This is a shortcut, instantiating ShowBase automatically on import. Doing so opens a graphical window, sets up the scene graph, and many other subsystems of Panda3D. This example demonstrates its use:

import direct.directbase.DirectStart

While it may be considered useful for quick prototyping in the interactive Python shell, using it in applications is not considered good style. As such, it has been deprecated starting with Panda3D 1.9. Any import to DirectStart is equivalent to and may be replaced with the following code:

from direct.showbase.ShowBase import ShowBase
base = ShowBase()

The base variable is automatically written to the built-in scope, so that it can be directly accessed anywhere in any Python module. Various other variables are written to the global scope as well, see builtins for a listing.

See the ShowBase class for further information on the base variable.