running scripts with poetry

2020-06-28

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~2 min read

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365 words

I’ve been exploring Poetry as an alternative to pip and pipenv recently. As pleasant as it has been, I knew I wasn’t taking advantage of all of its features and the one that I really wanted was the scripts. Coming from the Javascript ecosystem, I’m so used to running yarn start or npm run dev to run various scripts and I hadn’t figured out this basic feature in python (generally) or with Poetry (specifically) yet.

It’s also a good example of the challenge with open source documentation. As much work has gone into the docs for Poetry, the scripts section told me very little about how to use them:

This section describe the scripts or executable that will be installed when installing the package

[tool.poetry.scripts]
poetry = 'poetry.console:run'

Here, we will have the poetry script installed which will execute console.run in the poetry package.

That was it. That’s the entire section.

Fortunately, I found Package Python Projects the Proper Way with Poetry on HackersAndSlackers.com which made it all so much clearer for me!

In no small part, this was because the example (copied in part below) was much more robust:

pyproject.toml
[tool.poetry]
name = "poetry_tutorial_project"
[...]
[tool.poetry.scripts]
run = "wsgi:main"
[...]

[…]

[tool.poetry.scripts]: This is where we specify where our app entry point(s) is by assigning function within modules to the name of a script to be run. The example run = “wsgi:main” is specifying that we want to create a command called “run,” which will look in wsgi.py for a function called main(). With this set, we can then launch our app via the Poetry CLI by typing poetry run (more on this in a bit).

That was the aha moment for me! It made sense!

The run script was now creating an entry point into the app! wsgi in this case is the Node world’s convention of index.js and everything is starting with a main function.

It’s worth pointing out that run is a slightly special script. If the script had been main to execute it, execute poetry run main.


Hi there and thanks for reading! My name's Stephen. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Want more? See about and get in touch!