[Lazarus] IDE help sample - asciidoc format

Graeme Geldenhuys graemeg at opensoft.homeip.net
Thu Aug 20 12:29:40 CEST 2009

waldo kitty wrote:
> speaking for myself (and i guess there are many like me), i develop
> "on the fly" and those times that i do write documentation, i do tend
> to do it as i develop a routine... this offers me two items of
> interest... first being that the doc for that routine is written and

My friend, your are in luck! :-) That is the beauty of Lazarus IDE - it 
makes such tasks very easy! The Lazarus IDE has a built-in 'fpdoc 
editor' (View > FPDoc Editor menu). You can tell Lazarus where the xml 
fpdoc files are located per project (Project Options > FPDoc Editor tab) 
or Packages (Package > Options > IDE Integration > FPDoc files path). 
Then while you code, you can add documentation too. This actually works 
so well, because you don't have to loose your train of thought and 
switch to some external tool.

I guess this is a personal thing, but I find that to have descent class 
documentation is very important. This also means that to have descent 
documentation, the comments/docs are more that one line long. As soon as 
you have multi-line documentation between your class methods etc, it 
obfuscates the code a lot. Making the code very hard to read. So 
external held documentation is a nice fit. Plus fpdoc generates 
beautiful HTML pages (as long as you include the correct CSS file) and 
makes things easy to navigate with a web browser. You can even integrate 
the generated fpdoc HTML output with a add-on packages into the Lazarus 
IDE. So pressing F1 on your code, will launch a Web Browser display the 
HTML documentation.

The other cool thing about Lazarus IDE is that if you told the IDE where 
to find the external xml fpdoc files, any tooltips over methods, class 
etc., will automatically display those fpdoc help entries in the tooltip 
as well. So even if you don't have the internal fpdoc editor open or 
generated HTML help, you still have access to all you help - via 
tooltips. Mattias is also working on HTML support inside the tooltips, 
which should improve the visual aspect a lot.

Lazarus IDE is an awesome IDE. Built by developers - for developers! ;-)

   - Graeme -

fpGUI Toolkit - a cross-platform GUI toolkit using Free Pascal

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