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Where to put your docstrings

This document describes our recommended way for organizing the docstrings for your API docs.

The autosummary Sphinx extension is not really suitable for documenting plugins because

  • you can load only one Django application per Python process.

  • the model definitions and certain functionalities of a Lino plugin may change depending on which other plugins are installed in a given application.

  • the class definitions of a plugin may be spread over different modules (models.py, desktop.py, choicelists.py, roles.py...), but this is an implementation detail because Django anyway groups them into a common namespace (their app_label).

Our solution to these problems is to not use autosummary but to create one (or several) specs pages. Usage example is lino.modlib.users where all the docstrings have been moved to the Reference. I believe that this is now finally our prefererred way for structuring the documentation of a plugin. I created #1708 for this and started this document.