Talk:Comparison of documentation generators

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Computing / Software (Rated List-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Computing, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of computers, computing, and information technology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 List  This article has been rated as List-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Software (marked as Low-importance).

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:

Other language[edit]

It seem that none of the software support Unix Shell Scripts, there should be some ? --RzR 14:19, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

ROBODoc can be configured to support it. --Thuffir Hawat 14:10, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
HeaderDoc also supports them. Dgatwood (talk) 07:21, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

I found that Natural Docs supports Flash AS2 and AS3, should we add another table of supported languages and start it off with AS2 and AS3 columns? (talk) 17:32, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Doxygen also supports VHDL Xiotd (talk) 19:10, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

ROBODoc language support, disputed[edit]

Does ROBODoc support ActionScript? Its website doesn't say it does [1] and Google doesn't return anything relevant. 23:04, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

ROBODoc can be configured to support virtually any language that allows remarks --Thuffir Hawat 14:13, 26 September 2007 (UTC)


Sphinx [2] looks promising. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:31, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Language support, Yes vs. Partial?[edit]

What is the difference between Yes and Partial on the Language support table, or is it even defined? For example, I've been using Natural Docs since 2003. To me, full language support means that the parser itself can recognize the syntax for functions and classes of a particular language (in this case ActionScript 2.0, C#, and Perl) while partial language support means that it can only recognize the comment style. Perhaps this is defined differently for a Doxygen user, however... 06:22, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps we could add a fourth yellow choice called "Manual" which refers to systems (like Natural Docs without full language support) that only accepts things you write for it. I suspect ROBODoc and TwinText are the same way as they're Yes for almost everything as well. A note can be added underneath explaining what it means. I think DDoc might be manual too, even though it's only one language, but I'm not sure. All the generators will have to be checked for the update to make it fair. Greg10101 19:27, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

I believe theoretically ROBODoc can be configured to recognize any language. I also wholeheartedly agree that a link to the manual in these tables would be a nice, helpful addition. john factorial 21:22, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Unless it has improved since the last version I tried, Doxygen's IDL support should probably be marked as partial. The output looks right, but if you try to use the tagfile output, you find it really doesn't fully understand what it is parsing. Oh, and HeaderDoc supports documenting two languages that aren't in the tables: MIG and Bourne shell scripts. Not sure if anybody cares enough to add them, but I find it handy to document large shell scripts with truckloads of functions. Probably just me.  :-) Dgatwood (talk) 07:16, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Table of Apps from 2003 to Sync[edit]

The present article looks remarkably like the table I assembled and announced in 2003. I wonder if the article was based on my table; comparison would tell.

My team ended up writing custom VB.NET code to convert our C++ API sources to C# to compile in Visual Studio and then, we customized nDoc XSLT to produce an MSDN-style .chm file. This approach enabled storing documentation in the C++ API source code using the C# /// XML markup, which is good because standard -- however, I came to prefer the more stripped-down syntax like Javadoc instead of needlessly verbose angle-brackets. Visual Studio compensates by constructing the initial tagging, but still, that tagging is clunky-looking and verbose.

The present article needs to be checked against my table:

-- user: MichaelSHoffman, Aug. 8 2006

This article is missing the SandCastle Tool from Microsoft. 16:36, 11 April 2007 (UTC) Paul Chapman (MSFT), Apr 11, 2007


Technically, Sandcastle doesn't produce CHM output because the HTML Help Workshop is still required to do that. It does however produce CHM-ready HTML files using the built-in presentation styles. Also, Sandcastle produces MS Help 2-ready HTML files by inserting an XML island into each topic. Help 2.x should be noted as a documentation type if CHM is noted - the Help 2 metadata is actually used to make the HTML files CHM-ready as an additional step in the build process (via ChmBuilder.exe). It's also probably worth noting (as I see that it's noted for other tools) that Sandcastle is fully XSLT-based and therefore may be customized to produce any type of XML-based format. All of these facts are in the Sandcastle blog. Dave Sexton (talk) 04:07, 24 February 2009 (UTC)


I can't see any value to keeping a seperate List of documentation generators article. Merge the (few) entries from there that aren't in this article, and redirect to here. -- RoySmith (talk) 18:37, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Support Redundancy, overlap. Tuxide 17:17, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Merge and redirect as the list is fully detailed, with notes and comparisons being more suited to this article. Ansell 22:52, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Notes on DDoc[edit]

Hi, I'm using DDoc, and as i remember it's not GPL. DMD (Digital Mars D) compiler which is also used to produce documentation is freeware, but not GPL. There exist GDC (GNU D Compiler) and it supports DDoc, but its autor is David Friedman.

DMD is supported on Windows and Linux x86. GDC on Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, BSD, and AIX

Latest stable version is DMD 1.010

DDoc have very extensible macro system, and easly can be extended (by user) to produce CHM (there exist third party solution for free), man pages (also), SGML, XML, RTF. Standard HTML output also can be completly changed (it is set of templates which can be redefined).

