How do you use `help` when write your code
steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info
Sun Jul 6 19:52:50 CEST 2014
On Mon, 07 Jul 2014 00:36:23 +0800, Shiyao Ma wrote:
> Hi Pythonistas
> I often heard people mention use help(ob) as a way of documentation look
> up. Personally I seldom/never do that. My normal workflow is use
> ipython, obj? or obj?? for quick look up or use docs.python.org for a
> detailed read.
> Do you use `help`? How does it integrate into your workflow?
I frequently use the help() function.
(By the way, a little trivia for you: although the help function is in
the built-in namespace, it is not actually a built-in! When you start
Python interactively, the site.py script runs automatically, creates the
help() function, and monkey-patches it into the builtins namespace.)
I rarely use ipython, I use the regular Python interactive interpreter,
so obj? and obj?? aren't an option.
My usual workflow is to have at least one Python interpreter open at all
times. If I don't remember the parameters for a method or function, I'll
call help(class.method) or help(function). If I'm not sure what the
method is called, I'll usually call help(class) or help(module). If there
are too many things in the class or module, I'll use dir() to inspect it
first. I have a monkey-patched version of dir() which takes a second
argument, a glob, to filter the list of names returned:
py> len(dir(os)) # Too much!
py> dir(os, 'env')
['_putenv', '_unsetenv', 'environ', 'environb', 'getenv', 'getenvb',
'putenv', 'supports_bytes_environ', 'unsetenv']
py> dir(os, 'env*')
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