Opened 16 years ago

Closed 16 years ago

#2538 closed defect (fixed)

Python HTML documentation not necessary for help('module_name') feature

Reported by: Espen Rønnevik Owned by: blfs-book@…
Priority: normal Milestone: 6.3
Component: BOOK Version: SVN
Severity: normal Keywords:


The BLFS-6.3-rc2 book states that to use pythons help('module_name') feature it is necessary to download and install the HTML documentation. This is incorrect as Python reads the help-information from the installed modules themselves using help-strings. The HTML documentation includes the same information, but can be browsed without running the interpreter.

Change History (3)

comment:1 by Randy McMurchy, 16 years ago

Severity: trivialnormal
Type: taskdefect

Not being a Python person, I just blindly tested and it appears that you don't need the additional docs installed for help on specific modules (even the native modules).

I can also confirm that help information for modules installed by other packages (e.g., GTK-2.0) is displayed as well, which more indicates that Python's help is reading help strings directly from the modules as the ticket indicates.

Unless Ag replies and has additional information, I'm inclined to comment out the stuff about help('modulename') in the Python instructions for the 6.3 release.

comment:2 by Ag. Hatzimanikas, 16 years ago

Thanks for the report.

  1. Html documentation can be generated by using pydoc also
  1. yes specific help about a module could be read by using docstrings and the html downloaded documentation is not strictly required.

Though, to print help about a statement e.g, help('print') or help('pass'), it still requires the documentation to be available and to set the PYTHONDOCS variable.

So, yes, its better to leave out the sentence "In order to use the help ('module_name') feature of the python interpreter, you must download (or create) the optional HTML documentation and install it." But the rest of the instructions about the documentation should stay and in my opinion to enhance it even more by adding information of how to use effectively the help system.

I am inviting the operator of this ticket to add additional information to this section.

comment:3 by Randy McMurchy, 16 years ago

Resolution: fixed
Status: newclosed

Indeed, Ag is correct that for some statements and keywords, the HTML docs are required. I clarified the text.

Note: See TracTickets for help on using tickets.