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A Simple system for structuring a modeler project architecture via plugin like modules, uses the new importlib abilities first avalible in python 3.4, includes an exec load mode for support of pyhton 3.0+

Project description

A architect inspired plugin framework for Python 3

What is a Plugin?

a plugin to pyitect is simply a folder with a .json file of the same name inside


A plugin has a name, a version, an author, a .py file, and it provides Components used to build your application. components are simply names in the module’s namespace after the file is imported

a plugin’s json file provides information about the plugin as well as lists components it provides and components it needs on load

here’s an example, all fields are mandatory but the consumes and provides CAN be left as empty containers, but then the plugin would be useless would it not? not providing components and all?

    "name": "Im-A-Plugin",
    "author": "Ryex",
    "version": "0.0.1",
    "file" : "",
    "mode" : "import" // optional either 'import' or 'exec'
    "consumes": {
        "foo" : ""
    "provides": {
        "Bar": ""
  • name -> the name of the plugin (No spaces)
  • author -> the author of the plugin
  • version -> a version for the plugin, a string that can be any form set up tools supports
  • file -> a path to the file that when imported will provide a module who’s namespace contains all provided plugins
  • mode -> (OPTIONAL) defaults to import on python 3.4 and up ecec otherwise: sets the import mode
  • consumes -> a mapping of needed component names to version strings, empty string = no requirement
  • provides -> a mapping of provided component names to prefix mappings

Version Requierments

a plugin can provide version requirements for the components it’s importing

a version string is formatted like so


both parts are optional and an empty string or a string containing only an ‘*’ means no requirement a version requirement can include logical operators to get version greater than or less than the specified value, you can evem select ranges

here are some examples

""  // no requirement
"*" // no requierment
"FooPlugin" // from this plugin and no other, but any version
"FooPlugin:*" // from this plugin and no other, but any version
"FooPlugin:1" // from this plugin and no other, version 1.x.x
"FooPlugin:1.0" // 1.0.x
"FooPlugin:1.0.1" // version 1.0.1 or any post release
"FooPlugin:1.0.1-pre123" // 1.0.1-pre123 -> this exact version
"FooPlugin:" // oh did I mention that your version strings can basically go on forever? choose your own style!
"FooPlugin:1.2" // 1.2.x and any pre/post/dev release
"FooPlugin:>1.0" // greater than 1.0
"FooPlugin:>=1.2.3" // greater than or equal to 1.2.3
"FooPlugin:<=2.1.4" // less than or equal to 2.1.4
"FooPlugin:>1.0 <2.3" // greater than 1.0 and less than 2.3
"FooPlugin:1.0.5 - 2.4.5" // between 1.0.5 and 2.3.x inclusive
"FooPlugin:1.0 || 2.5.1" // either 1.0.x or 2.5.1
"FooPlugin:1.0 || 2.3.3 - 3.1.0 || >=4.3 <5.2.6-pre25" // get real complicated, cause you know, you might need it.

pyitect uses parse_version from the pkg_resources module (part of setuptools) to turn version strings into tuples that are then compared lexagraphicaly so any version string system that works with setuptools works here

learn more from the parse_version docs

Letting plugins access consumed Components

inside your plugin files you need to get access to your consumed components right? here’s how you do it
from PyitectConsumes import foo

class Bar(object):
    def __init__():
        foo("it's a good day to be a plugin")

Setting up a Plugin system

Here’s how you set up a plugin system

from pyitect import System
#in case you need to specify versions for plugins that don't have a default
#or you need to be sure a specific version is used,
#you can supply a mapping of component names to version strings on system setup
system = System({foo: "*"})"path/to/your/plugins/tree")
#enable the plugins found, you can of course do some filtering first
plugins = [system.plugins[n][v] for n in system.plugins for v in system.plugins[n]]

Bar = system.load("Bar")

The general idea is to create a system, search some path or paths for plugins and then enable them you can of course filter System.plugins in some way before passing it to System.enable_plugins

Enable Plugins

System.enable_plugins() accepts either a single Plugin object, a mapping object (ie a dict) where each key maps to a Plugin object, or an iterable (ie a list) of Plugin objects

Plugin components are not made available to the system until they are enabled.

Loading Plugins

Plugins are loaded on demand when a component is loaded via

System.load("<component name>")

Plugin Loading Modes

Plugins can be loaded in two different modes import and exec. Both modes can be set in the plugin’s json file just like any other optional

import mode

import mode requires, and is the default on, Python version 3.4 or higher. It uses the newly improved import lib to load the file pointed to in the plugin json with the file property. This lets the file to be loaded be any file python itself could import, be it a compiled python module in .pyd or .so form, a .pyc or .pyo compiled source file, or just a plain old .py source file.

exec mode

loads plugins by compiling the provided source file into a code object and executing the code object inside a blank Module object. This effectively recreates an import process by it’s limited in that it can only load raw python source not compiled .pyc or .pyo __init ### both in both cases relative imports DO NOT WORK. the plugin folder is temporarily added to the search path so absolute imports work but relatives will not.

UNLESS the name of the file is . In this special case the plugin folder is reconsidered as a python package and relative imports work as normal. exec mode does it’s best to recognize this case by testing for the file name and then setting name and package of the executed module to the folder name and temporarily injecting the module into sys.modules.

Pyitect does it’s best to isolate plugins from the rest of the program by keeping clean namespaces but this is no substitute for good security only load know plugins.

