[New-bugs-announce] [issue19404] Simplify per-instance control of help() output

Nick Coghlan report at bugs.python.org
Sat Oct 26 09:22:18 CEST 2013

New submission from Nick Coghlan:

While working on issue 19330, I also took a look at whether or not I could fix the @contextmanager decorator to also provide useful help information on the resulting objects. This turned out to be difficult, since calling decorated functions produces instances of contextlib._GeneratorContextManager, and help() insists on showing the docs for that rather than a __doc__ attribute set on the context manager instance itself.

This behaviour appears to be ultimately due to "pydoc.render_doc()", which has a hardcoded list of conditions it checks to decide whether to document the instance directly or to provide the class documentation instead:

This first idea that comes to mind is to simply add the additional condition that if "obj.__doc__ != type(obj).__doc__", then help() shouldn't replace the object with it's type. The simple trick that I originally explored was simply setting the __doc__ attribute on the _GeneratorContextManager instance based on the docstring of the decorated function, and I believe that approach might work for property instances, too (rather than needing to hardcode the isinstance check into render_doc()). It may even handle some of the other currently hardcoded conditions in that list.

components: Library (Lib)
messages: 201322
nosy: ethan.furman, ncoghlan
priority: normal
severity: normal
status: open
title: Simplify per-instance control of help() output
type: enhancement
versions: Python 3.4

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