[Python-Dev] The docs, reloaded

Nick Craig-Wood nick at craig-wood.com
Wed May 23 10:53:00 CEST 2007

Georg Brandl <g.brandl at gmx.net> wrote:
>  Nick Craig-Wood schrieb:
> > Being a seasoned unix user, I tend to reach for pydoc as my first stab
> > at finding some documentation rather than (after excavating the mouse
> > from under a pile of paper) use a web browser.
> > 
> > If you've ever used pydoc you'll know it reads docstrings and for some
> > modules they are great and for others they are sorely lacking.
> > 
> > If pydoc could show all this documentation as well I'd be very happy!
> > 
> > Maybe your quick dispatch feature could be added to pydoc too?
>  It is my intention to work together with Ron Adam to make the pydoc <->
>  documentation integration as seamless as possible.

So I'll be able to read the main docs for a module in a terminal
without reaching for the web browser (or info)?  That would be great!

How would pydoc decide which bit of docs it is going to show?

If I type "pydoc re" is it going to give me the rather sparse __doc__
from the re module or the nice reST docs?  Or maybe both, one after
the other?  Or will I have to use a flag to dis-ambiguate?

If you type "pydoc re" at the moment then it says in it


which is pretty much useless to me when ssh-ed in to a linux box half
way around the world...

> > It is missing conversion of ``comment'' at the moment as I'm sure you
> > know...
>  Sorry, what did you mean?

``comment'' produces smart quotes in latex if I remember correctly.
You probably want to convert it somehow because it looks a bit odd on
the web page as it stands.  I'm not sure what the reST replacement
might be, but converting it just to "comment" would probably be OK.
Likewise with `comment' to 'comment'.

For an example see the first paragraph here:


Nick Craig-Wood <nick at craig-wood.com> -- http://www.craig-wood.com/nick

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