[SciPy-dev] Postponed imports and docstrings

Pearu Peterson pearu at scipy.org
Tue Nov 2 14:26:21 CST 2004

On Tue, 2 Nov 2004, Robert Kern wrote:

> Arnd Baecker noted on the IPython list that modules whose imports are 
> postponed have no docstring until the second time they are accessed. Normally 
> in IPython, one can get the docstring of an object by appending a ? to it. 
> E.g.:
> In[1] optimize?
> The real docstring doesn't appear until the second time one does the ? magic.
> How about putting a docstring for _ModuleLoader that calls attention to this 
> fact?
> """ATTENTION: this module's import has been postponed. You will not see
> the module's real documentation until the next time you access the
> module.
> Repeat your action to see the real documentation.
> """
> Does anyone have a better wording?

I'd rather fixing postponed import hooks. For example,

In [1]: from scipy import *

In [2]: help(optimize)


In [2]: info(optimize)


In [2]: info('optimize')

work as expected but not

In [2]: ?optimize

as you reported.

Fernando, could you point out which part of ipython implements `?..`
so that I could look into it and fix the in scipy_base/ppimport.py?


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