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Build manual page from python's ArgumentParser object.

Project description

Automatically build manpage from argparse

This repository contains a command for to build a manpage for your project.

The initial code was developed for CrunchyFrog, a database query tool for Gnome. The frog is now retired and RunSQLRun is it's successor. Then, the build_manpage command was developed in andialbrecht and edited slightly in gabrielegiammatteo. There's even an old blog post about this command.

Since some useful work has been done in python pull request, the code from the PR has been used here too (with a belief that upstream merges this, some day). Then, some more flexibility has been added.

The build_manpages command for is on it's own way (right here). The old usage from build_manpage is still supported, documented in old documentation.


Download ./build_manpages directory and place it somewhere where Python can find it. E.g. by:

git submodule add --name build_manpages
git submodule update --init

In your add:

from build_manpages import build_manpages, get_build_py_cmd, get_install_cmd
from setuptools.command.build_py import build_py
from setuptools.command.install import install

      'build_manpages': build_manpages,
      # Re-define build_py and install commands so the manual pages
      # are automatically re-generated and installed (optional)
      'build_py': get_build_py_cmd(build_py),
      'install': get_install_cmd(install),

In your setup.cfg add:

manpages =

where each line means one manual page to be generated. The format of the lines is colon separated set of arguments/options. The first argument determines the filename of the generated manual page. Then follows a list of options of format option=value; and are about "how to get the particular argparse object".

Supported values are:

  • pyfile - what python file the argparse object resides in
  • object - the name of arparse object in "pyfile" to import
  • function - the name of function in pyfile to call to get the argparse object

Then run build_manpages to build a manpages for your project. Also, if you used get_build_py helper, build then transitively builds the manual pages.

Command-line usage

You can also use argparse-manpage command on a command-line. Example:

argparse-manpage --pyfile ./pythonfile --function get_parser --author me --author-email --project-name myproject --url > cool-manpage.1

This reads ./pythonfile and executes function get_parser from it. The function should be programmed to return an ArgumentParser instance which is then used together with the other info supplied on the command-line to generate the man page.

See argparse-manpage --help for full info.


This work is released under the terms of the Apache License v2.0. See LICENSE for details.

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