Python reference

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Fri Jun 4 18:13:41 CEST 2004

"Neil Benn" <benn at> wrote in message
news:40C03D47.3000502 at
>     Generally the documentation is good, remembering that this is an
> open-source project and most people hate doing documentation there is a
> lot of good documentation available and the books are pretty good.

and remembering that the references are voluteer work...

> However there problem that I've had most frequently  is actually finding
> the information I need (personally I don't like the 'everyone
> contribute' type of documentation as there can be a lot of clutter and
> repetition).  I think the module index is OK but there are fundamental
> things missing.  For example, I have a String object and want to find a
> method that can give me a starts with.  Before people say I can type
> dir("IT'S OBVIOUS") or simply just guess (is it startswith, starts_with,
> StartsWith, etc - that's before I get to the parameters), let's assume
> that I'm coming from a language without an interepter - say Java, C#,
> VB, C/C++, Pascal, etc.

If you have a specific suggestion, submit a SourceForge tracker item with
category documentation.  If you have an actual patch to the LaTex source,
its a patch item.  If it is pretty clearly a flaw, make a bug item.  If a
suggestion for improvement but not obviously a bug, make an RFE item.  Many
improvements to the official docs have come from such submissions!

In this case, it appears that the list you wanted in in String
Methods which you find under 2.3.6 Sequence Types, etc.  In the interactive
interpreter, help(str) also gives a list which eventually shows
|  startswith(...)
|      S.startswith(prefix[, start[, end]]) -> int
|      Return 1 if S starts with the specified prefix, otherwise return 0.
|      optional start, test S beginning at that position.  With optional
end, stop
|      comparing S at that position.

Terry J. Reedy

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