[Python-Dev] Re: docstrings, help(), and __name__

David Abrahams dave@boost-consulting.com
Thu, 8 Aug 2002 18:58:36 -0400

From: "Ka-Ping Yee" <python-dev@zesty.ca>

> The attribute
> protocols on Python built-in objects vary from type to type, and
> pydoc tries to accommodate them.  Part of the purpose of pydoc and
> inspect was to document and provide a more uniform interface to some
> of these protocols.
> All the built-in objects that are declared with a name have a __name__
> attribute, so you'll want to provide that.  Beyond that, it depends
> on the type of object you want to emulate; the various protocols are
> documented in the 'inspect' module.  For example, see
>     pydoc inspect.isfunction

Do you mean help(inspect.isfunction), or am I clueless about the
environment which accepts the above command?

> for details on function objects.

It appears that ismethod is the one that's relevant to me, since the doc
system gets my functions through my descriptor, which is wrapping them with

So far I'm getting away with not adding an im_class attribute to my
function objects, but it does result in that odd "__init__ = __init__"
output (unless I've misdiagnosed). My function objects will certainly never
have func_code, as help(inspect.isfunction) implies they should, and I'm a
little reluctant to load up functions with a lot more attributes just so
they can be like Python's functions... though I'm certain the penalty would
be lost in the noise.

The main question is this: which attributes do I absolutely /need/ in order
to avoid raising an exception or giving nonsensical output from help()?

Thanks again,