Best Practices for Naming Python Packages

person holding sticky note
Photo by Hitesh Choudhary on Unsplash

Key Takeaways

Python package name convention is an important aspect of Python programming that helps in organizing and identifying packages effectively. Following a consistent naming convention not only improves code readability but also makes it easier for developers to understand the purpose and functionality of a package. In this article, we will explore the best practices for naming Python packages and discuss the significance of adhering to these conventions.


Python is a versatile and widely used programming language known for its simplicity and readability. It provides various tools and libraries that enhance the development process and make it easier for programmers to build complex applications. One such tool is the concept of packages, which are a way of organizing related modules and providing a hierarchical structure to the codebase.

When creating a Python package, it is essential to follow a naming convention that reflects the purpose and functionality of the package. A well-chosen package name not only helps in identifying the package but also provides insights into its contents. Let’s dive deeper into the best practices for naming Python packages.

Choosing a Descriptive Name

The first step in naming a Python package is to choose a descriptive name that accurately represents its purpose. The name should be concise, meaningful, and easy to understand. It should give a clear indication of what the package does and what it contains. For example, if the package is related to data analysis, a suitable name could be “data_analysis” or “data_tools”.

It is important to avoid generic or ambiguous names that do not provide any specific information about the package. This can lead to confusion and make it difficult for other developers to understand the purpose of the package. Additionally, it is advisable to avoid using names that are too long or complex, as they can be cumbersome to type and remember.

Using Lowercase Letters and Underscores

Python package names conventionally use lowercase letters and underscores to separate words. This convention, known as “snake_case,” improves readability and ensures consistency across packages. Using lowercase letters eliminates any confusion that may arise from differentiating between uppercase and lowercase letters. Underscores serve as word separators and make the package name more readable.

For example, a package related to web scraping could be named “web_scraping” or “scrape_utils”. This naming convention is widely adopted in the Python community and is considered a best practice.

Avoiding Reserved Keywords

Python has a set of reserved keywords that have predefined meanings in the language. It is crucial to avoid using these reserved keywords as package names to prevent conflicts and unexpected behavior. Some common reserved keywords in Python include “if,” “for,” “while,” “import,” and “class.”

If a package name coincides with a reserved keyword, it can lead to syntax errors and make the code difficult to understand. Therefore, it is recommended to choose a different name that does not clash with any reserved keywords.

Using Meaningful and Consistent Naming Conventions

Consistency is key when it comes to naming Python packages. It is important to follow a consistent naming convention throughout the codebase to maintain readability and avoid confusion. This includes using similar naming patterns for related packages and modules.

One common convention is to use a prefix or suffix to indicate the purpose or category of the package. For example, packages related to testing could have a “test_” prefix, while packages related to data manipulation could have a “_utils” suffix. This helps in quickly identifying the purpose of a package and its relationship to other packages.


Choosing the right name for a Python package is crucial for maintaining code readability and organization. By following the best practices discussed in this article, developers can create packages that are easy to understand, identify, and use. A descriptive and consistent naming convention not only benefits the current developers but also makes it easier for future developers to navigate and contribute to the codebase.

Remember to choose a descriptive name, use lowercase letters and underscores, avoid reserved keywords, and maintain consistency in naming conventions. By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure that your Python packages are well-structured, easily identifiable, and contribute to the overall maintainability of your codebase.

Written by Martin Cole

The Importance of Architecture Specifications in System Development

Colorful software or web code on a computer monitor

The Risks and Challenges of Big Data