[IPython-dev] %page help(x)

Mark Voorhies mark.voorhies@ucsf....
Wed Oct 26 15:33:10 CDT 2011


On Thursday, October 13, 2011 07:36:39 pm Fernando Perez wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 6:59 PM, Mark Voorhies <mark.voorhies@ucsf.edu> wrote:
> > P.S.: If I get this working, is it worth a pull request, or is this the sort of thing
> > that should live in personal magic?
> 
> I never use help myself, so I'd never really cared.  But I now see
> that in the qtconsole, help() is kind of useless, because it doesn't
> know how to page.  It's going to be equally useless in the notebook.
> 
> So perhaps the right solution is to build our own replacement for the
> built-in help(), that is smarter about the clients it's in and that in
> the long run could also format doctrings into html with TeX, etc...
> 
> I don't know how far you want to take it, but there's definitely
> potential here to improve the situation regarding interactive help.
> I'd suggest you play with it locally first, and if you think you do
> want to build something more robust/general, then we'd definitely be
> happy to take a PR for it.
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> f
> 

Sounds good.  For the impatient, here's a naive working version:

    def magic_help(self, s):
        """Retrieve the pydoc help for an object and display it through a pager.
        """
        info = self._ofind(s)
        if info['found']:
            import pydoc
            page.page(pydoc.plain(pydoc.render_doc(info["obj"])))
        else:
            print 'Object `%s` not found' % s

--Mark


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