man page generator (was: plans for 0.0.6 release)

Hans Ulrich Niedermann arch at
Tue Jun 7 08:54:49 BST 2005

Martin Pool <mbp at> writes:

> On  1 Jun 2005, Hans Ulrich Niedermann <arch at> wrote:

>> I have written a script which autogenerates an (admittedly basic) man
>> page from the output of "bzr help". It still lacks the detailed
>> explanations, but it is already a lot better than having nothing at
>> all:
>>   (the patch)
>>               (the generated man page)
>>           (my enhanced branch)
> Thanks!  I was planning to do that, or hoping someone would do it.

Well, I've already done this for bazaar, so this was just a kind of a
port from Perl to Python and moving from parsing program output to
working within the program itself.

> We could enhance this a bit:
>  - also generate HTML 

Before we start doing anything else but creating a simple, we will
want to evaluate existing python doc tools to avoid reimplementing

Some of those tools might work with a (docstring) syntax we might want
to adopt, and which we will want to evaluate before inventing our own.

>  - put the introductory material into a text file rather than
>    hardcoded into the program
>    I'd like to have "bzr help introduction" show some of this.

Or as another doc string (fits better into the existing pattern).

So far, I have just copied the first few paragraphs from the bazaar-ng

>  - Include sub-sections for each command showing its syntax and options, 
>    as generated by the help command.

Already done, merge again :)

Another point for enhancements would be to refactor and
merge some of the code into This could avoid some
serialization and reparsing of help information (consider option


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