[SciPy-dev] Using IPython

Fernando Pérez fperez at pizero.colorado.edu
Mon Feb 18 13:55:50 CST 2002

> > Oh and the really last one :-) which help system you want to use in
> > the future?
> pydoc is fine I think, but it does have a few problems.  It doesn't work well
> with PythonWin.  Also, it is to verbose for me when printing out help for a
> module.  I don't want to see a gazillion lines of text describing every function
> and class.  Instead, I'd like to see the module doc-string and perhaps a list of
> available functions.  Again, Octave and Matlab strike a decent balance here.
> I started on something like this, but it is far from ready to go.  Maybe pydoc
> with a few modifications to turn down verbosity would be better than rolling
> another completely different solution.

You guys are going to get tired of me :)

IPython could be of help here. It has a '@doc object' command which is meant
precisely to show only docstrings, and a '?object' one which shows some more
info. These systems could easily be adapted to strike the balance you're
looking for, and they already exist.

This is IPython's startup:

IPython 0.2.6pre3 -- An enhanced Interactive Python.
?       -> Introduction to IPython's features.
?object -> Details about 'object'; object? also works, ?? prints more.
help    -> Python's own help system.
@magic  -> Information about IPython's 'magic' @ functions.

So you see the different info systems available (@doc is one of the
'magics'). The ?/?? is much like  Mathematica's, but adapted to Python
(shows constructors and function prototypes, for example).

Please tell me to shut up on ipython when you get sick of me :)



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