Hy <-> Python interop

“Keep in mind we’re not Clojure. We’re not Common Lisp. We’re Homoiconic Python, with extra bits that make sense.” — Hy Style Guide

Despite being a Lisp, Hy aims to be fully compatible with Python. That means every Python module or package can be imported in Hy code, and vice versa.

Using Python from Hy

Using Python from Hy is nice and easy, you just have to import it.

If you have the following in greetings.py in Python:

def greet(name):
    print("hello," name)

You can use it in Hy:

(import greetings)
(.greet greetings "foo") ; prints "hello, foo"

You can also import .pyc bytecode files, of course.

A quick note about mangling

In Python, snake_case is used by convention. Lisp dialects tend to use dashes instead of underscores, so Hy does some magic to give you more pleasant names.

In the same way, UPPERCASE_NAMES from Python can be used *with-earmuffs* instead.

You can use either the original names or the new ones.

Imagine example.py:

def function_with_a_long_name():

FOO = "bar"

Then, in Hy:

(import example)
(.function-with-a-long-name example) ; prints "42"
(.function_with_a_long_name example) ; also prints "42"

(print (. example *foo*)) ; prints "bar"
(print (. example FOO))   ; also prints "bar"


Mangling isn’t that simple; there is more to discuss about it, yet it doesn’t belong in this section.

Using Hy from Python

Suppose you have written some useful utilities in Hy, and you want to use them in regular Python, or to share them with others as a package. Or suppose you work with somebody else, who doesn’t like Hy (!), and only uses Python.

In any case, you need to know how to use Hy from Python. Fear not, for it is easy.

If you save the following in greetings.hy:

(setv *this-will-be-in-caps-and-underscores* "See?")
(defn greet [name] (Print "hello from hy," name))

Then you can use it directly from Python, by importing Hy before importing the module. In Python:

import hy
import greetings

greetings.greet("Foo") # prints "Hello from hy, Foo"

If you create a package with Hy code, and you do the import hy in __init__.py, you can then directly include the package. Of course, Hy still has to be installed.

Compiled files

You can also compile a module with hyc, which gives you a .pyc file. You can import that file. Hy does not really need to be installed ; however, if in your code, you use any symbol from Hy Core, a corresponding import statement will be generated, and Hy will have to be installed.

Even if you do not use a Hy builtin, but just another function or variable with the name of a Hy builtin, the import will be generated. For example, the previous code causes the import of name from hy.core.language.

Bottom line: in most cases, Hy has to be installed.

Launching a Hy REPL from Python

You can use the function run_repl() to launch the Hy REPL from Python:

>>> import hy.cmdline
>>> hy.cmdline.run_repl()
hy 0.12.1 using CPython(default) 3.6.0 on Linux
=> (defn foo [] (print "bar"))
=> (test)

If you want to print the Python code Hy generates for you, use the spy argument:

>>> import hy.cmdline
>>> hy.cmdline.run_repl(spy=True)
hy 0.12.1 using CPython(default) 3.6.0 on Linux
=> (defn test [] (print "bar"))
def test():
    return print('bar')
=> (test)