Title: pydoc should display the expression for a builtin argument default, not its result
Type: enhancement Stage: needs patch
Components: Versions: Python 3.6
Status: open Resolution:
Dependencies: Superseder:
Assigned To: larry Nosy List: larry, serhiy.storchaka, xtreak, yselivanov
Priority: normal Keywords:

Created on 2015-08-09 10:10 by larry, last changed 2018-09-22 07:42 by xtreak.

Messages (1)
msg248318 - (view) Author: Larry Hastings (larry) * (Python committer) Date: 2015-08-09 10:10
As discussed in #24824, inspect.Parameter currently only has a place to store the value of a default argument.  Which means, if a complicated bit of code was used to produce that default argument, all we have left is the value, not the code that arrived at that value.  Which means all pydoc can do is display the value.

When C extensions pass in their default arguments as expressions, it'd be great if we could preserve that text and present it to the user.  The example that resulted in us creating this issue: _codecs.encode() and _codecs.decode() both took an "encoding" parameter that defaulted to sys.getdefaultencoding().  The value of that function was (always) "utf-8".  It's slightly more meaningful to display
in pydoc.

As a first approach, I propose we add a new member to inspect.Parameter, call it "symbolic_default_value", which contains the expression passed in by Argument Clinic (if present).  pydoc should look for this member when computing the documentation for a function, and prefer to present it to the user over the actual default value.
Date User Action Args
2018-09-22 07:42:59xtreaksetnosy: + xtreak
2015-08-09 10:10:56larrycreate