The markup described in this section is used to provide information about a module being documented. Normally this markup appears after a title heading; a typical module section might start like this:
:mod:`parrot` -- Dead parrot access =================================== .. module:: parrot :platform: Unix, Windows :synopsis: Analyze and reanimate dead parrots. .. moduleauthor:: Eric Cleese <firstname.lastname@example.org> .. moduleauthor:: John Idle <email@example.com>
The directives you can use for module declarations are:
This directive marks the beginning of the description of a module (or package submodule, in which case the name should be fully qualified, including the package name). It does not create content (like e.g. class does).
This directive will also cause an entry in the global module index.
The platform option, if present, is a comma-separated list of the platforms on which the module is available (if it is available on all platforms, the option should be omitted). The keys are short identifiers; examples that are in use include “IRIX”, “Mac”, “Windows”, and “Unix”. It is important to use a key which has already been used when applicable.
The synopsis option should consist of one sentence describing the module’s purpose – it is currently only used in the Global Module Index.
The deprecated option can be given (with no value) to mark a module as deprecated; it will be designated as such in various locations then.
It is important to make the section title of a module-describing file meaningful since that value will be inserted in the table-of-contents trees in overview files.
There are a number of directives used to describe specific features provided by modules. Each directive requires one or more signatures to provide basic information about what is being described, and the content should be the description. The basic version makes entries in the general index; if no index entry is desired, you can give the directive option flag :noindex:. The following example shows all of the features of this directive type:
.. function:: spam(eggs) ham(eggs) :noindex: Spam or ham the foo.
The signatures of object methods or data attributes should always include the type name (.. method:: FileInput.input(...)), even if it is obvious from the context which type they belong to; this is to enable consistent cross-references. If you describe methods belonging to an abstract protocol, such as “context managers”, include a (pseudo-)type name too to make the index entries more informative.
The directives are:
Describes a C function. The signature should be given as in C, e.g.:
.. cfunction:: PyObject* PyType_GenericAlloc(PyTypeObject *type, Py_ssize_t nitems)
This is also used to describe function-like preprocessor macros. The names of the arguments should be given so they may be used in the description.
Note that you don’t have to backslash-escape asterisks in the signature, as it is not parsed by the reST inliner.
Describes a C struct member. Example signature:
.. cmember:: PyObject* PyTypeObject.tp_bases
The text of the description should include the range of values allowed, how the value should be interpreted, and whether the value can be changed. References to structure members in text should use the member role.
Describes a global C variable. The signature should include the type, such as:
.. cvar:: PyObject* PyClass_Type
Describes a module-level function. The signature should include the parameters, enclosing optional parameters in brackets. Default values can be given if it enhances clarity; see Signatures. For example:
.. function:: Timer.repeat([repeat=3[, number=1000000]])
Object methods are not documented using this directive. Bound object methods placed in the module namespace as part of the public interface of the module are documented using this, as they are equivalent to normal functions for most purposes.
The description should include information about the parameters required and how they are used (especially whether mutable objects passed as parameters are modified), side effects, and possible exceptions. A small example may be provided.
Describes a class. The signature can include parentheses with parameters which will be shown as the constructor arguments. See also Signatures.
Methods and attributes belonging to the class should be placed in this directive’s body. If they are placed outside, the supplied name should contain the class name so that cross-references still work. Example:
.. class:: Foo .. method:: quux() -- or -- .. class:: Bar .. method:: Bar.quux()
The first way is the preferred one.
New in version 0.4: The standard reST directive class is now provided by Sphinx under the name cssclass.
Like method, but indicates that the method is a static method.
New in version 0.4.
Like method, but indicates that the method is a class method.
New in version 0.6.
Signatures of functions, methods and class constructors can be given like they would be written in Python, with the exception that optional parameters can be indicated by brackets:
.. function:: compile(source[, filename[, symbol]])
It is customary to put the opening bracket before the comma. In addition to this “nested” bracket style, a “flat” style can also be used, due to the fact that most optional parameters can be given independently:
.. function:: compile(source[, filename, symbol])
Default values for optional arguments can be given (but if they contain commas, they will confuse the signature parser). Python 3-style argument annotations can also be given as well as return type annotations:
.. function:: compile(source : string[, filename, symbol]) -> ast object
New in version 0.4.
Inside description unit directives, reST field lists with these fields are recognized and formatted nicely:
The field names must consist of one of these keywords and an argument (except for returns and rtype, which do not need an argument). This is best explained by an example:
.. function:: format_exception(etype, value, tb[, limit=None]) Format the exception with a traceback. :param etype: exception type :param value: exception value :param tb: traceback object :param limit: maximum number of stack frames to show :type limit: integer or None :rtype: list of strings
This will render like this:
- format_exception(etype, value, tb[, limit=None])
Format the exception with a traceback.
- etype – exception type
- value – exception value
- tb – traceback object
- limit (integer or None) – maximum number of stack frames to show
list of strings
There is a set of directives allowing documenting command-line programs:
Describes a command line option or switch. Option argument names should be enclosed in angle brackets. Example:
.. cmdoption:: -m <module>, --module <module> Run a module as a script.
The directive will create a cross-reference target named after the first option, referencable by option (in the example case, you’d use something like :option:`-m`).
.. program:: rm .. cmdoption:: -r Work recursively. .. program:: svn .. cmdoption:: -r revision Specify the revision to work upon.
then :option:`rm -r` would refer to the first option, while :option:`svn -r` would refer to the second one.
The program name may contain spaces (in case you want to document subcommands like svn add and svn commit separately).
New in version 0.5.
There is also a generic version of these directives:
This directive produces the same formatting as the specific ones explained above but does not create index entries or cross-referencing targets. It is used, for example, to describe the directives in this document. Example:
.. describe:: opcode Describes a Python bytecode instruction.
Extensions may add more directives like that, using the add_description_unit() method.