[mercury-users] Off-topic: IDE/compiler trade-off

Julien Fischer juliensf at csse.unimelb.edu.au
Wed Jan 10 00:35:31 AEDT 2007

On Wed, 10 Jan 2007, Jonathan Morgan wrote:

>> (The XML documentation of "some sort" is basically a representation
>> of the module interfaces as XML documents with the comments attached
>> to the various items - the compiler uses various heuristics to decide
>> what comments are attached to which items.  The idea is that you then
>> apply a style sheet to the XML documents and get documentation of
>> some form.  One of the MC people was working on a syle sheet that would
>> convert them to docbook format although I haven't heard anything recently.
>> The early output from it look promising; I don't remember if it was posted
>> to mercury-users or not.)
> While sensible (from memory it was a fairly small change to the
> compiler) it is still different from the general approach, which would
> have documentation generated by a separate program, often with a
> separate parser.

Presumably you actually mean usual rather than general there?  I fail
to see how one approach is more general than the other.  In our case
the choice of approach was fairly obvious: in order to embed sufficient
information in the XML representation to allow for the creation of,
for example, links between uses of an item and its definition requires
that things like module and type qualification have been done; in short
you need to run a large chunk of the frontend of the compiler in order
to get the information necessary to generate the documentation.

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