Plugin documentation

Besides the user documentation, there is also a plugin documentation for all currently available plugins. On a setup installation, the main files for the plugin documentation is contained in the subfolders doc of each plugin in the plugin directory of itom. Based on these files, itom scans their modification date when the itom interal help is called for the first time. If the help needs to be rebuild, a bundle is collected from all plugin sub-documentations and saved in the docs/pluginDoc/build directory of the build directory of itom. Finally this bundle is packed and prepared for the help assistant of itom.

Create the plugin documentation of any plugin

In order to generate the plugin documentation of any plugin, the following requirements need to be fulfilled:

1. In the sources of the plugin there must be a folder docs that contains at least on *.rst with the plugin documentation. This documentation needs to be written in the so called reStructured-Text format rst (see

  1. The file CMakeLists.txt of the specific plugin must contain the following line in order to register the rst-file as plugin documentation file:

    PLUGIN_DOCUMENTATION(${target_name} <filenameOfTheRstFile>) #the filename must not contain the suffix .rst.
  2. If the plugin is build, its build folder with have a docs subfolder, too. This subfolder consists of a file plugin_doc_config.cfg.

If these requirements are given, start itom and execute the script in the docs/pluginDoc directory of the build directory of itom. Then select the *.cfg-file describing the plugin documentation in its specific build folder.

In order to simultaneously create the documentations of many plugins, execute and indicate the build folder that contains the build-subfolders of many plugins. These subfolders are searched for appropriate *.cfg files and all sub-documentations are created.

plugin documentation source files

The source files of each plugin documentation are written in the reStructuredText-format (.rst). You can use all possibilities given by this format including the additions provided by **sphinx* (see Additionally, when the documentation is build using itom, specific directives, roles and a pyitom-domain is added in order to automatically create parts of the documentation depending on information that can for instance be obtained using the command itom.pluginHelp().

Use the following roles as placeholders in the text. The placeholders will be replaced with information obtained by the plugin with the given name. This is only possible if this specific plugin is loaded in itom:

:pluginsummary:`pluginname` -> short description of the plugin
:plugintype:`pluginname` -> type of the plugin (DataIO, Actuator, Algorithm)
:pluginlicense:`pluginname` -> license string
:pluginauthor:`pluginname` -> author(s) of the plugin
:pluginversion:`pluginname` -> current version string

Furthermore, there are directives that you can use in order insert more information into your documentation file:

For inserting the detailed description of the plugin, write:

.. pluginsummaryextended::
    :plugin: pluginname

A table with all mandatory and optional parameters that are required to start an instance of a dataIO or actuator plugin, write:

.. plugininitparams::
    :plugin: pluginname

The last directive is created for algorithm plugins. An list of all available filters is obtained via

.. pluginfilterlist::
    :plugin: pluginname

Omit the option :overviewonly: in order to get an extended overview of all filters including their mandatory, optional and return arguments. If this overview is inserted all filters in the short list will link to their specific long description.

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