[docs] [issue10072] ftplib documentation is unclear

Rafe H. Kettler report at bugs.python.org
Tue Oct 12 15:32:10 CEST 2010

New submission from Rafe H. Kettler <rafe.kettler at gmail.com>:

I think that the documentation for ftplib is a bit too concise and assumes that the reader in an expert in the protocol when the point of the module is to abstract out such details.

For example, for the error documentation, the exceptions are only explained by the error code the server can return to trigger them. So, while the explanation of error_perm, for example, should say something about permissions, it just says "raised when an error code in the range 500–599 is received." This is particularly unclear for those with no knowledge of the internals of the protocol.

Also, in the documentation for RetrLines(), the documentation mentions the options LIST, NLST, and MLSD without explaining what they are. I know that when I first started using ftplib I had to experiment with each option to determine what they do, and I think it would be better if this was clear in the docs from the start.

This can become particularly unclear for less FTP-savvy users.

I can propose a patch to the documentation if needed.

assignee: docs at python
components: Documentation
messages: 118423
nosy: Rafe.H..Kettler, docs at python, orsenthil
priority: normal
severity: normal
status: open
title: ftplib documentation is unclear
type: feature request
versions: Python 2.7, Python 3.1, Python 3.2

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