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Python Testing Beginner's Guide by Daniel Arbuckle

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Embedding doctests in Python docstrings

Doctests aren't confined to simple text files. You can put doctests into Python's docstrings.

Why would you want to do that? There are a couple of reasons. First of all, docstrings are an important part of the usability of Python code (but only if they tell the truth). If the behavior of a function, method, or module changes and the docstring doesn't get updated, then the docstring becomes misinformation, and a hindrance rather than a help. If the docstring contains a couple of doctest examples, then the out-of-date docstrings can be located automatically. Another reason for placing doctest examples into docstrings is simply that it can be very convenient. This practice keeps the tests, documentation and ...

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