[Grok-dev] a Grok 1.0 release plan

Martijn Faassen faassen at startifact.com
Sat Nov 29 07:43:57 EST 2008


Brandon Craig Rhodes wrote:
> Martijn Faassen <faassen at startifact.com> writes:
>> I think we should consider calling the next release of Grok: Grok 1.0.
> I note that most of the Grok code that I have seen violates PEP-8 by
> being almost entirely devoid of docstrings (not to mention comments).  I
> have been thinking about going through and adding some simple docstrings
> to make it easier for both newcomers to the code, and us old-timers with
> bad memories.

One of the problems with docstrings in Zope 3 code is that we tend to 
place them in interfaces.py. Would you duplicate things? Very long ago 
in Zope 3 we'd put in a marker that said "see .interfaces.IFoo.bar" for 
every method, but that's rather ugly and hard to maintain.

An automatic introspector can automatically associate the docstring on a 
method on an interface with the method itself of the class that 
implements the interface. Whether this happens in practice is another 
discussion. :)

> Is this something I should try doing before 1.0?  

Sure - this is a low-risk enhancement. I'd limit your efforts to grok, 
grokcore.*, grokui.* and martian - let's not delve into zope.* land. :)

> What is the Zope
> approach toward docstrings - are they frowned upon?  From the almost
> entire lack of them in Zope code, I wondered if they were considered a
> bad idea, and if the code was supposed to "just be clear enough" that no
> docstrings were needed to define what things do.

We don't have the attitude that docstrings are a bad idea or that code 
should be clear enough by itself: we have docstrings in interfaces. We 
also have a lot of doctests that hopefully say something about the code 
as well.

> But, if it were up to me, I'd like the code to have docstrings, and I'm
> willing to add them - but can put my efforts elsewhere if everyone else
> thinks that's a waste. ;-)

I propose you add docstrings to methods where the method isn't already 
defined in an interface with a proper docstring there. Consider at each 
point whether this is actually something that should be added to the 
interface instead; we might've forgotten some methods or attributes in 

If the method on the interface already has a docstring, I propose you 
just say: "see <IFoo>", where <IFoo> is an interface that this class 
implements (either directly or through a subclass relationship). I think 
a marker like this is better than nothing at all, as at least that gives 
a hint to the reader what's going on, and the docstring adder won't then 
accidentally add a docstring. :)

You can also add docstrings to most classes - sometimes the class will 
implement a single interface that will contain the bulk of the 
explanation, but that is the general explanation of the interface, and 
doesn't explain why that particular class is there implementing it.



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