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Python Documentation?

 
 
Daniel R. Smorey Jr.
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      09-01-2003
I'm looking for a good place for Python documentation. I'm really lost
on why it's so hard to find anything when it comes to me looking up a
particular function in Python. My example would be the split() function
of the string module. Why can't I just go to www.python.org and click
on Search and then type in split and it bring me to the split() function
of the string module? Why does it have to be so hard? This is what I
get when I search for split on www.python.org...

http://search.python.org/query.html?...s&col=starship

Most of those hits are for the re module, not the string module (which
in my opinion should be part of python and not a module, but I digress).
Why would it not bring up the split function of the string module
first and foremost?

If I do a search right now on www.perldoc.com for split, I get...

http://www.perldoc.com/cgi-bin/htsea...rict=perl5.8.0

Right there, the top hit is the slit function, how convenient.

If I go to www.php.net and type in split in the function list search, I
get...

http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.split.php

I don't even get a hit list, it goes right to the split() function.
Even more convenient.

I'm trying to learn Python because we're doing some work on the Zaurus
and there are so many supporting python modules for the Zaurus, that I'd
like to use it. I love learning new languages also. It just gives me a
bad taste in my mouth when I even think of searching for anything in Python.

Am I searching the wrong place? Am I choosing the wrong checkboxes on
the Search page? I'm at a loss. Is it really that hard to find
documentation on the python.org site?

Thanks for hearing my rant and I'm hoping I'm just doing something
wrong. I really can't imagine such an organized programming language
having such a horrible search on their website.

 
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Steven Taschuk
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      09-01-2003
Quoth Daniel R. Smorey Jr.:
> I'm looking for a good place for Python documentation. I'm really lost
> on why it's so hard to find anything when it comes to me looking up a
> particular function in Python. My example would be the split() function
> of the string module. [...trouble searching for it at python.org...]


For full-text searches, try <http://www.pydoc.org/>.

For functions and whatnot, there's the index of the Library
Reference, <http://www.python.org/doc/2.3/lib/genindex.html>.

[...]
> Most of those hits are for the re module, not the string module (which
> in my opinion should be part of python and not a module, but I digress).


Indeed, in sufficiently recent Pythons (2.0+, I think), split() is
a method of string objects:
>>> 'foo bar'.split()

['foo', 'bar']
Likewise for many other functions in the string module.

(This method is the second hit for "split" at pydoc.org, and is
listed in the Library Reference index.)

--
Steven Taschuk "The world will end if you get this wrong."
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) -- "Typesetting Mathematics -- User's Guide",
Brian Kernighan and Lorrinda Cherry

 
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Nick Welch
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      09-01-2003
pydoc is pretty nice, try "pydoc str", and then use / to search for
"split".

As far as searching the online docs, it takes a little adaptation. To
look for str.split, I'd do a google "site:www.python.org built-in
types", and then look for str, and then look at split.

And doing just that, and clicking once or twice, brought me to:

http://www.python.org/doc/current/li...g-methods.html

Although I agree, it would be cool if the online documentation supported
such direct search methods as e.g. www.php.net/split.

--
Nick Welch aka mackstann | mack @ incise.org | http://incise.org
What is the difference between a Turing machine and the modern
computer? It's the same as that between Hillary's ascent of Everest
and the establishment of a Hilton on its peak.

 
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Chad Netzer
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      09-01-2003
On Sun, 2003-08-31 at 21:41, Daniel R. Smorey Jr. wrote:
> Why can't I just go to www.python.org and click
> on Search and then type in split and it bring me to the split() function
> of the string module?


Not a bad idea.

> Why does it have to be so hard?


Start up a python interpreter and type:

help('string.split')

To see the whole string module:

help('string')

It also work directly on module and function objects:

import string
help(string)

Finally, the string module is being slowly phased out. You can use the
string constructor type instead (in Python 2.2 and later):

help(str.split)
help(str)
etc...

--
Chad Netzer


 
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Robert Kern
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      09-01-2003
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
"Daniel R. Smorey Jr." <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> I'm looking for a good place for Python documentation. I'm really lost
> on why it's so hard to find anything when it comes to me looking up a
> particular function in Python. My example would be the split() function
> of the string module. Why can't I just go to www.python.org and click
> on Search and then type in split and it bring me to the split() function
> of the string module?


Well, since you know which module the function is in, you can go to the
documentation page, look up string in the Global Module Index and find
split(). Only a few more clicks.

Or, even easier, you can fire up the interpreter, and do the following:

>>> import string
>>> help(string.split)


Or, on the commandline, type

pydoc string.split

> Why does it have to be so hard? This is what I
> get when I search for split on www.python.org...
>
> http://search.python.org/query.html?...s&col=starship
>
> Most of those hits are for the re module, not the string module (which
> in my opinion should be part of python and not a module, but I digress).


Most of them are since 2.0. Check out string methods.

http://python.org/doc/current/lib/string-methods.html

> Why would it not bring up the split function of the string module
> first and foremost?


Because no one has asked for it to do so before? Because the unpaid
volunteers with limited time who run the site don't need the feature
themselves and never realized that others might want it? Because the
string method and re function split() are equally good or better options
to return first?

Although I agree that there should be a checkbox option to search only
the current docs.

--
Robert Kern
(E-Mail Removed)

"In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
-- Richard Harter
 
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John Burton
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      09-01-2003
"Daniel R. Smorey Jr." <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> I'm looking for a good place for Python documentation. I'm really lost
> on why it's so hard to find anything when it comes to me looking up a
> particular function in Python. My example would be the split() function


The help within python itsself is a good start.
For your example try

import string
help(string.split)

No need to visit a web site.


