import statement

In a regular source file, the import statement is used to express a dependency on a declaration defined in another package. All import statements for a compilation unit must occur in a list at the top of the file.

In a module descriptor, the import statement declares a dependency on another module.


The import statement specifies a source package, and a list of declarations belonging to that package, with an optional wildcard:

// importing a list of declarations
import org.example.math { sqrt, pi, Complex }

// importing all declarations in a package
// (a 'wildcard' import)
import org.example.metasyntax { ... }

// assigning a different name to an imported declaration
// (an 'alias' import)
import org.example.metasyntax { ExampleFoo = Foo, Bar }

// assigning a different name to a member of an imported type
import org.example.metasyntax { Foo { b = bar } }

It's also possible to import the members of a top level object, or a constructor of a toplevel class:

import org.example.person {
    Person { 
        // import the Person.fromName constructor
        // so code can just do namedPerson("Alan", "Turing")
        namedPerson = fromName 
    famousPeople {
        // import values from the famousPeople object
        // so code can use them as if they were top level

In a module descriptor, the import statement specifies the name and version of the imported module, and, optionally, a repository type, when the module belongs to a foreign module repository system such as Maven or npm.

import ceylon.collection "1.3.0";
import maven:org.hibernate:"hibernate-core" "5.0.4.Final";

Module versions are must be quoted. Module names must be quoted if they contain characters like - which aren't legal in a Ceylon package name. Maven artifact ids must be quoted.

A module import statement may be annotated shared and/or optional.


Since Ceylon does not support the use of fully-qualified names in code, name conflicts between declarations imported from different packages must be resolved by assigning a unique name to at least one of the declaration in the import statement. This new name is called an import alias.


Use of wildcard imports (e.g. import org.example.metasyntax { ... }) is discouraged, since:

  • when reading, it makes it harder to determine which package a particular type name in the source code is referring to, and
  • as the declarations in imported packages change over time, there's the possibility of name collisions, even though none existed at the time the code was written.

See also