package odoc

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Hows does odoc work?

odoc is built in a very modular fashion, with several modules that take care of mostly orthogonal concerns.

Instead of namedropping them, we will describe a use-case and how they connect to each other as we analyze its execution superficially.

We will begin the flow with an odoc command that compiles a single cmti file, Player.cmti, into its corresponding html file. Then we will compile the intro.mld documentation file into html.

  1. Compiling Player.cmti to Player.odoc
  2. Compiling Player.odoc to Player/index.html
  3. Compiling intro.mld to page-intro.odoc
  4. Compiling page-intro.odoc to intro.html

Off we go!

1 — Compiling Player.cmti to Player.odoc

Superficially, what we need to do is straighforward.

# We must tell odoc what the name of this Package is!
$ odoc compile --package Game -o ./src/Player.odoc ./src/Player.cmti
$ ls src
Player.cmti Player.mli Player.odoc

Voila! We get a Player.odoc right where we expected it. But what really just happened?

  1. In Main the command was parsed and a decision was made to compile this file into an odoc file
  2. Compilation is orchestrated by Main.Compile.compile, that based on the input extension will delegate to one of many Compile functions. In this case Compile.cmti
  3. The cmti file is read by Odoc_loader.read_cmti into a Odoc_model.Root.t and a Compilation_unit.t is created
  4. This compilation unit is then turned into an Env.t (environment), expanding all found references between modules
  5. And lastly takes care of saving this compilation unit into the Player.odoc file in marshalled format.

2 — Compiling Player.odoc to Player/index.html

Now we can compile this to an HTML file:

$ odoc html -I src -o . ./src/Player.odoc
$ cat Game/Player/index.html
# mangled html output here!

In this case, what happened was

  1. In Main the command is parsed as well, and it decides to compile the input into an html file.
  2. Compilation is orchestrated by Main.Odoc_html.html, that will make sure some global flags are set up (depending on command flags), and delegate to Html_page.from_odoc
  3. The odoc file is read into a Odoc_model.Root.t
  4. Since it contains a Odoc_model.Root.Odoc_file.t.Compilation_unit, an Env.t (environment) will be built, with its references expanded, just like in the first step
  5. An Odoc_html.Html_tree.t will be built, depending on the syntax chosen (in this case the default is OCaml) by Odoc_html.To_html_tree.ML.compilation_unit
  6. Lastly, this tree will be traversed, the Game/Player folder created, and the index.html file written to disk.

3 — Compiling page-intro.mld to page-intro.odoc

We will begin by invoking odoc similarly than we did in the first step.

$ odoc compile --package Game -o ./src/page-intro.odoc ./src/page-intro.mld
$ ls src
page-intro.mld page-intro.odoc
  1. Again in Main the command was parsed and a decision was made to compile this file into an odoc file
  2. Compilation is orchestrated by Main.Compile.compile, and it delegates compilation to Compile.mld based on the extension of the input
  3. A Odoc_model.Lang.Page.t will be created from it, and an Env.t will be built resolving found references
  4. Lastly, the resulting page will be written down to disk by

4 — Compiling page-intro.odoc to intro.html

$ odoc html -I src -o . ./src/page-intro.odoc
$ cat Game/intro.html
# mangled html output here!

This process is in fact almost the same as in the last html compilation. The main differences are that:

  1. the read Odoc_model.Root.t contains a Odoc_model.Root.Odoc_file.t.Page instead,
  2. the output file name will drop the page- prefix,
  3. the Odoc_html.Html_tree.t is built by