Table colors[edit]

What's up with the custom table colors used on this page? Anyone else besides me think these should be changed to the standard wikitable colors? I think that change would make the document more readable, if nothing else. Wrldwzrd89talk 20:32, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I went ahead and fixed the table colors to be more standard. I think it's easier to tell Yes entries from No entries, now. Wrldwzrd89talk 17:11, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Important tags overview[edit]

It would be nice to have an overview of important tags or tagging conventions. It might be possible e.g. to note Doxygen tags in a form understandable to Javadoc, too (when using @ instead of the backslash as a prefix). --Tobias (talk) 16:02, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Same thing applies to HeaderDoc. If you get the order of tags right, you can generally write one set of tags that work correctly with all three document processors. This is very much by design. Dgatwood (talk) 15:42, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Include Literate programming?[edit]

Should we include literate programming tools to the article? If so, perhaps we also need to add keys for it, for example "allows non-compiler order code", because that is the selling point of the literate programing practice. It would also differentiate literate programming tools from the pure documentation tools. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:31, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Add Additional Features?[edit]

Do other people think that C preprocessing is worth adding to the features table? Dgatwood (talk) 07:22, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

I'd like to see an indication of the markup language(s) that each generator supports in comments. For example, RDoc supports (at least) a default markup syntax, plus Markdown, RD, and TomDoc. RichMorin (talk) 23:59, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Fortran Language Support[edit]

In the table indicating language support for each of these tools, Fortran is not included. It would be great if the table included Fortran 77, Fortran 90, and Fortran 2003 information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:47, 23 November 2009 (UTC)


Can someone add info about jsDuck? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ggrnd0 (talkcontribs) 11:50, 11 March 2015 (UTC)


Why is Swagger not on this page? It's one of the most commonly use document generators... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Notability of featured products[edit]

I made some edits to add information about DoxyPress, following the format of the majority of entries. Codename Lisa made (1) a good faith revert of my edits and (2) removed a large number of other rows in the table as unsourced and not sufficiently notable.

I understand that many of the items in the table may not satisfy WP:N but my understanding based on WP:LISTN is that the list as a whole is notable, so the individual entries need not be. Before the removals, this list appeared to be a "Short, complete list of every item that is verifiably a member of the group" as set out in WP:CSC but the removals seem to have altered the nature to "Every entry meets the notability criteria." A trivial amount of searching lead to what looked like reliable sources for many of these software packages.

I would like to know what the general opinion is regarding the level of notability required for a package to be represented in this list. If there are no objections, in the spirit of WP:FIXTHEPROBLEM I intend to restore the majority of the removed rows with citations, but without links to their own page. Ansel Sermersheim (talk) 00:12, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

@Ansel Sermersheim: A similar comment was voiced recently at Talk:List of concept- and mind-mapping software § Deletion of entries and here is an adaptation of my response there that seems relevant: Based on the stand-alone lists guideline, I would conclude that selection criteria are established by consensus on a per-list basis (within the general framework of that guideline). See Wikipedia:Stand-alone lists § Common selection criteria:

While notability is often a criterion for inclusion in overview lists of a broad subject, it may be too stringent for narrower lists; one of the functions of many lists on Wikipedia is providing an avenue for the retention of encyclopedic information that does not warrant separate articles, so common sense is required in establishing criteria for a list. Avoid red-linking list entries that are not likely to have their own article soon or ever.

In other words, every item in a list should meet whatever criteria have been established for that list. Because software lists tend to attract spam, many of them require that each item on the list must have its own article (no red links). That is obviously the case here after the edits by User:Codename Lisa that corrected the major verifiability deficit that this list previously exhibited. (As far as I can see from the edit history, the justification for the change was verifiability, not notability.) It seems to me that the edits by User:Codename Lisa were an easy solution to the verifiability problem, and the list should not merely be restored to its previous deficient state. I suppose that if someone were motivated to do a lot of research, they could restore any rows for which reliable sources could be found if they properly added citations to the sources, and if nobody else suggested another good reason for not restoring the rows.
However, another potential problem here is that I see in a Google search that you are one of the authors of DoxyPress, which indicates some potential conflict of interest. You are also using a single-purpose account, which could lead a reasonable person to wonder if your primary motive here is to promote your product rather than to improve the encyclopedia impartially. Yet you also seem to have a lot of knowledge about editing Wikipedia—for example, you know how to use Template:Diff—so I wonder if you also edit under another username? In any case, it would be a good idea to read the conflict of interest guide and the plain and simple conflict of interest guide, and to disclose your connection to the list subject. Biogeographist (talk) 01:40, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
@Biogeographist: Thanks for your detailed explanation of the issues from a more experienced point of view. It seems like the usefulness of a list of this nature is predicated on its completeness, and I see the inherent tension between completeness and notability.
As to your comments about conflicts of interest, this clearly warrants my further study. I have been a reader of Wikipedia for many years but this was indeed my first edit. I simply figured that contributing to a subject I know well was a good place to start. I have no monetary interest in the outcome, since DoxyPress is open source and not done for profit. However, I can see where someone might conclude that I could not be impartial on this subject.
I have never edited under another username, I just spent some time doing a bit of research before making my recent comment. Having written more than a few template engines for various purposes in my career, using the features provided by Wikipedia seemed pretty straightforward, and I figured that providing the full context would help anyone make sense of my question.
Thanks again for helping me understand the issues involved, Ansel Sermersheim (talk) 19:50, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
@Ansel Sermersheim: I don't want to discourage you from editing, and a nonprofit open-source project doesn't seem to present much conflict of interest. If you are indeed motivated to do the research to verify the information in this list and restore the relevant rows with citations, that would be a huge help, in my opinion. Just keep Wikipedia's core content policies in mind when editing (neutral point of view, verifiability, no original research). Biogeographist (talk) 20:27, 3 July 2017 (UTC)