[Numpy-discussion] Why are ufunc docstrings useless?

Robert Kern robert.kern@gmail....
Thu May 8 22:51:51 CDT 2008

On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 10:39 PM, Anne Archibald
<peridot.faceted@gmail.com> wrote:
> 2008/5/8 Robert Kern <robert.kern@gmail.com>:
>> On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 9:52 PM, Anne Archibald
>> <peridot.faceted@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Thanks! Done add, reduce, outer, and reduceat. What about __call__?
>> If anyone knows enough to explicitly request a docstring from
>> __call__, they already know what it does.
> How exactly are they to find out? It does take additional arguments,
> for example dtype and out - I think.

That should be recorded in the ufunc's main docstring, e.g.
numpy.add.__doc__, since that is what people will actually be calling.
No one will explicitly call numpy.add.__call__(x,y).

> Also, help(np.add) displays the the object, its docstring, its
> methods, and all their docstrings. So it provides a way to get a
> docstring out of __call__ without having to know what it is.

Meh. All it can usefully say is "Refer to the main docstring." Which
is more or less what it currently says.

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless
enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as
though it had an underlying truth."
 -- Umberto Eco

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