Here is a list of common gotchas when formatting Python docstrings for Sphinx and the Napoleon style.
All sorts of lists require an empty line before the first bullet and after the last one, to be properly interpreted as list. No indentation is required for list elements w.r.t. surrounding text, and line continuations should be indented like the first character after the bullet.
this is a bad example that will not be interpreted as a list preceding text - foo - bar - baz following text
this is some text preceding the list - foo - bar - baz - this is a rather long-ish paragraph inserted in the list with line continuation - qux this is some text following the list
- foo - nested lists also requires empty lines, but they are missing here - inner list 1 - inner list 2 - outer list continues here
surrounding text - foo - nested lists also requires empty lines - inner list 1 - inner list 2 - outer list continues here surrounding text
Verbatim source code#
Verbatim code blocks, e.g., for code examples, requires double colon at the end of a line, then an empty line, and then the code block itself, indented:
This does not work as there is a single column and no empty line before code: def foo(bar, baz): qux = bar + baz return qux
a nice example of python code follows:: def foo(bar, baz): qux = bar + baz return qux here we can restart text flow
Inline code samples use double backquotes, and not single ones.
you have to instantiate the method `def foo(bar): pass` in order to use this abstract class
you have to instantiate the method ``def foo(bar): pass`` in order to use this abstract class
Asterisks needs to be escaped to avoid capture by emphasis markup. In case of multiple adjacent asterisks, escaping the first one is enough.
additional **kwargs are copied in the returned dictionary
additional \**kwargs are copied in the returned dictionary
Backquotes are not enough to cross-reference a Python entity (class, function, module, etc.); you need to use Sphinx domains for that, and in particular the Python domain
see the `do_something` function and the `swh.useless` module for more information
see the :func:`do_something` function and the :mod:`swh.useless` module for more information
you can avoid a long, fully-qualified anchor setting an :func:`explicit label <swh.long.namespace.function>` for a link
See also: the list of Python roles that you can use to cross-reference Python objects. Note that you can (and should) omit the <code>:py:</code> prefix, as Python is the default domain.
Note also that when building Sphinx documentation
for individual Software Heritage modules in isolation,
cross-references to other modules will not be resolvable.
But they will be resolvable when building the unified documentation
See the list of docstring sections supported by Napoleon. Everything else will not be typeset with a dedicated heading, you will have to do so explicitly using reStructuredText markup.
Entries in Args section do not start with bullets, but just with argument names (as any other Napoleon section). Continuation lines should be indented.
Args: - foo (int): first argument - bar: second argument - baz (bool): third argument
Args: foo (int): first argument bar: second argument, which happen to have a fairly long description of what it does baz (bool): third argument
In Returns section you need to use “:” carefully as, if present, it will be interpreted as a separator between return type and description. Also, the description of return value should not start on the same line of “Returns:”, but on the subsequent one, indented.
Returns: this does not work (colon will be interpreted as type/desc separator), a dict with keys: - foo - bar
Returns: this works (there is no colon) a dict with keys - foo - bar
Returns: dict: this works again (*first* colon identifies the type) a dict with keys: - foo - bar
Returns: this is not good either, you need to start a paragraph
You need a “:” separator between exception names and their description.
Raises: ValueError if you botched it RuntimeError if we botched it
Raises: ValueError: if you botched it RuntimeError: if we botched it