[Tutor] Is pydoc the right API docs?

Nick reply_to_is_valid at nowhere.com.invalid
Tue Nov 24 11:06:24 CET 2009

I'm not sure I'm using pydoc correctly.  I only seem to get abbreviated 
help rather than full documentation.  It happens often enough that I think 
I'm doing something wrong.

For example, I want to upgrade my scripts to use .format() from using %.

   $ pydoc format
   Help on built-in function format in module __builtin__:

   format(value[, format_spec]) -> string
   Returns value.__format__(format_spec)
   format_spec defaults to ""

Well, that just tells me that there is an entity called format_spec.  I 
want to know what format_spec actually IS so I can use it.  I try:

   $ pydoc -k format_spec


I found the answer using google, but that won't work if I'm offline.  Am I 
using pydoc correctly?  Or is there a more complete language spec?

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