[Python-Dev] Pre-PEP Idea

Paul Prescod paul@prescod.net
Sun, 16 Jul 2000 18:39:03 -0500

David Ascher wrote:
> ...
> Geez, guys, that's one of the first things I did for Python!  

I guess I'm cleaning up your unfinished project then. :) Anyhow, we
can't expect Windows and Mac Python users to have info installed.

> PS: Then again, these days I'd rather work out an API for a help lookup
> mechanims that the twelve IDEs could all use, rather than encourage people
> to stick with glass tty's =).

I think that's the long-term goal. But the interpreter is the canonical
Python user interface. Once we get information flowing into there, it
will be easier to repurpose the information for the GUIs. Anyhow, I find
this pretty useful:

$ python onlinehelp.py dir
Topic: help( <built-in function dir> )
| dir([object]) -> list of strings
| Return an alphabetized list of names comprising (some of) the
| of the given object.  Without an argument, the names in the current
| are listed.  With an instance argument, only the instance attributes
| returned.  With a class argument, attributes of the base class are not
| returned.  For other types or arguments, this may list members or

 Paul Prescod - Not encumbered by corporate consensus
It's difficult to extract sense from strings, but they're the only
communication coin we can count on. 
	- http://www.cs.yale.edu/~perlis-alan/quotes.html