baky baky - 2 months ago 12
Python Question

Display pydoc's description as part of argparse '--help'

I am using argparse.ArgumentParser() in my script, i would like to display the pydoc description of my script as part of the '--help' option of the argparse.

One possibly solution can be to use the

formatter_class
or the
description
attribute of ArgumentParser to configure the displaying of help. But in this case, we need to use the 'pydoc' command internally to fetch the description.

Do we have some other ways(possibly elegant) to do it ?

Answer

You can retrieve the docstring of your script from the __doc__ global. To add it to your script's help, you can set the description argument of the parser.

"""My python script

Script to process a file
"""

p = argparse.ArgumentParser(description=__doc__,
                            formatter_class=argparse.RawDescriptionHelpFormatter)
p.add_argument('foo', help="Name of file to process")
p.parse_args()

Then the help will look like:

$ python tmp.py --help
usage: tmp.py [-h] foo

My python script

Script to process a file

positional arguments:
  foo         Name of file to process

optional arguments:
  -h, --help  show this help message and exit

You can use the epilog keyword argument instead of description to move the docstring to the end of the help, instead of immediately following the usage string.

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