[plt-scheme] Some sort of documentation tool from the toplevel?

From: Danny Yoo (dyoo at hkn.eecs.berkeley.edu)
Date: Mon Jul 4 17:09:43 EDT 2005

On Mon, 4 Jul 2005, [ISO-8859-1] Jens Axel Søgaard wrote:

> > I took a brief glance at what Help Desk provides, and it looks neat,
> > but unless I'm mistaken, several of its components require MrEd to be
> > up and running; I'd like to have something that can be run off the
> > toplevel, so that I can get documentation if I'm running through
> > Emacs.  I'm also only interested in the mzscheme primitives at the
> > moment.
> Have you looked at Neil van Dyke's Quack? I know that it allows access
> to the PLT documentation from within Emacs - precisely which funcinality
> is included eludes me, I normally use DrScheme.

Hi Jens,

Yes, I'm using the excellent Quack system in Emacs, and it has a
convenient menubar to pick out documentation.  But unfortunately, its
documentation system invokes the web browser, and that's a bit too
heavyweight for me.  I have to admit that I'm looking for an analogue to
Python's 'pydoc' system, and I can't find it in MzScheme yet, and that's
what's motivating me right now.

I did read through the PLT mail archives, and saw that there was a
proposal to introspect documentation out of functions:


But the consensus at that time seemed to be "Don't use docstrings: use
contracts instead."  So I am reading about contracts now.  My problem,
again, is ignorance: the material in the reference manual is very dense,
and I have the sinking feeling that I'll need to read the paper "Contracts
for Higher-Order Functions" because the assumptions and terminology used
in the Reference Manual baffle me.  Oh well; I don't mind: it's a good
weekend for reading.  *grin*

In any case, contracts appear to talk about domain/range information, but
I'd like things like the short notes and informal commentary that is
available from the reference manual.  I do like knowing type information,
but I'd also like the human-centric documentation too, and in a form
that's quickly accessible from the interactive interpreter.

Thanks for your help!

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