects via named aliases
    engine0: Engine = dilib.Singleton(DBEngine, db_addr, token=token)
    # Or equivalently, if DBEngine used dilib.SingletonMixin:
    # engine0 = dilib.DBEngine(db_addr, token=token)

    # Alternate engine spec
    engine1: Engine = dilib.Singleton(DBEngine, db_addr)

    # Forward spec resolution to the target spec
    engine: Engine = dilib.Forward(engine0)

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

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

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

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

# Pass config to a container
container: dilib.Container[CarConfig] = dilib.get_container(car_config)

# Retrieve objects from container (some of which are cached inside)
assert container.config.engine_config.db_addr == "some-other-db-addr"
assert isinstance(container.config.engine_config.engine, MockEngine)
assert isinstance(, Car)
assert is  # Because it's a Singleton


  • Car takes in an Engine via its constructor (known as "constructor injection"), 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.
  • In order to take advantage of typing (e.g., mypy, PyCharm auto-complete), use dilib.get_config(...) and container.config, which are type-safe alternatives to CarConfig().get(...) and direct container access. Note also how we set the engine config field type to the base class Engine--this way, clients of the config are abstracted away from which implementation is currently configured.

API Overview

  • dilib.Config: Inherit from this to specify your objects and params
  • config = dilib.get_config(ConfigClass, **global_inputs): Instantiate config object
    • Alternatively: config = ConfigClass().get(**global_inputs)
  • container = dilib.get_container(config): Instantiate container object by passing in the config object
    • Alternatively: container = dilib.Container(config)
  • container.config.x_config.y_config.z: Get the instantianted object
    • Alternatively: container.x_config.y_config.z, or even container["x_config.y_config.z"]


  • dilib.Object: Pass-through already-instantiated object
  • dilib.Forward: Forward to a different config field
  • dilib.Prototype: Instantiate a new object at each container retrieval
  • dilib.Singleton: Instantiate and cache object at each container retrieval
  • dilib.Singleton{Tuple,List,Dict}: Special helpers to ease collections of specs. E.g.:
import dataclasses

import dilib

class ValuesWrapper:
    x: int
    y: int
    z: int = 3

class CollectionsConfig(dilib.Config):
    x: int = dilib.Object(1)
    y: int = dilib.Object(2)
    z: int = dilib.Object(3)

    xy_tuple = dilib.SingletonTuple(x, y)
    xy_list = dilib.SingletonList(x, y)
    xy_dict0 = dilib.SingletonDict(x=x, y=y)
    xy_dict1 = dilib.SingletonDict({"x": x, "y": y})
    xy_dict2 = dilib.SingletonDict({"x": x, "y": y}, z=z)

    # You can also build a partial kwargs dict that can be
    # re-used and combined downstream
    partial_kwargs = dilib.SingletonDict(x=x, y=y)
    values0 = dilib.Singleton(ValuesWrapper, __lazy_kwargs=partial_kwargs)
    values1 = dilib.Singleton(
        ValuesWrapper, z=4, __lazy_kwargs=partial_kwargs

config = dilib.get_config(CollectionsConfig)
container = dilib.get_container(config)

assert container.config.xy_tuple == (1, 2)
assert container.config.xy_list == [1, 2]
assert container.config.xy_dict0 == {"x": 1, "y": 2}
assert container.config.xy_dict1 == {"x": 1, "y": 2}
assert container.config.xy_dict2 == {"x": 1, "y": 2, "z": 3}

Comparisons with Other DI Frameworks


A prominent DI library in python is pinject.

Advantages of dilib

  • Focus on simplicity. E.g.:
    • foo = dilib.Object("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 container attr access 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 when wiring up configs in an environment that does not support ParamSpec (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, after all!). 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.

Perturb Config Fields with Ease

A major goal of dilib is the ability to perturb any config field and have a guarantee that, when instantiated, all objects that depend on that field will see the same perturbed value.

This guarantee of self-consistency is achieved by separating config specification from object instantiation, allowing perturbation to safely occur in between. Note that once a config object is passed into a container, it is automatically frozen and further perturbations are no longer allowed.

This enables the user to easily perform param scans, integration tests, and more, even with params that are deeply embedded in the system. E.g.:

def get_container(
    db_addr: str = "db-addr",
    perturb_func: Callable[[CarConfig], None] | None = None,
) -> dilib.Container[CarConfig]:
    config = dilib.get_config(CarConfig, db_addr=db_addr)
    if perturb_func is not None:
    return dilib.get_container(config)

def perturb_func_a(config: CarConfig) -> None:
    config.engine_config.token = "a"

def perturb_func_b(config: CarConfig) -> None:
    config.engine_config.token = "b"

# Create multiple containers for each perturbation
ctr_a = get_container(perturb_func=perturb_func_a)
ctr_b = get_container(perturb_func=perturb_func_b)

# Get cars corresponding to each perturbation, all in the same process space.
# No matter what object we get from ctr_a, it will only have been
# created using objects that have seen token="a".
car_a =
car_b =

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 dataclasses

import dilib

# Object that needs to be created dynamically
class Foo:
    value: int

# Factory that takes static params via constructor injection and
# dynamic params via method injection
class FooFactory:
    db_host: str
    alpha: int
    beta: int

    def get_foo(self, gamma: int) -> Foo:
        raise NotImplementedError

# Object that needs Foo object
class FooClient:
    foo_factory: FooFactory

    def process_foo_value(self) -> int:
        return 100 + self.foo_factory.get_foo(gamma=3).value

class FooConfig(dilib.Config):
    db_host = dilib.GlobalInput(type_=str, default="some-db-addr")
    foo_factory = dilib.Singleton(
        FooFactory, db_host=db_host, alpha=1, beta=2
    foo_client = dilib.Singleton(FooClient, foo_factory=foo_factory)

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