Understanding source code documentation

This is an introduction to source code documentation.

Documenting sources is an important task in software development, to share the code among applications and achieve better re-usability.

Source documentation must be concise, clear, and complete. However, documenting sources can be boring and subject to mistakes if large repetitive documentation sections have to be written by hand.

Source documentation can be produced automatically with the fglcomp compiler. The compiler can generate source documentation from the .4gl files of your project with minimum effort. The resulting source documentation is generated in simple HTML format and can be published on a web server.

Source documentation is generated with the --build-doc option of fglcomp. To extract documentation from a .4gl source:

fglcomp --build-doc filename.4gl

You can generate default documentation from the existing sources. For a better description of the code, add special #+ comments in your sources to describe code elements such as functions, function parameters, and return values.

By default, only PUBLIC symbols are documented. If you want to include PRIVATE symbols, use the --doc-private option:

fglcomp --build-doc --doc-private filename.4gl