Module Browsing?

Nick Perkins nperkins7 at
Wed May 9 00:30:16 CEST 2001

I often find myself doing the following:

1) hear about a cool module
2) install it, or (more often),
   find that i already have it (but didn't know about it)
3) >>>import cool
4) >>>dir(cool)
5) >>>cool.something(
(..see if IDLE shows an informative tool tip)
5) if it does, it's a function, i try it out
6) if not, it's a value, i see what it is
7) if the value is an object, i dir() it....

What I want to know is:

Is there an easier way to 'browse' a module from the command line?
I would like to able to (quickly) see module values and their type,
module functions and their parameters and doc strings, etc.

Is there a way to get a list of modules that i have installed?
If i wrote a script to do this, how would it work?
e.g.( walk sys.path, list all .py files, etc..)

( but i'm sure it has been done, i just don't understand
  how modules work well enough )'s another thing:
can i import a module that is not on the sys.path
by giving it's full path?

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