How to use Doxygen to generate documentation for our code

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Function documentation is fundamentally the same as the class description in the previous section. As before, we can provide a short description and a more detailed explanation. The main difference is that, for functions, we should use the detailed description to describe the '''input parameters''' and the '''return value''' (if any). To do this, we will use the Doxygen commands ''@param'', followed by the parameter name, and ''@return''. Some examples:
 
Function documentation is fundamentally the same as the class description in the previous section. As before, we can provide a short description and a more detailed explanation. The main difference is that, for functions, we should use the detailed description to describe the '''input parameters''' and the '''return value''' (if any). To do this, we will use the Doxygen commands ''@param'', followed by the parameter name, and ''@return''. Some examples:
  
   /// Converts a value from radians to degrees
+
   /// Converts a value from degrees to radians.
   /** Note that no check is performed to verify that the angle is between 0 and 2*Pi,
+
   /** Note that no check is performed to verify that the angle is between 0 and 360,
       angles greater than 360 may be obtained.
+
       angles greater than 2*Pi may be obtained.
 
       @param Angle The angle measured in radians
 
       @param Angle The angle measured in radians
 
       @return The angle measured in degrees
 
       @return The angle measured in degrees
 
   */
 
   */
   double Degrees(const double Angle)
+
   double Radians(const double Angle)
 
   {
 
   {
 
     return 3.14159 * Angle / 180.0;
 
     return 3.14159 * Angle / 180.0;
Line 57: Line 57:
  
 
=== Grouping into modules ===
 
=== Grouping into modules ===
 +
 +
For large codes, it can be useful to present the documentation in an organized way. In the case of Kratos,
  
 
=== ''See also'' ===
 
=== ''See also'' ===

Revision as of 16:10, 26 January 2011

This How To introduces the Doxygen documentation system and gives some guidelines to use it to document Kratos code

Contents

What is Doxygen?

Doxygen is system that can be used to produce documentation for our code. It reads our source code looking for comments that follow a special format, and uses that information to generate our documentation.

To document our work, all that is required is to follow some basic guidelines while writing our code. Every time we release a new Kratos version, we will run Doxygen using our source and post the result in the Doxygen Documentation page. An alternate possibility is to run Doxygen periodically on the latest svn revision and upload the result.

Basic instructions to document C++ code

There are many different Doxygen commands, which can be consulted in its reference manual. We will review here the ones that are most commonly used in the Kratos source.

Class documentation: Short description and long description

The class description is a special C++ comment placed just before the class declaration. Its contents will be used to generate the documentation. Note how the comment is identified as input for Doxygen by adding a third slash (/) character

 /// The Example class does nothing.
 class Example
 {
   Example();
   ~Example();
 };

The text after the /// will be used to describe the Example class in the documentation. In addition to the short description, we can add a detailed description with more information about the class

 /// The Example class does nothing.
 /** This class was implemented to introduce the reader to Doxygen documentation.
     Note how this detailed detailed description is just a regular C++ multiline
     comment, but starts with an extra '*'.
  */
 class Example
 {
   Example();
   ~Example();
 };

The class description will be more helpful if its author explains what the class does and how to use it instead of a simple statement of what the class is. Try to include more than what could be deduced from reading the class name. In the case of scientific code such as Kratos, the class description is a good place to briefly describe the theory behind the implementation, and possibly even include bibliographic references.

Function documentation

Function documentation is fundamentally the same as the class description in the previous section. As before, we can provide a short description and a more detailed explanation. The main difference is that, for functions, we should use the detailed description to describe the input parameters and the return value (if any). To do this, we will use the Doxygen commands @param, followed by the parameter name, and @return. Some examples:

 /// Converts a value from degrees to radians.
 /** Note that no check is performed to verify that the angle is between 0 and 360,
     angles greater than 2*Pi may be obtained.
     @param Angle The angle measured in radians
     @return The angle measured in degrees
  */
 double Radians(const double Angle)
 {
    return 3.14159 * Angle / 180.0;
 }

Other useful commands

In addition to the previous commands, there are other ways to provide useful input for Doxygen. In this section, we will review some of them.

Grouping into modules

For large codes, it can be useful to present the documentation in an organized way. In the case of Kratos,

See also

The todo list

Documenting Kratos classes

Using the header templates

What to document?

Our aim for Kratos would be, at least, having a complete documentation for all classes and public methods. An important detail is ensuring

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