How do I disable “missing docstring” warnings at a file-level in Pylint?

It is nice for a Python module to have a docstring, explaining what the module does, what it provides, examples of how to use the classes. This is different from the comments that you often see at the beginning of a file giving the copyright and license information, which IMO should not go in the docstring (some even argue that they should disappear altogether, see e.g. Get Rid of Source Code Templates)

With Pylint 2.4 and above, you can differentiate between the various missing-docstring by using the three following sub-messages:

  • C0114 (missing-module-docstring)
  • C0115 (missing-class-docstring)
  • C0116 (missing-function-docstring)

So the following .pylintrc file should work:

    C0114, # missing-module-docstring

For previous versions of Pylint, it does not have a separate code for the various place where docstrings can occur, so all you can do is disable C0111. The problem is that if you disable this at module scope, then it will be disabled everywhere in the module (i.e., you won’t get any C line for missing function / class / method docstring. Which arguably is not nice.

So I suggest adding that small missing docstring, saying something like:

high level support for doing this and that.

Soon enough, you’ll be finding useful things to put in there, such as providing examples of how to use the various classes / functions of the module which do not necessarily belong to the individual docstrings of the classes / functions (such as how these interact, or something like a quick start guide).

Leave a Comment