[Doc-SIG] epydoc reST markup for stdlib docstrings

Michael Foord fuzzyman at voidspace.org.uk
Wed Apr 14 14:44:03 CEST 2010

On 14/04/2010 13:38, Barry Warsaw wrote:
> On Apr 13, 2010, at 08:55 PM, David Goodger wrote:
>> I'm not a fan of epydoc's conventions (too much like JavaDoc, too
>> verbose, too strict). On the other hand, "now is better than never" --
>> working code and rough consensus rule. I wouldn't object to making the
>> epydoc field conventions *a* standard convention, allowing for others.
>> Just as choice of markup is very much a matter of personal preference
>> (some people *love* dealing with XML directly), choice of API
>> documentation semantics is also a personal preference thing. We would
>> be wise to allow for choice.
> Perhaps it would be useful to survey some popular and/or large Python code
> bases to see what is currently being used?  That would be a good start to try
> to figure out what the stdlib should recommend.
> I do think that we should make strong recommendations for the standard
> library, so that we have consistency and good online documentation.  I
> personally like epydoc reST format (not JavaDoc) but I'm sure there are other
> decent formats.

I'm not aware of other formats beyond epydoc and javadoc (I agree with 
your opinion on javadoc) - oh and the .NET xml format which I strongly 
recommend we steer clear of. Do you have any references?

I don't recall *ever* seeing a consistent pattern for specifying 
parameters and return values in Python docstrings.

I too would prefer a consistent pattern be adopted for the Python 
standard library. Good luck finding someone to go and change all the 
docstrings in the standard library to use it...


> -Barry
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