On Wednesday, January 03, 2018 06:10:10 Soulsbane via Digitalmars-d-learn
> I've only understood that imports should go in package.d. I'm
> seeing more and more packages on code.dlang.org using it for the
> packages primary code. Is this alright? As far as I can tell it's
> just bad form. It would be nice to have one of the maintainers
> higher up the food chain comment on this!
The entire reason that the package.d feature was added was so that it would
be possible to split a module into a package without breaking code. Anything
beyond that was beyond the scope of the purpose of the feature, albeit not
necessarily in conflict with its original purpose.
For better or worse, a number of folks like being able to just import an
entire package at once using it, so it's not uncommon for folks to set it up
to do that, though personally, I'm not a fan of that.
All Phobos has done with package.d thus far is split modules into packages,
not add it for importing packages that already exist. As for leaving code in
package.d, the only package in Phobos that I'm aware of doing that on a
permanent basis is std.range, and I have no idea why that was done. When
std.algorithm and std.container were split, package.d was used for
documentation purposes (which makes a lot of sense), but there's no real
code in there. std.datetime's package.d has some now-deprecated
functionality that was left in there rather than being put in a module when
std.datetime was split, because there was no point in putting it in a
module. In the long run though, all of that will be gone from std.datetime's
package.d, and it too will only be used for documentation. I have no idea
what folks have been doing on code.dlang.org.
In terms of functionality, there really isn't much special about package.d.
If there were, we probably wouldn't have been able to talk Walter into it.
We were able to precisely because public imports already worked in a way
that allowed package.d to work. We just needed the feature to be added to
make it possible to import a package. So, package.d allows that, but beyond
that, it's just a normal module. It typically containts public imports for
the rest of the package, but it doesn't have to, and it can contain whatever
code you want to put in there. You can do whatever you want with it, though
really, using it for much of anything at all beyond splitting up a package
in place is beyond the scope of why it was introduced. But ultimately,
there's nothing really special about package.d, and different folks have
different ideas about it and how it should be used.
Personally, I don't think that it's very clean to be putting stuff other
than documentation in package.d, and I don't really like the idea of setting
it up to import the entire package under normal circumstances; I see it
simply as a way to split up a module in place without breaking code, but
that's just how I feel about it. I don't know that there are much in the way
of objective arguments about package.d and how it should be used.
However, at this point, the trend in best practices is towards using scoped,
selective imports as much as possible (since that reduces compilation times
and more closely associates the imports with what's using them), and that
pretty much flies in the face of the idea of importing an entire package at
once. You _can_ use selective imports and package.d together, but it also
makes the compiler do more work than if you just selectively imported from
the module that the symbol is actually in. And if you're putting code
directly in package.d, then it's not possible to import just that module
unless it doesn't have any public imports in it. So, from a flexibility
standpoint, it makes more sense to avoid putting symbols directly in
However, AFAIK, there really isn't much in the way of best practices with
regards to package.d. All Phobos has done with it has been to split modules
into packages like it was originally intended, and beyond that, folks have
kind of done whatever they want. You may find a bunch of people agreeing
with you that folks shouldn't be putting normal code in package.d, but
AFAIK, there's no real general agreement on the matter one way or the other.
There isn't really even agreement about whether package.d should be used
when it isn't needed (and it's pretty much only needed when splitting up a
- Jonathan M Davis