[Python-Dev] Reminder: an oft-forgotten rule about docstring formatting (PEP 257)

Larry Hastings larry at hastings.org
Thu Jun 27 17:09:13 CEST 2013

On 06/26/2013 08:56 PM, Guido van Rossum wrote:
> PEP 257 says this on the formatting of multi-line docstrings:
> """
> Multi-line docstrings consist of a summary line just like a one-line
> docstring, followed by a blank line, followed by a more elaborate
> description. The summary line may be used by automatic indexing tools;
> it is important that it fits on one line and is separated from the
> rest of the docstring by a blank line. [...]
> """
> I still like this rule, but it is violated frequently, in the stdlib
> and elsewhere. I'd like to urge stdlib contributors and core devs to
> heed it -- or explain why you can't.

Argument Clinic could conceivably enforce this.  It could mandate that 
the first paragraph of the function docstring contain exactly one 
sentence (must end in a period, all embedded periods cannot be followed by
whitespace).  This would make some things nicer; I could automatically 
insert the per-parameter docstrings in after the summary.

Should it?

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