[Numpy-discussion] #734: interactive docstring search (lookfor)

Gael Varoquaux gael.varoquaux@normalesup....
Thu Apr 10 16:58:43 CDT 2008

On Thu, Apr 10, 2008 at 02:54:48PM -0700, Hoyt Koepke wrote:
> My personal 2 cents is that we should put it in the most easy-to-find
> place.  I wish I had the propsed lookfor function at my fingertips
> when I started to learn numpy/scipy a year ago, coming from matlab.
> Like many others (I assume), I just jumped in and learned what numpy
> could do by trial and error and I never noticed numpy.lib.utils.info.
> Thus my personal vote (though I understand this may not be the best
> and there are arguments against it) is to put a lookfor or info
> function in the top level namespace, with an obvious name, so newbies
> could easily run across it and have a more enjoyable numpy learning
> experience.

Numpy is not the place where this should go. This should go in eg
ipython, which provides an interactiv frontend. One of the reasons is
that this is certainly not numpy-dependent.

We could add it for now because we really, really want it, and depreciate
it in the future. This would be very bad because users would start
relying on it.

My suggestion is that you write a self-contained file that provides this
feature. You put it on the wiki for people to download, and you post to
the ipython-dev suggesting it for inclusion. These guys are quite reactiv
and they will adapt your work to fit into ipython. Worst case, if nobody
does it, I commit to doing it (I have lots of over things, FOSS-related
to do, so I'd rather avoid, but if I have to...).

My 2 cents,


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