rosdoc_lite wraps documentation tools like doxygen, sphinx, and epydoc with ROS package semantics to auto-generate documentation for ROS packages. rosdoc also supports online documentation, like the ROS wiki.
- Author: Ken Conleyemail@example.com, Eitan Marder-Eppstein (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- License: BSD
- Source: git https://github.com/ros-infrastructure/rosdoc_lite.git
rosdoc_lite wraps documentation tools like doxygen, sphinx, and epydoc with ROS package semantics to auto-generate documentation for ROS packages. rosdoc_lite also supports online documentation, like the ROS wiki.
- Maintainer: Dirk Thomas <email@example.com>
- Author: Ken Conley, Eitan Marder-Eppstein <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- License: BSD
- Source: git https://github.com/ros-infrastructure/rosdoc_lite.git
- What is rosdoc_lite?
- Automatically Generated Online Documentation
- rosdoc configuration files (Epydoc, Sphinx)
- Linking to External Third Party Documentation
- rosdoc_lite on ros.org
New in fuerte
What is rosdoc_lite?
rosdoc_lite is a simple program that runs an external documentation tool, like Doxygen, Epydoc, or Sphinx, on a single ROS package. It was built as a light-weight replacement to the rosdoc tool and uses the same rosdoc.yaml file format to assist in porting. We recommend trying rosdoc_lite instead of attempting to setup those tools manually, as it provides shortcuts for configuring those tools and can also import additional ROS information. Configuring your package to be documented by rosdoc_lite also has the additional benefit of allowing your package to be indexed for inclusion on the ROS wiki.
rosdoc_lite makes a best effort at providing good default settings to these tools, and in some cases allows these settings to be customized further.
In general, tools like Doxygen search all of the source code in a code tree for structured comments, and then use these comments as well as the API of the code to generate HTML files documenting the package. Doxygen and Sphinx also provide additional tools for authoring documentation that is not tied to code API.
By default, rosdoc_lite will use Doxygen to generate the documentation for a package. If you wish to use another tool, like Epydoc or Sphinx, you must use a rosdoc configuration file. This is described below. For C/C++, only Doxygen is advised.
The documentation that is generated will depend on which tool is used, as each tool behaves differently. For example, Doxygen will extract API details from all source files found in the package (see Doxygen for more).
rosdoc_lite is used as part of an automated process for updating documentation on ros.org. It is frequently run on repositories that have rosinstall files listed in the rosdistro repository, with the resulting documentation linked to in the "Code API" link of many packages.
rosdoc_lite contains some additional functionality for generating machine-readable documentation files, as well as msg/srv documentation, that are used by the ros.org wiki system and elsewhere. This functionality is mainly only of use to those maintaining documentation Web sites.
You can use rosdoc_lite to generate local copies of documentation. When you run the rosdoc_lite command, it will generate documentation into the 'doc' folder of the local directory.
Usage: rosdoc_lite [options] [package_path] Options: -h, --help show this help message and exit -q, --quiet Suppress doxygen errors. -o OUTPUT_DIRECTORY The directory to write documentation to. -t TAGFILE, --tagfile=TAGFILE Path to tag configuration file for Doxygen cross referencing support. Ex: /home/user/tagfiles_list.yaml -g GENERATE_TAGFILE, --generate_tagfile=GENERATE_TAGFILE If specified, will generate a doxygen tagfile in this location. Ex: /home/user/tags/package.tag
Generate documentation for a package:
This will generate the documentation in doc. It's easiest if you point your Web browser to open doc/html/index.html. Note that you need doxygen installed on your machine (e.g., sudo apt-get install doxygen). You may also need to install sphinx or epydoc for certain Python packages.
Doxygen Tag Files
rosdoc_lite provides support for cross-referencing with external Doxygen documentation using tag files. For more information on using tag files with Doxygen to link to external documentation, see this page.
Generating a Tag File
To generate a tag file during a documentation run, simply pass the -g option to rosdoc lite with a path to the desired location of the tagfile. For example:
rosdoc_lite -o doc -g doc/tags/my_package.tag /path/to/my/package
Using External Tag Files
rosdoc_lite can be passed a yaml file containing a list of tagfiles with the -t option. This yaml file should contain a list of dictionaries, where each dictionary has the following standard keys:
docs_url: The URL that corresponds to the entry point of the documentation associated with the tag file.
