[SciPy-Dev] Documenting distributions, advice?

Skipper Seabold jsseabold@gmail....
Tue Jul 6 10:42:22 CDT 2010

On Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 11:29 AM, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> I was just playing with the Gamma distribution (sicpy.stats.gamma) and
> I found it hard to work out how the distribution related to the
> standard sources on the topic.   I think I'm getting there now, but
> I'm wondering whether there is anywhere some advice on documenting
> scipy.stats.distributions?  For example, it looks as if there is only
> the 'extradoc' docstring addition for any specific distribution - is
> that right?
> Thanks a lot,
> Matthew

After spending the last few days with the distributions trying to fix
one thing, I am also wondering about this and other questions with
respect to the distributions (more to come later...).

At the risk of telling you things you already know, I usually start here:


Then click on say 'continuous distributions' link towards the top to
see the LaTeX math


Then I go back and forth between Wikipedia to back out what our
parameters mean since they are often not standard (with Wikipedia
being standard, of course...).

I am willing to get involved in the docs marathon with the stats
stuff.  Josef, Ralf, others, I know you have worked on this issue much
more than I.  Any thoughts for streamlining things and making the
distributions a little easier to work with?  I, for one, am willing to
give up some of the "autodoc'ing" (and do the work that this means) if
it would improve anything from a user or developer standpoint.  Maybe
we can add a notes section, since there is a note not to use extradoc
(?), for noting things like differing parameterizations of the
distributions in the literature.


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