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mdoc - Mono documentation management tool
mdoc command [options] [args]
mdoc is an assembly-based documentation management system.
mdoc permits creating and updating documentation stubs based on the
contents of an assembly. It does not rely on documentation found
within the source code.
The advantages are:
* Code readability. Good documentation is frequently (a) verbose,
and (b) filled with examples. (For comparison, compare
Microsoft .NET Framework documentation, which is often a page or
more of docs for each member, to JavaDoc documentation, which
can often be a sentence for each member.)
Inserting good documentation into the source code can frequently
bloat the source file, as the documentation can be longer than
the actual method that is being documented.
* Localization. In-source documentation formats (such as csc
/doc) have no support for multiple human languages. If you need
to support more than one human language for documentation pur-
poses, mdoc is useful as it permits each language's output to
reside in its own directory, and mdoc can add types/members for
each separate documentation directory.
* Administration. It's not unusual to have separate documentation
and development teams. It's also possible that the documenta-
tion team will have minimal experience with the programming lan-
guage being used. In such circumstances, inline documentation
is not desirable as the documentation team could inadvertantly
insert an error into the source code while updating the documen-
tation. Alternatively, you may not want the documentation team
to have access to the source code for security reasons. mdoc
allows the documentation to be kept completely separate and dis-
tinct from the source code used to create the assembly.
Documentation can be generated using the mdoc update command:
mdoc update -o docs/en ProjectName.dll
Once the documentation stubs have been generated (and hopefully later
filled in with actual documentation), there are three ways to view the
* To generate a simple directory of HTML pages (one HTML file per
type), use mdoc export-html:
mdoc export-html -o /srv/www/htdocs/ProjectName docs/en
* To use an ASP.NET webapp to display the sources, see:
From a monodoc source checkout, you can do this:
This will use xsp(1) to serve the ASP.NET webapp; Visit
http://localhost:8080/ to view the documentation.
* To use the monodoc(1) documentation browser, you must first
assemble the documentation:
mdoc assemble -o ProjectName docs/en
The above command creates the files ProjectName.tree and Pro-
jectName.zip. An additional ProjectName.sources file must be
provided which describes where in the help system the documenta-
tion should be hooked up; it is a very simple XML file, like
<source provider="ecma" basefile="ProjectName"
The above configuration file describes that the documentation is
in ECMA format, that the base file name is ProjectName and that
it should be hooked up in the "various" part of the documenta-
tion tree. If you want to look at the various nodes defined in
the documentation, you can look at the monodoc.xml file which is
typically installed in /usr/lib/monodoc/monodoc.xml.
Once you have all of the required files (.zip, .tree and
.sources) you can install them into the system with the follow-
cp ProjectName.tree ProjectName.zip ProjectName.source \
`pkg-config monodoc --variable sourcesdir`
The above will copy the files into the directory that Monodoc
has registered; you might need root permissions to do this. The
actual directory is returned by the pkg-config invocation.
Compiles documentation for use within the monodoc(1) browser.
See the mdoc-assemble(1) man page for details.
Exports documentation into a directory structure of HTML files.
See the mdoc-export-html(1) man page for details.
Exports documentation into the single-file Microsoft XML Documenta-
See the mdoc-export-msxdoc(1) man page for details.
View internal help for a given command.
mdoc help assemble
is equivalent to:
mdoc assemble --help
Multiple sub-commands may be listed at once:
mdoc help assemble export-html update validate
Updates documentation, adding and removing members based upon a
See the mdoc-update(1) man page for details.
Validates the documentation against the Mono documentation schema.
See the mdoc-validate(1) man page for details.
mdoc(5), mdoc-assemble(1), mdoc-export-html(1), mdoc-update(1), mdocvalidate(1)
Visit http://lists.ximian.com/mailman/listinfo/mono-docs-list for
Visit http://www.mono-project.com/mdoc for details