 
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Dan Thrue
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-01-2003
Daniel R. Smorey Jr. wrote:
> I'm looking for a good place for Python documentation. I'm really lost
> on why it's so hard to find anything when it comes to me looking up a
> particular function in Python. My example would be the split() function
> of the string module. Why can't I just go to www.python.org and click
> on Search and then type in split and it bring me to the split() function
> of the string module? Why does it have to be so hard? This is what I
> get when I search for split on www.python.org...
>
> http://search.python.org/query.html?...s&col=starship
>
>
> Most of those hits are for the re module, not the string module (which
> in my opinion should be part of python and not a module, but I digress).
> Why would it not bring up the split function of the string module first
> and foremost?
>
> If I do a search right now on www.perldoc.com for split, I get...
>
> http://www.perldoc.com/cgi-bin/htsea...rict=perl5.8.0
>
> Right there, the top hit is the slit function, how convenient.
>
> If I go to www.php.net and type in split in the function list search, I
> get...
>
> http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.split.php
>
> I don't even get a hit list, it goes right to the split() function. Even
> more convenient.
>
> I'm trying to learn Python because we're doing some work on the Zaurus
> and there are so many supporting python modules for the Zaurus, that I'd
> like to use it. I love learning new languages also. It just gives me a
> bad taste in my mouth when I even think of searching for anything in
> Python.
>
> Am I searching the wrong place? Am I choosing the wrong checkboxes on
> the Search page? I'm at a loss. Is it really that hard to find
> documentation on the python.org site?
>
> Thanks for hearing my rant and I'm hoping I'm just doing something
> wrong. I really can't imagine such an organized programming language
> having such a horrible search on their website.
>



Hi Daniel,

Me and a friend am about to finish a project in a couple of weeks, that
maybe fits your needs.

We are currently documenting the parts if python, we meet in our daily
python development (Some gaming software where we mix native delphi with
python. This mixture has surprised us a lot, we are indeed python
fanatics now, hehe).

The documentation takes contributions on example snippets, description,
etc. so when the site is completely done and a base of documentation
have been posted, im gonna post link in here, then maybe the community
will help us to create a great documentation source And find the
errors we might post

Regards all,
Dan

 
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Larz
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      09-01-2003
> The documentation takes contributions on example snippets,
> description, etc. so when the site is completely done and a base of
> documentation have been posted, im gonna post link in here, then maybe
> the community will help us to create a great documentation source


Hi all, I'm the friend that Dan is talking about

Just wanted to clarify our project a little bit.

Dan and I are long time php programmers. One thing that is superb about
php, is it's online documentation that everyone in the community can
contribute to (not the actual documentation, just comments with
examples).

Every since I first started using python, I've truly missed a
documentation source similar to that of PHP's. So Dan and I have started
our little project to make a documentation site in the spirit of that
documentation.

So far it looks great, and you can see some python documentation by using
URLs like http://example.com/doc/string.split and there will of course be
a search function.

Also, it will not only be the "standard" modules of Python, by suggestion
(and perhaps permission), we will include third party modules, such as
MySQLdb and the like.

As Dan writes, it will be ready very soon, within a few weeks. It will of
course be devoid of user comments in the beginning, but we're hoping that
users will contribute with some of their invaluable experience!



Best regards,

Lars Petersen

--
larz
to mail me, remove your pants!
 
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Cameron Laird
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-01-2003
In article <Xns93E975FCE1E58godlarz@62.243.74.162>,
Larz <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
.
.
.
>Dan and I are long time php programmers. One thing that is superb about
>php, is it's online documentation that everyone in the community can
>contribute to (not the actual documentation, just comments with
>examples).
>
>Every since I first started using python, I've truly missed a
>documentation source similar to that of PHP's. So Dan and I have started
>our little project to make a documentation site in the spirit of that
>documentation.

.
.
.
PHP's documentation has indeed been a great success as a
collaborative adventure.

Python already has a structure--and much content!--for
comparable collaboration in <URL: http://
www.python.org/cgi-bin/moinmoin/ >. Moreover, as several
follow-ups have explained, Python developers have differ-
ent work practices than PHPers, and a different relation
to documentation. In particular, it's hard to overempha-
size how much working Python programmers depend on
interactive introspection: use of the interpreter's
built-in help, pydoc, and related facilities to discover
and confirm details that, in PHPonia, are regarded as
matters for online documentation.
--

Cameron Laird <(E-Mail Removed)>
Business: http://www.Phaseit.net
Personal: http://phaseit.net/claird/home.html
 
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Michael Hudson
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      09-01-2003
"Daniel R. Smorey Jr." <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> I'm looking for a good place for Python documentation.


In addition to what others said, there's Thomas Heller's pyhelp.cgi
thingy:

http://starship.python.net/crew/theller/pyhelp.cgi

and Mark Hammond's Mozilla sidebar:

http://starship.python.net/crew/mham...lla/index.html

(which provides an interface to Thomas' script).

> I'm really lost on why it's so hard to find anything when it comes
> to me looking up a particular function in Python. My example would
> be the split() function of the string module.


You mean you weren't born knowing what that did? Sheesh, kids these
days... <wink>.

Cheers,
mwh

--
Never meddle in the affairs of NT. It is slow to boot and quick to
crash. -- Stephen Harris
-- http://home.xnet.com/~raven/Sysadmin/ASR.Quotes.html
 
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