This documentation is generated using Sphinx and Doxygen The two softwares are bridged by means of the Breathe extension The online version of this documentation is built and served by Read The Docs. The webpage is updated on each push to the public GitHub repository.

How and what to document

Doxygen enables documenting the code in the source code files thus removing a “barrier” for developers. To avoid that the code degenerates into a Big Ball of Mud, it is mandatory to document directly within the source code classes and functions. To document general programming principles, design choices, maintenance etc. you can create a .rst file in the doc directory. Remember to refer the new file inside the index.rst file (it won’t be parsed otherwise). Sphing uses reStructuredText and Markdown. Support for Markdown is not as extensive as for reStructuredText, see these comments. Follow the guidelines in [WAB+14] regarding what to document.

Write the documentation in the header file. To document a class, put /*! \class <myclass> inside the namespace but before the class. Add the following to a .rst file:

.. doxygenclass:: <namespace>::<myclass>
 :project: PCMSolver

Do similar when documenting struct-s and complete files.


Use /*! */ to open and close a Doxygen comment.

Documenting methods in derived classes

Virtual methods should only be documented in the base classes. This avoids unnecessary verbosity and conforms to the principle: “Document _what_, not _how_” [WAB+14] If you feel the _how_ needs to be explicitly documented, add some notes in the appropriate .rst file.

How does this work?

To have an offline version of the documentation just issue in the doc folder:

sphinx-build . _build

The HTML will be stored in _build/. Open the _build/index.html file with your browser to see and browse the documentation.


It is only possible to build documentation locally from within the doc folder. This choice was made to simplify the set up of the ReadTheDocs and local documentation building procedures and to minimize the chances of breaking either.


Building the documentation requires Python, Doxygen, Sphinx, Perl and the Python modules breathe, matplotlib, sphinx-rtd-theme, sphinxcontrib-bibtex and recommonmark. The required python modules can be installed by running pip install -r requirements.txt. There is also a Pipfile in case people prefer to use pipenv.