How to override the automatically created docstring data for Boost::Python?

I am currently working developing a C++-based module for Python. I have found that Boost::Python is working quite well for what I want to accomplish. However, I am now running into some issues with the docstring that is being generated by Boost::Python. Given the following Boost::Python definitions:

BOOST_PYTHON_MODULE(gcsmt)
{
class_<gcsmt::Units>("Units", "Sets the units used as input.", no_init)
    .def("PrintSupported", &gcsmt::Units::printSupported, "Print out all supported units.")
    .def("SetDefault", &gcsmt::Units::setDefaultUnit, "Sets the default unit to be used for inputs/outputs.")
    .staticmethod("PrintSupported")
    .staticmethod("SetDefault")
    .def(self_ns::str(self_ns::self))
    ;
}

If I compile, load my module in Python, and get help on the gscmt.Units class, the output is the following:

>>> help(gcsmt.Units)

Help on class Units in module gcsmt:

class Units(Boost.Python.instance)
 |  Sets the units used as input.
 |  
 |  Method resolution order:
 |      Units
 |      Boost.Python.instance
 |      __builtin__.object
 |  
 |  Methods defined here:
 |  
 |  __reduce__ = <unnamed Boost.Python function>(...)
 |  
 |  __str__(...)
 |      __str__( (Units)arg1) -> object :
 |      
 |          C++ signature :
 |              _object* __str__(gcsmt::Units {lvalue})
 |  
 |  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
 |  Static methods defined here:
 |  
 |  PrintSupported(...)
 |      PrintSupported() -> None :
 |          Print out all supported units.
 |      
 |          C++ signature :
 |              void PrintSupported()
 |  
 |  SetDefault(...)
 |      SetDefault( (UnitType)arg1, (str)arg2) -> None :
 |          Sets the default unit to be used for inputs/outputs.
 |      
 |          C++ signature :
 |              void SetDefault(gcsmt::unitType,std::string)
 |  
 |  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
 |  Data and other attributes defined here:
 |  
 |  __init__ = <built-in function __init__>
 |      Raises an exception
 |      This class cannot be instantiated from Python
 |  
 |  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
 |  Data descriptors inherited from Boost.Python.instance:
 |  
 |  __dict__
 |  
 |  __weakref__
 |  
 |  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
 |  Data and other attributes inherited from Boost.Python.instance:
 |  
 |  __new__ = <built-in method __new__ of Boost.Python.class object>
 |      T.__new__(S, ...) -> a new object with type S, a subtype of T

While much of the documentation being output is valuable to me as a developer, most of it would be noise, or even worse, confusing, to an end user. (E.g.- my users don't care what the C++ signature of a given method is, nor do they need to see the Method resolution order, or additional hidden methods that are shown). Is there any way to override, and reduce the level/verbosity of the documentation set up by Boost::Python? Ideally, I'd like my documentation to look something like:

>>> help(gcsmt.Units)

Help on class Units in module gcsmt:

class Units
 |  Sets the units used as input.
 |  
 |  PrintSupported() -> None :
 |      Print out all supported units.
 |  
 |  SetDefault( (UnitType)arg1, (str)arg2) -> None :
 |      Sets the default unit to be used for inputs/outputs.

Answers


  • Use the boost::python::docstring_options class to define your auto-created docstring options.
  • All def functions take a docstring as the last parameter.
  • All class_ definitions take the class docstring as the last parameter

I.e.:

using boost::python;
BOOST_PYTHON_MODULE(foo)
{
  // This will enable user-defined docstrings and python signatures,
  // while disabling the C++ signatures
  docstring_options local_docstring_options(true, true, false);

  class_<Bar>("Bar", init<>(), "Bar class" /* class docstring here */ )
    .def("foobar", &Bar::foobar, "foobar function" /* function docstring here */);
}

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