[Python-Dev] Re: [Python-checkins] python/dist/src/Lib heapq.py,NONE,1.1

David Goodger goodger@users.sourceforge.net
Fri, 02 Aug 2002 17:56:55 -0400

Guido wrote:
> I was originally going to make it an unnamed string
> literal -- maybe that's better?

In PEP 258 I call those "Additional Docstrings":

    Many programmers would like to make extensive use of docstrings
    for API documentation.  However, docstrings do take up space in
    the running program, so some of these programmers are reluctant to
    "bloat up" their code.  Also, not all API documentation is
    applicable to interactive environments, where __doc__ would be

    The docstring processing system's extraction tools will
    concatenate all string literal expressions which appear at the
    beginning of a definition or after a simple assignment.  Only the
    first strings in definitions will be available as __doc__, and can
    be used for brief usage text suitable for interactive sessions;
    subsequent string literals and all attribute docstrings are
    ignored by the Python bytecode compiler and may contain more
    extensive API information.


        def function(arg):
            """This is __doc__, function's docstring."""
            This is an additional docstring, ignored by the bytecode
            compiler, but extracted by the Docutils.

(Original idea from Moshe Zadka.)

David Goodger  <goodger@users.sourceforge.net>  Open-source projects:
  - Python Docutils: http://docutils.sourceforge.net/
    (includes reStructuredText: http://docutils.sf.net/rst.html)
  - The Go Tools Project: http://gotools.sourceforge.net/