Python Documentation?

Robert Kern kern at
Mon Sep 1 07:50:21 CEST 2003

In article <LQydncwLlNp2UM-iXTWJkA at>,
	"Daniel R. Smorey Jr." <smory at> writes:
> I'm looking for a good place for Python documentation.  I'm really lost 
> on why it's so hard to find anything when it comes to me looking up a 
> particular function in Python.  My example would be the split() function 
> of the string module.  Why can't I just go to and click 
> on Search and then type in split and it bring me to the split() function 
> of the string module? 

Well, since you know which module the function is in, you can go to the
documentation page, look up string in the Global Module Index and find
split(). Only a few more clicks.

Or, even easier, you can fire up the interpreter, and do the following:

>>> import string
>>> help(string.split)

Or, on the commandline, type

pydoc string.split

> Why does it have to be so hard?  This is what I 
> get when I search for split on
> Most of those hits are for the re module, not the string module (which 
> in my opinion should be part of python and not a module, but I digress). 

Most of them are since 2.0. Check out string methods.

>   Why would it not bring up the split function of the string module 
> first and foremost?

Because no one has asked for it to do so before? Because the unpaid
volunteers with limited time who run the site don't need the feature
themselves and never realized that others might want it? Because the
string method and re function split() are equally good or better options
to return first?

Although I agree that there should be a checkbox option to search only
the current docs.

Robert Kern
kern at

"In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
 Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
  -- Richard Harter

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