[SciPy-user] Documentation

Stef Mientki s.mientki@ru...
Fri Sep 26 03:09:08 CDT 2008

Anne Archibald wrote:
> Hi,
> I've just written a description of how scipy's smoothing splines work
> (because a friend is publishing a paper that used them). I had to go
> look up the original research papers, because there isn't really a
> good description in the python documentation, or even in the FITPACK
> source. It seems like it would be valuable to have such a description,
> but I'm not sure where it should go: duplicated in every one of
> scipy's spline-fitting functions? at the module level? in some
> automatic docstring transmogrifier that puts it in all relevant
> docstrings without requiring source code duplication?
> Anne

Somewhat more documentation would be welcome.

But should we limit ourself to these doc-strings,
which will undoubtedly be a huge amount of work,
even to get a small part of Scipy documented.

Coming from MatLab, I always found the help (if you know the right 
keywords) very good,
it not only described the use of a function, but also fave a lot of 
information about the background.

As I'm in the middle of creating a Matlab like environment in Python,
and the following ideas are now playing through my head:
- the help function shows of course the docstring
- the users personal notes about this function (probably stored in html 
or simple-rtf)
- if the help for this function is asked for the first time, the program 
will search the web.
The websearch is done on a number of sites defined by the user,
and each first search the user can select a number of sites from this list.
For the current subject and each selected website he can also specify of 
the search has to be performed each time.
An example of these sites:
= wikipedia
= some Scipy site (Enthought?)
= google
= MatWorks / Wolfram or is this unethical ?
The found links are opened in a tabbed browser and also stored  in the 
user personal notes.
- the found pages can also be automatically copied to the users own 
domain (how many links sti;; work after a year ?)

So users collects slowly all the information he's interested in,
and can organize the information in his own way.

If I dream further,
the information collected by each user is automatically gathered 
somewhere on the web,
organized by it's popularity,
and thereby forming a good starting point for each newbie.


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