Sphinx-doc 101: Introduction to Sphinx-doc
Sphinx is a documentation generator that makes it easy to create intelligent and beautiful documentation.
Sphinx was originally created for the Python documentation, then it extend to support many other languages. It use reStructuredText format to write document.
If you are first time hearing reStructuredText, checkout reStructuredText Primer
As an example, checkout django-cas-ng document which is generated by sphinx-doc.
- Support multiple output formats: HTML, LaTeX, pdf, ePub, Texinfo, manual pages, plain text.
- Extensive cross-references: semantic markup and automatic links for functions, classes, citations, glossary terms and similar pieces of information
- Hierarchical structure: easy definition of a document tree, with automatic links to siblings, parents and children
- Automatic indices: general index as well as a language-specific module indices
- Code handling: automatic highlighting using the Pygments highlighter
- Extensions: automatic testing of code snippets, inclusion of docstrings from Python modules (API docs), and more
- Extendable: more than 50 extensions contributed by users in a second repository; most of them installable from PyPI
$ pip install Sphinx
$ mkdir docs $ cd docs $ sphinx-quickstart Welcome to the Sphinx 2.3.1 quickstart utility. Please enter values for the following settings (just press Enter to accept a default value, if one is given in brackets). Selected root path: . You have two options for placing the build directory for Sphinx output. Either, you use a directory "_build" within the root path, or you separate "source" and "build" directories within the root path. > Separate source and build directories (y/n) [n]: The project name will occur in several places in the built documentation. > Project name: My Awesome Project > Author name(s): Your name > Project release : 1.0.0 If the documents are to be written in a language other than English, you can select a language here by its language code. Sphinx will then translate text that it generates into that language. For a list of supported codes, see https://www.sphinx-doc.org/en/master/usage/configuration.html#confval-language. > Project language [en]: Creating file ./conf.py. Creating file ./index.rst. File ./Makefile already exists, skipping. Creating file ./make.bat. Finished: An initial directory structure has been created. You should now populate your master file ./index.rst and create other documentation source files. Use the Makefile to build the docs, like so: make builder where "builder" is one of the supported builders, e.g. html, latex or linkcheck.
Generate html, the output directory is
$ make html Running Sphinx v2.3.1 making output directory... done building [mo]: targets for 0 po files that are out of date building [html]: targets for 3 source files that are out of date ... ... The HTML pages are in _build/html.
Generate pdf, the output directory is
$ make latexpdf ... ... Output written on anawesomeproject.pdf (5 pages, 39374 bytes). Transcript written on anawesomeproject.log. === TeX engine is 'pdfTeX' Latexmk: Index file 'anawesomeproject.idx' was written Latexmk: Log file says output to 'anawesomeproject.pdf' Latexmk: All targets () are up-to-date
Since many projects will need special features in their documentation, Sphinx allows adding “extensions” to the build process, each of which can modify almost any aspect of document processing. You can even build your own extension.
Sphinx have many extensions.
For python project, you may interested in following extensions:
sphinx.ext.autodoc - Generate Python Module API Documentation
autodoc can import the modules you are documenting, and pull in documentation from docstrings in a semi-automatic way.
You can use
autodoc extension to generate Python module API documentation.
First you need add
extensions = [ # ... 'sphinx.ext.autodoc', # Pull in documentation from docstrings ]
Then you can use
sphinx-apidoc to automatically Python module API document.
$ sphinx-apidoc -h usage: sphinx-apidoc [OPTIONS] -o <OUTPUT_PATH> <MODULE_PATH> [EXCLUDE_PATTERN, ...] Look recursively in <MODULE_PATH> for Python modules and packages and create one reST file with automodule directives per package in the <OUTPUT_PATH>. The <EXCLUDE_PATTERN>s can be file and/or directory patterns that will be excluded from generation. Note: By default this script will not overwrite already created files.
$ sphinx-apidoc -o api ../cas Creating file api/cas.rst. Creating file api/modules.rst.
cas === .. toctree:: :maxdepth: 4 cas
cas package =========== Submodules ---------- cas.cas module -------------- .. automodule:: cas.cas :members: :undoc-members: :show-inheritance: Module contents --------------- .. automodule:: cas :members: :undoc-members: :show-inheritance:
sphinx.ext.napoleon - – Support for NumPy and Google style docstrings
napoleon allow you write api documentation in Google python style docstrings.
