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Quick Start Guide

To use Otter in a project you’ll need to start by importing the package:

import otter

Once we’ve done that, we can set up the report. When you do this you’ll, as a very minimum requirement, need to know where the report should be saved. So, for example, if we wanted to produce a report in the present working directory (the same place that the Python script is running), we can set up a report like so:

report = otter.Otter(filename="test.html")

An HTML formatted report called test.html will now be produced in the working directory. We can specify any allowed filepath on the machine, however, so something like:

report = otter.Otter(filename="/home/daniel/www/important.html")

can be used to place the report in a specific directory. This can be a useful way of making sure that your reports are placed in a location which is web-accessible, which can be useful if you’re working on a remote machine, or a computing cluster, for example.

We can add additional metadata to the report, such as the name of the author, and a title for the report. Some data might be ignored, and the metadata which is used to generate the report is dependent upon the template which you’re using.:

report = otter.Otter(filename="test.html", author="Daniel Williams", title="Test Report")

Once we’ve set-up the report, we can start adding content to it. We recommend doing this using a context manager, which means that a report is still produced, even if a problem causes your code to stop executing prematurely. This can be done using the with statement in Python:

report = otter.Otter(filename="test.html")

with report:
   report + "This is a sentence to add to the report."

This method of making the report means that you don’t need to worry about explicitly writing-out the report; it’s done automatically as we move through your script.

When you add a string to the report it will just get added to the text. We can produce more useful formatting as well, which is covered in the formatting tutorial, but simple formatting can be performed by including Markdown in the string. For example,

with report:
   report + "#Heading"

will be parsed from Markdown to add a level-one heading to the document. You can review markdown syntax with this Markdown primer.

## Plots and Data

Otter can also handle the process of adding plots produced by matplotlib to your report. For example

x = np.linspace(0,10, 100)
y = np.sin(x)

f, ax = plt.subplots(1,1)

with report:
   report + f

This will add a plot of a sinusoid to the report.

Otter will automatically try and handle a number of other data formats automatically, and make them aesthetically pleasing. Dictionaries get turned into tables, for example, as do numpy arrays, while lists are turned into HTML lists.