Loading multiple versions of one component

There are times when you might want to load more than one version of a plugin at once. why? well lets say you have a tool component that does some function on a piece of data, what function? not important but if you say wanted to extend the system to also allow an number of other functions on that same data, perhaps some function provided by a 3d party. how do make it so that all available functions are loaded?

Pyitect lets you classify all these as a single components with different versions and then load them all.

System.load(component, requirements={'component': 'plugin:version'})

in this case the requirements for the component can be set to load a spesfic versi ————————–on from one plugin, bypassing the default from the system.

Tracking loaded Components

Pyitect tracks used components at anytime System.useing can be inspected to find all components that have been requested and from what plugins they have been loaded along with versions System.useing is laying out as a multilayer dictionary with arrays of loaded versions, here is an example where more than one version of a component is active

>> System.useing
    'component1' : {
        'plugin1`: ['1.0.2']
    'special_component1' : {
        'special_plugin1': ['0.1.3'],
        'special_plugin2': ['0.2.4', '1.0.1-pre3']

Providing multiple versions of a component from the same plugin

what if you want to provide multiple versions of a component from the same plugin? if you have a system like in the Loading multiple versions of one component section above then you may want to provide multiple versions from one plugin

this can be accomplished by providing a version post-fix for the provided component and map it to the Global name it can be accessed from in the loaded module

you may of noticed that provided components are mapped to a string

    "name": "Im-A-Plugin",
    "provides": {
        "Bar": ""

that string is a post-fix mapping, an empty string represent no mapping (the component is provided in the loaded module under the same name, no version post-fix)

if however we did this

    "name": "Im-A-Plugin",
    "version": "0.0.1",
    "provides": {
        "Bar": "bar_type_1=bar1"

then a special version would be added to the system, version 0.0.1-bar_type_1, and when you required that version when loading the Bar component it would load the name bar1 from the module loaded from the Im-A-Plugin plugin. More than one mapping can be provided by separating them with the pipe | character in this way more than one version can be provided. example:

    "name": "Im-A-Plugin",
    "version": "0.0.1",
    "provides": {
        "Bar": "bar_type_1=bar1 | bar_type_2=bar2 | bar_type_3=bar3 | bar_type_4=bar4 | bar_type_5=bar5"

creating versions mappings

0.0.1-bar_type_1 -> bar1
0.0.1-bar_type_2 -> bar2
0.0.1-bar_type_3 -> bar3
0.0.1-bar_type_4 -> bar4
0.0.1-bar_type_5 -> bar5

it is also possible to use the mapping to simple provide an alternate name to acces the component under

    "name": "Im-A-Plugin",
    "version": "0.0.1",
    "provides": {
        "FooBar": "=foobar",
        "BARFOO": "barfootype=barfoo"

notice that the version post-fix can be left out, as long as the = is there the capitalized name FooBar can be accessed via the lowercase name foobar but will still have the normal 0.0.1 version

the second one BARFOO wil create a 0.0.1-barfootype version.


The plugin system also includes a simple event system bount to the System object, it simply allows one to register a function to an event name and when System.fire_event is called it calls all registered functions passing the extra args and kwargs to them

pyitect fires some event internally so that you can keep track of when the system finds and loads plugins

Using Events

Pyitect supplies three methods for dealing with events


System.bind_event('name', Function)

binds Function to the event ‘name’. when an event of ‘name’ is fired the function will be called wall all extra parameters passed to the fire_event call.


System.unbind_event('name', Function)

removes Function form the list of functions to be called when the event is fired


System.fire_event('name', *args, **kwargs)

fires the event ‘name’, calling all bound functions with *args and **kwargs

Events Fired Internaly


a function bound to this event gets called every time a plugin is found during a search called an example is provided:

def onPluginFound (path, plugin):
    path : the full path to the folder containing the plugin
    plugin : plugin version string (ie 'plugin_name:version')
    print("plugin `%s` found at `%s`" % (plugin, path))


a function bound to this event is called every time a new plugin is loaded during a component load example:

def onPluginLoad (plugin, plugin_required, component_needed):
    plugin : plugin version string (ie 'plugin_name:version')
    plugin_required: version string of the plugin that required the loaded plugin (version string ie 'plugin_name:version') (might be None)
    component_needed: the name of the component needed by the requesting plugin
    print("plugin `%s` was loaded by plugin `%s` during a request for the `%s` component" % (plugin, plugin_required, component_needed))


a function bound to this event is called every time a component is sucessfuly loaded example:

def onComponentLoad (component, plugin_required, plugin_loaded):
    component : the name of the component loaded
    plugin_required : version string of the plugin that required the loaded component (version string ie 'plugin_name:version') (might be None)
    plugin_loaded : version string of the plugin that the component was loaded from (version string ie 'plugin_name:version')
    print("Component `%s` loaded, required by `%s`, loaded from `%s`" % (component, plugin_required, plugin_loaded) )

Iterating over available plugin versions

Pyitect provides an iterator function to iterate over available providers for a component System.ittrPluginsByComponent

this function will loop over all plugin that provided the component and return a tulple of the plugin name and it’s highest available version. if there are post-fix mappings for the component on that plugin it will list them too.

for plugin, version in System.ittrPluginsByComponent('component_name'):
    print("Plugin %s provides The component at version %s" % (plugin, version))


For more information checkout the tests directory, it should be a fairly straight forward explanation form there.


Copyright (c) 2014, Benjamin “Ryex” Powers

Permission to use, copy, modify, and/or distribute this software for any purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.


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