Discover and load entry points from installed packages.
This package is in maintenance-only mode. New code should use the importlib.metadata module in the Python standard library to find and load entry points.
Entry points are a way for Python packages to advertise objects with some common interface. The most common examples are console_scripts entry points, which define shell commands by identifying a Python function to run.
Groups of entry points, such as console_scripts, point to objects with similar interfaces. An application might use a group to find its plugins, or multiple groups if it has different kinds of plugins.
The entrypoints module contains functions to find and load entry points. You can install it from PyPI with pip install entrypoints.
To advertise entry points when distributing a package, see entry_points in the Python Packaging User Guide.
The pkg_resources module distributed with setuptools provides a way to discover entrypoints as well, but it contains other functionality unrelated to entrypoint discovery, and it does a lot of work at import time. Merely importing pkg_resources causes it to scan the files of all installed packages. Thus, in environments where a large number of packages are installed, importing pkg_resources can be very slow (several seconds).
By contrast, entrypoints is focused solely on entrypoint discovery and it is faster. Importing entrypoints does not scan anything, and getting a given entrypoint group performs a more focused scan.
When there are multiple versions of the same distribution in different directories on sys.path, entrypoints follows the rule that the first one wins. In most cases, this follows the logic of imports. Similarly, Entrypoints relies on pip to ensure that only one .dist-info or .egg-info directory exists for each installed package. There is no reliable way to pick which of several .dist-info folders accurately relates to the importable modules.
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