[SciPy-user] Docstring searching capability in scipy

Arnd Baecker arnd.baecker at web.de
Tue Oct 25 10:35:47 CDT 2005

On Mon, 24 Oct 2005, Fernando Perez wrote:

> Robert Kern wrote:
> > Yes, please! Among other things, that would allow it to scan scipy and
> > other packages for docstrings and store the snippets of documentation
> > (doclets?) somewhere in ~/.ipython/ . Then we can search without
> > importing anything or scanning every time.
> OK, added to the wiki.  That's not much, but at least it will guilt-trip me
> into actually doing it.

One remark on storing docstrings: I am not sure if this is
the optimal strategy because for big packages (like VTK, wxPython,
and scipy itself) this would consume a lot of space.
Creating a searchable index (like documancer
http://documancer.sourceforge.net/ does),
e.g. using http://pylucene.osafoundation.org
- an alternative is http://divmod.org/projects/xapwrap
(using http://www.xapian.org/)
might be a more efficient approach, also in terms of search times.

Documancer does provide a very nice graphical interface for
searching documents from various sources,
but it should be possible to separate the actual
search and result generation from the graphical display
(eg to provide a pure text interface, for use in ipython
or a graphical interface, for use in the upcoming notebook for ipython).

Actually, I think an indexed search would also be helpful
for the whole of python (and one could open even more cans
of worms like ReSt for python documentation/pysource/eggs support etc.etc.
in this context...)

Best, Arnd

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