Python documentation strings (or *docstrings*) provide a
convenient way of associating documentation with Python modules,
functions, classes, and methods. An object's docsting is defined by
including a string constant as the first statement in the object's
definition. For example, the following function defines a docstring:

`def`

`x_intercept`

(m, b):`""" Return the x intercept of the line y=m*x+b. The x intercept of a line is the point at which it crosses the x axis (y=0). """`

`return`

-b/m

Docstrings can be accessed from the interpreter and from Python
programs using the "`__doc__`

" attribute:

`>>>`

`Return the x intercept of the line y=m*x+b. The x intercept of a line is the point at which it crosses the x axis (y=0).`

The pydoc module, which became part of the standard library in Python 2.1, can be used to display information about a Python object, including its docstring:

`>>>`

`from`

pydoc`import`

help`>>>`

`help(x_intercept)`

`Help on function x_intercept in module __main__:`

x_intercept(m, b) Return the x intercept of the line y=m*x+b. The x intercept of a line is the point at which it crosses the x axis (y=0).

For more information about Python docstrings, see the Python Tutorial or the Oreilly Network article Python Documentation Tips and Tricks.

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