Do you feel bad because of the Python docs?

Zero Piraeus schesis at
Tue Feb 26 15:15:21 CET 2013


On 26 February 2013 08:54, Steven D'Aprano
<steve+comp.lang.python at> wrote:
> One week ago, "JoePie91" wrote a blog post challenging the Python
> community and the state of Python documentation [...]

> [...] should we feel bad about Python's docs?

The Python docs are my first port of call when I know the module (and
maybe the function) I want to use, but can't remember exactly how it
works. For that, and for me, they're very good.

I can also usually find the section I want if I'm answering a beginner
question on Stack Overflow and want to provide an explanatory link,
but if I weren't already familiar with the docs, I think it's quite
unlikely I'd find the relevant page easily. I agree with joepie91 that
the information on fundamental stuff is poorly organised.

> I don't think that either the Python documentation
> or community is as bad as JoePie91 suggests.

I think he has a point, albeit exaggerated, regarding the community -
or at least python-list, which is the part with which I'm familiar.
This list can be a little imposing for beginners, and its habit of
veering away from the original question into an esoteric discussion of
the language, while entertaining and educational to read for *me*,
might well end up causing OP to scratch their head.

I don't think it's intended, but sometimes there's also the sense that
regulars here are trying, not entirely successfully, to hide their
impatience with simple questions. I don't hang out at python-tutor, so
maybe it's better there (in which case, maybe its existence needs to
be better advertised).

I think Stack Overflow is a little better at that, possibly because
the rep system there encourages "grinding" in the MMORPG sense, and
easy questions get a bunch of people piling on with answers almost


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