Re: Calling help from a python command line

Subject: Re: Calling help from a python command line
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 28 May 2010 09:49:54 +0300

Another consideration:

Python developers may not be working in Windows to begin with, since
there are Python iterations for various operating systems. Thus, you
may ask if a .CHM file is the best choice to begin with for a Python
application, even a graphical one.

I suspect a Mac would be similar, but in Linux I must install separate
applications just to work with .CHM files.

Thus, if your product has a potential market among non-Windows users,
this kind of consideration should be included in your plans, I think.

As far as I know, Guido von Rossum (who I believe is the originator
and "guidlng light" behind Python) works pretty much in Linux. Other
OS support is a secondary matter, if things are still as they were
when I was first introduced to Python some years back.


> From: Janet Swisher <jmswisher -at- gmail -dot- com>
> To: Heather Duggan <hdugganster -at- gmail -dot- com>
> Date: Thu, 27 May 2010 11:32:18 -0500
> Subject:
> Heather,
> Python command-line users are accustomed to accessing help about
> Python commands/functions/classes/etc. using the built-in help()
> function, which displays information from the item's docstring from
> the source code. I strongly recommend using this mechanism rather than
> creating a new way of accessing help for Python objects.
> Just like for Java and .NET, there are tools for extracting
> documentation comments from Python source code and outputting it in a
> more readable format. For example, Epydoc produces output very similar
> to Javadoc:
> If you want to be able to create more traditional documentation that
> integrates API reference information into a higher-level structure,
> consider using Sphinx with the "autodoc" extension:
> It can generate HTML Help source files (which
> you can compile to .chm), or generate HTML files that you can import
> into your single-sourcing tool. But for this type of information, you
> should consider the source code docstrings to be the ultimate "single
> source", in order to support the built-in command-line help.
> Regards,
> Janet Swisher

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