Frequently Asked Questions

Where does the name cartouche come from?

A cartouche is a symbol used in Egyptian hieroglyphs to indicate that the enclosed text is a royal name [*]. Since cartouche is a plugin to the Sphinx Python documentation generator, a name with a suitably Egyptian theme was selected. The connection to hieroglyphs is significant, because regular Sphinx docstrings can be dense with symbols, making them hard to read in plain text. Ironic, since the motivation behind reStructuredText was that is should be an “easy-to-read, what-you-see-is-what-you-get plaintext markup syntax”.

Didn’t this project used to be called hieroglyph?

Yes. Unfortunately, somebody too lazy to do a quick Google search for “Sphinx extension hieroglyph” beat me to an upload to the Python Package Index, thereby securing the name for their own project. C’est la vie. Que sera sera.

[*]See the Wikipedia article on cartouches for more details.