For example, instead of
:param path: The path of the file to wrap :type path: str :param field_storage: The :class:`FileStorage` instance to wrap :type field_storage: FileStorage :param temporary: Whether or not to delete the file when the File instance is destructed :type temporary: bool :returns: A buffered writable file descriptor :rtype: BufferedFileStorage
You can write it i Google style:
Args: path (str): The path of the file to wrap field_storage (FileStorage): The :class:`FileStorage` instance to wrap temporary (bool): Whether or not to delete the file when the File instance is destructed Returns: BufferedFileStorage: A buffered writable file descriptor
Checkout Google Style Python Docstring Example .
sphinx.ext.viewcode - Add links to highlighted source code
viewcode looks at your Python object descriptions (.. class::, .. function:: etc.) and tries to find the source files where the objects are contained. When found, a separate HTML page will be output for each module with a highlighted version of the source code, and a link will be added to all object descriptions that leads to the source code of the described object. A link back from the source to the description will also be inserted.
This is helpful in your documentation, you can cross reference to source code.
sphinx_sitemap is a third party extension can be used to generate a
You need install it by:
$ pip install sphinx_sitemap
m2r - Markdown to reStructuredText
m2r is a third party extension to convert Markdown to reStructuredText.
You need install it by:
$ pip install m2r
Then you can add
.md files to your sphinx-doc project.
WARNING: html_static_path entry ‘_static’ does not exist
make html, it report following warning:
WARNING: html_static_path entry '_static' does not exist
This is due to in
html_static_path have entry value
_static, this is default setting.
To remove the warnings, try setting
html_static_path =  in your
conf.py or create a empty
WARNING: autodoc: failed to import class ‘xxxx’
If you use
autodoc for Python api in Django module, you may When run into autodoc failed to import class error when you run
$ make html ... ... WARNING: autodoc: failed to import class 'backends.CASBackend' from module 'django_cas_ng'; the following exception was raised: Traceback (most recent call last): File "devenv/py3/lib/python3.7/site-packages/sphinx/ext/autodoc/importer.py", line 32, in import_module return importlib.import_module(modname) File "/usr/local/Cellar/python/3.7.5/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.7/lib/python3.7/importlib/__init__.py", line 127, in import_module return _bootstrap._gcd_import(name[level:], package, level) File "<frozen importlib._bootstrap>", line 1006, in _gcd_import File "<frozen importlib._bootstrap>", line 983, in _find_and_load File "<frozen importlib._bootstrap>", line 967, in _find_and_load_unlocked File "<frozen importlib._bootstrap>", line 677, in _load_unlocked File "<frozen importlib._bootstrap_external>", line 728, in exec_module File "<frozen importlib._bootstrap>", line 219, in _call_with_frames_removed File "devenv/py3/lib/python3.7/site-packages/django_cas_ng/__init__.py", line 37, in <module> getattr(settings, key) File "devenv/py3/lib/python3.7/site-packages/django/conf/__init__.py", line 76, in __getattr__ self._setup(name) File "devenv/py3/lib/python3.7/site-packages/django/conf/__init__.py", line 61, in _setup % (desc, ENVIRONMENT_VARIABLE)) django.core.exceptions.ImproperlyConfigured: Requested setting CAS_ADMIN_PREFIX, but settings are not configured. You must either define the environment variable DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE or call settings.configure() before accessing settings.
To fix this issue, you need add your module to
syspath and have a dummy django config.
You need add some python code in your
conf.py. For example:
import os import sys import django from django.conf import settings sys.path.insert(0, os.path.abspath('../')) sys.path.insert(0, os.path.abspath('../tests')) settings.configure( SECRET_KEY='something to make Django happy', INSTALLED_APPS=[ 'django.contrib.auth', 'django.contrib.contenttypes', 'django_cas_ng' ]) django.setup()
- Sphinx home
- Sphinx Extensions
- Sphinx Extensions napoleon
- reStructuredText Primer
- Google Style Python Docstring Example
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