Using the Help Function in the Notebooks and Query Browser

Posted October 15, 2021 by Nathan Daly ‐ 1 min read

The help function renders markdown docstrings as richly formatted HTML.

You can use help:relation (where relation represents a specific name) to display a relation’s documentation rendered from the docstring’s markdown content. This allows you to display the instructions for using a relation when working with Rel, and makes the Rel code self-documenting.

The function help will render the relation’s docstring, if it exists, as rich HTML. When working with the SDKs, where no HTML rendering is available, you can also use docstring to get a relation’s docstring information as a string.

All of the relations defined in our Rel libraries have docstrings that can be viewed using the help or docstring functionality. For example, help:load_csv displays the documentation for load_csv:

You can also add your own documentation by adding docstrings to your relations. To do this, use the Install cell in the RAI Notebook, add doc""" above your relation, and write your comment in markdown before closing the section with """.

If you then use help:myrelation, the system will render the docstring you have created, allowing you or others to refer to further details documented for your Rel code.