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sphinx-doc.el

What is it?

sphinx-doc is an emacs minor mode for inserting docstring skeleton for Python functions and methods. The structure of the docstring is as per the requirement of the Sphinx documentation generator.

Installation

This package can be installed from MELPA. To do so, run M-x package-list-packages, then search for "sphinx-doc". Mark it with i and finally press x to install.

To install manually, download and copy the sphinx-doc.el file somewhere in the load path.

Configuration

Add the following line to your .emacs (or the equivalent config file)

    (add-hook 'python-mode-hook (lambda ()
                                  (require 'sphinx-doc)
                                  (sphinx-doc-mode t)))

This will enable the sphinx-doc-mode and bind the interactive function sphinx-doc to C-c M-d.

To include type parameters in your docstring, set sphinx-doc-include-types to t.

Usage

Inside a Python file, move the cursor to some function/method definition and hit C-c M-d (see gif demo below).

Demo

Sphinx-doc

Known Issues

  • The parser is whitespace-sensitive. If there are trailing spaces at the end of the function definition line, then the parser will fail. Also, if you do not have at before the type name in your type-hints, then the parser will fail.

  • When calling the function interactively, if the cursor is not on the head of a function definition (ie. the keyword def, function name or the parenthesized list of the formal parameters) it either shows a "search failed" message in the minibuffer or inserts documentation for a valid function definition closer to the current line! Although both behaviours are quite harmless, it's annoying and definitely needs to be fixed. Patches welcome!

See also

  • The autodoc extension needs to be enabled for the sphinx instance in order to generate documentation from the docstrings.

  • If anyone's interested, there is a similar functionality I wrote to generate docstrings for Javscript functions based on the style of Natural Docs. It's not packaged as a mode but can be installed manually. Natural Docs for Javascript in Emacs

License

MIT

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Generate Sphinx friendly docstrings for Python functions in Emacs

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