[Numpy-discussion] Why are ufunc docstrings useless?

Anne Archibald peridot.faceted@gmail....
Thu May 8 23:31:47 CDT 2008

2008/5/8 Robert Kern <robert.kern@gmail.com>:
> 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>:
>>> 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.

So is the custom that double-underscore methods get documented in the
class docstring and normal methods get documented in their own


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