Python for Developers

First edition

Chapter 7: Documentation


PyDOC is a documentation tool for Python. It can be used both to access to the documentation of the modules that come with Python, and the documentation of third party modules.

In Windows, go to the icon "Module Docs" documentation of the standard library and "Python Manuals" to view the tutorial, referrals, and other more extensive documentation.

To use PyDOC in Linux:

pydoc ./modulo.py

To show the documentation of modulo.py in the current directory.

In Linux, the documentation of libraries can be seen throught the browser by using:

pydoc -p 8000

At the address http://localhost:8000/. To run the graphical version of PyDOC type:

pydoc -g

PyDOC uses the module Doc Strings to generate the documentation.

Besides that, it is also possible to consult the documentation on the interpreter itself, with the function help().

Example:

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help(list)
Help on class list in module __builtin__:

class list(object)
 |  list() -> new empty list
 |  list(iterable) -> new list initialized from iterable's items
 |  
 |  Methods defined here:
 |  
 |  __add__(...)
 |      x.__add__(y) <==> x+y
 |  
 |  __contains__(...)
 |      x.__contains__(y) <==> y in x
 |  
 |  __delitem__(...)
 |      x.__delitem__(y) <==> del x[y]
 |  
 |  __delslice__(...)
 |      x.__delslice__(i, j) <==> del x[i:j]
 |      
 |      Use of negative indices is not supported.
 |  
 |  __eq__(...)
 |      x.__eq__(y) <==> x==y
 |  
 |  __ge__(...)
 |      x.__ge__(y) <==> x>=y
 |  
 |  __getattribute__(...)
 |      x.__getattribute__('name') <==> x.name
 |  
 |  __getitem__(...)
 |      x.__getitem__(y) <==> x[y]
 |  
 |  __getslice__(...)
 |      x.__getslice__(i, j) <==> x[i:j]
 |      
 |      Use of negative indices is not supported.
 |  
 |  __gt__(...)
 |      x.__gt__(y) <==> x>y
 |  
 |  __iadd__(...)
 |      x.__iadd__(y) <==> x+=y
 |  
 |  __imul__(...)
 |      x.__imul__(y) <==> x*=y
 |  
 |  __init__(...)
 |      x.__init__(...) initializes x; see help(type(x)) for signature
 |  
 |  __iter__(...)
 |      x.__iter__() <==> iter(x)
 |  
 |  __le__(...)
 |      x.__le__(y) <==> x<=y
 |  
 |  __len__(...)
 |      x.__len__() <==> len(x)
 |  
 |  __lt__(...)
 |      x.__lt__(y) <==> x<y
 |  
 |  __mul__(...)
 |      x.__mul__(n) <==> x*n
 |  
 |  __ne__(...)
 |      x.__ne__(y) <==> x!=y
 |  
 |  __repr__(...)
 |      x.__repr__() <==> repr(x)
 |  
 |  __reversed__(...)
 |      L.__reversed__() -- return a reverse iterator over the list
 |  
 |  __rmul__(...)
 |      x.__rmul__(n) <==> n*x
 |  
 |  __setitem__(...)
 |      x.__setitem__(i, y) <==> x[i]=y
 |  
 |  __setslice__(...)
 |      x.__setslice__(i, j, y) <==> x[i:j]=y
 |      
 |      Use  of negative indices is not supported.
 |  
 |  __sizeof__(...)
 |      L.__sizeof__() -- size of L in memory, in bytes
 |  
 |  append(...)
 |      L.append(object) -- append object to end
 |  
 |  count(...)
 |      L.count(value) -> integer -- return number of occurrences of value
 |  
 |  extend(...)
 |      L.extend(iterable) -- extend list by appending elements from the iterable
 |  
 |  index(...)
 |      L.index(value, [start, [stop]]) -> integer -- return first index of value.
 |      Raises ValueError if the value is not present.
 |  
 |  insert(...)
 |      L.insert(index, object) -- insert object before index
 |  
 |  pop(...)
 |      L.pop([index]) -> item -- remove and return item at index (default last).
 |      Raises IndexError if list is empty or index is out of range.
 |  
 |  remove(...)
 |      L.remove(value) -- remove first occurrence of value.
 |      Raises ValueError if the value is not present.
 |  
 |  reverse(...)
 |      L.reverse() -- reverse *IN PLACE*
 |  
 |  sort(...)
 |      L.sort(cmp=None, key=None, reverse=False) -- stable sort *IN PLACE*;
 |      cmp(x, y) -> -1, 0, 1
 |  
 |  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
 |  Data and other attributes defined here:
 |  
 |  __hash__ = None
 |  
 |  __new__ = <built-in method __new__ of type object>
 |      T.__new__(S, ...) -> a new object with type S, a subtype of T

Which shows the Python list documentation.

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