6. Building the documentation

You need to have Python 2.4 or higher installed; the toolset used to build the docs is written in Python. It is called Sphinx, it is not included in this tree, but maintained separately. Also needed are the docutils, supplying the base markup that Sphinx uses, Jinja, a templating engine, and optionally Pygments, a code highlighter.

6.1. Using make

Luckily, a Makefile has been prepared so that on Unix, provided you have installed Python and Subversion, you can just run

make html

to check out the necessary toolset in the tools/ subdirectory and build the HTML output files. To view the generated HTML, point your favorite browser at the top-level index build/html/index.html after running “make”.

Available make targets are:

  • “html”, which builds standalone HTML files for offline viewing.

  • “htmlhelp”, which builds HTML files and a HTML Help project file usable to convert them into a single Compiled HTML (.chm) file – these are popular under Microsoft Windows, but very handy on every platform.

    To create the CHM file, you need to run the Microsoft HTML Help Workshop over the generated project (.hhp) file.

  • “latex”, which builds LaTeX source files as input to “pdflatex” to produce PDF documents.

  • “text”, which builds a plain text file for each source file.

  • “linkcheck”, which checks all external references to see whether they are broken, redirected or malformed, and outputs this information to stdout as well as a plain-text (.txt) file.

  • “changes”, which builds an overview over all versionadded/versionchanged/ deprecated items in the current version. This is meant as a help for the writer of the “What’s New” document.

  • “coverage”, which builds a coverage overview for standard library modules and C API.

  • “pydoc-topics”, which builds a Python module containing a dictionary with plain text documentation for the labels defined in tools/sphinxext/pyspecific.py – pydoc needs these to show topic and keyword help.

A “make update” updates the Subversion checkouts in tools/.

6.2. Without make

You’ll need to install the Sphinx package, either by checking it out via

svn co http://svn.python.org/projects/external/Sphinx-0.6.5/sphinx tools/sphinx

or by installing it from PyPI.

Then, you need to install Docutils, either by checking it out via

svn co http://svn.python.org/projects/external/docutils-0.6/docutils tools/docutils

or by installing it from http://docutils.sf.net/.

You also need Jinja2, either by checking it out via

svn co http://svn.python.org/projects/external/Jinja-2.3.1/jinja2 tools/jinja2

or by installing it from PyPI.

You can optionally also install Pygments, either as a checkout via

svn co http://svn.python.org/projects/external/Pygments-1.3.1/pygments tools/pygments

or from PyPI at http://pypi.python.org/pypi/Pygments.

Then, make an output directory, e.g. under build/, and run

python tools/sphinx-build.py -b<builder> . build/<outputdirectory>

where <builder> is one of html, text, latex, or htmlhelp (for explanations see the make targets above).

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