An example tags (example_tags.yaml) file is shown below:
- docs_url: http://www.ros.org/doc/api/package_name/html location: file:///path/to/package_name/doc/tags/package_name.tag - docs_url: http://www.ros.org/doc/api/package_name2/html location: http://www.ros.org/doc/api/package_name2/tags/package_name2.tag
Running rosdoc_lite with this file to get cross references might look something like this:
rosdoc_lite -o doc -t /path/to/example_tags.yaml
Automatically Generated Online Documentation
rosdoc_lite is automatically run for packages in repositories that have rosinstall files listed in the rosdisto repository. The resulting documentation is uploaded to ros.org and is linked in the "Code API" links that you see on various package pages, like rospy.
Even if rosdoc_lite is automatically generated for your package, we recommend regularly running rosdoc_lite on your own computer to verify what your documentation looks like before checking it in.
rosdoc configuration files (Epydoc, Sphinx)
rosdoc supports a YAML-based configuration file that lets you:
- use Epydoc or Sphinx instead of Doxygen
- configure multiple documentation builds per package
- do advanced configuration of documentation builds
Enabling via manifest.xml or package.xml
In order to enable the rosdoc configuration file, you must place the following tag in the <export>...</export> section of the manifest.xml or package.xml file:
<export> <rosdoc config="rosdoc.yaml" /> </export>
rosdoc.yaml should be the path to the configuration file you wish to use.
The YAML configuration file should contain a list of dictionaries, where each dictionary has the following standard keys:
builder: name of documentation builder (doxygen, epydoc, or sphinx)
output_dir: (optional) name of sub-directory to write documentation to. If you have multiple builders, you must specify this property to avoid builders writing to the same directory.
name: (optional) name of documentation set (e.g. "Python API")
Each builder may specify additional configuration keys.
Here is an example from the roslib package, which performs both C++ and Python API documentation:
- builder: epydoc output_dir: python - builder: doxygen name: C++ API output_dir: c++ file_patterns: '*.c *.cpp *.h *.cc *.hh *.dox'
The "doxygen" builder will enable running Doxygen on a package. As Doxygen is the default builder for any package, it is only necessary to configure this option if:
- you wish to run multiple builders in a package
- you wish to enable additional Doxygen configuration options, which are described below
The "doxygen" builder may specify the following additional keys:
file_patterns: (optional) override the Doxygen FILE_PATTERNS property
excludes: (optional) override the Doxygen EXCLUDE property
homepage: (optional) link to project home page
exclude_patterns: ROS C-Turtle (optional) override Doxygen EXCLUDE_PATTERNS property.
javadoc_autobrief: (optional) override Doxygen JAVADOC_AUTOBRIEF property. Default NO.
multiline_cpp_is_brief: (optional) override Doxygen property MULTILINE_CPP_IS_BRIEF. Default NO.
tab_size: (optional) override Doxygen property TAB_SIZE. Default 8.
aliases: (optional) override Doxygen property ALIASES. Default ""
example_patterns: (optional) override Doxygen property EXAMPLE_PATTERNS. Default ""
image_path: (optional) override Doxygen property IMAGE_PATH.
exclude_symbols: (optional) override Doxygen property EXCLUDE_SYMBOLS. Default ""
The "epydoc" builder will enable running Epydoc on a package.
Note: Epydoc's "introspection" capability currently breaks when trying to process some ros python modules, so this feature should not be enabled in a custom epydoc config file.
The "epydoc" builder may specify the following additional keys:
exclude: (optional) override the Epydoc --exclude option
config: (optional) override the Epydoc --config option, which passes in a separate Epydoc configuration file.
The "sphinx" builder will enable running Sphinx on a package.
The "sphinx" builder may specify the following additional keys:
sphinx_root_dir: (optional) root directory of Sphinx documents, i.e. the location of index.rst and conf.py. If not specified, it will look for an index.rst file in the root of the ROS package.
The "external" builder specifies that you wish to link to externally generated documentation. rosdoc_lite will generate a landing page with the link to the specified URL.
The "external" builder takes in the following additional keys:
external_url: URL of external documentation
external_label: (optional) link text
Linking to External Third Party Documentation
For third party packages, rosdoc_lite can automatically create a doxygen main page for the package, that includes a link to the third party documentation. To do so, you must add a line to your manifest.xml
<export> <doxymaker external="http://link.to.external/page.html"/> </export>
rosdoc_lite on ros.org
rosdoc_lite is used automatically generate documentation on the ros.org web server. Frequent updates are made to:
It is also used to generate the data for the PackageHeader, StackHeader and MsgSrvDoc wiki macros that you see on many of the ros.org wiki pages.
The rosdoc_lite tool itself is stable, though it has many internal features and functionality that are changed to support the documentation needs of ros.org. In the future, the rosdoc_lite tool will hopefully be evolved to better support the configuration requirements of the documentation tools it invokes (i.e. Doxygen).
The code API of rosdoc_lite should not be used as it is an internal library that is frequently changed.