[Python-Dev] Purpose of Doctests [Was: Best practices for Enum]

R. David Murray rdmurray at bitdance.com
Mon May 20 15:37:32 CEST 2013

On Mon, 20 May 2013 12:45:57 +0200, Antoine Pitrou <solipsis at pitrou.net> wrote:
> On Sat, 18 May 2013 23:41:59 -0700
> Raymond Hettinger <raymond.hettinger at gmail.com> wrote:
> > 
> > We should continue to encourage users to make thorough unit tests
> > and to leave doctests for documentation.  That said, it should be
> > recognized that some testing is better than no testing.  And doctests
> > may be attractive in that regard because it is almost effortless to
> > cut-and-paste a snippet from the interactive prompt.  That isn't a
> > best practice, but it isn't a worst practice either.
> There are other reasons to hate doctest, such as the obnoxious
> error reporting.  Having to wade through ten pages of output to find
> what went wrong is no fun.

That's why I added the 'failfast' option to doctest.

> Also the difficulty of editing them. For some reason, my editor doesn't
> offer me facilities to edit interactive prompt session snippets.

I don't have much problem with lacking tailored facilities for this
in vim.  I suppose that is a matter of personal style.  I *would* like to
teach it the proper indentation, but I haven't been bothered enough yet
to do it.  (After all, weren't you the one who told me the lack of tab
key indentation at the interactive prompt after you enabled completion
by default wasn't an issue because one could just use space to indent? :)


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