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-kernel-doc nano-HOWTO
-=====================
-
-How to format kernel-doc comments
----------------------------------
-
-In order to provide embedded, 'C' friendly, easy to maintain,
-but consistent and extractable documentation of the functions and
-data structures in the Linux kernel, the Linux kernel has adopted
-a consistent style for documenting functions and their parameters,
-and structures and their members.
-
-The format for this documentation is called the kernel-doc format.
-It is documented in this Documentation/kernel-doc-nano-HOWTO.txt file.
-
-This style embeds the documentation within the source files, using
-a few simple conventions. The scripts/kernel-doc perl script, some
-SGML templates in Documentation/DocBook, and other tools understand
-these conventions, and are used to extract this embedded documentation
-into various documents.
-
-In order to provide good documentation of kernel functions and data
-structures, please use the following conventions to format your
-kernel-doc comments in Linux kernel source.
-
-We definitely need kernel-doc formatted documentation for functions
-that are exported to loadable modules using EXPORT_SYMBOL.
-
-We also look to provide kernel-doc formatted documentation for
-functions externally visible to other kernel files (not marked
-"static").
-
-We also recommend providing kernel-doc formatted documentation
-for private (file "static") routines, for consistency of kernel
-source code layout. But this is lower priority and at the
-discretion of the MAINTAINER of that kernel source file.
-
-Data structures visible in kernel include files should also be
-documented using kernel-doc formatted comments.
-
-The opening comment mark "/**" is reserved for kernel-doc comments.
-Only comments so marked will be considered by the kernel-doc scripts,
-and any comment so marked must be in kernel-doc format. Do not use
-"/**" to be begin a comment block unless the comment block contains
-kernel-doc formatted comments. The closing comment marker for
-kernel-doc comments can be either "*/" or "**/", but "*/" is
-preferred in the Linux kernel tree.
-
-Kernel-doc comments should be placed just before the function
-or data structure being described.
-
-Example kernel-doc function comment:
-
-/**
- * foobar() - short function description of foobar
- * @arg1: Describe the first argument to foobar.
- * @arg2: Describe the second argument to foobar.
- * One can provide multiple line descriptions
- * for arguments.
- *
- * A longer description, with more discussion of the function foobar()
- * that might be useful to those using or modifying it. Begins with
- * empty comment line, and may include additional embedded empty
- * comment lines.
- *
- * The longer description can have multiple paragraphs.
- */
-
-The short description following the subject can span multiple lines
-and ends with an @argument description, an empty line or the end of
-the comment block.
-
-The @argument descriptions must begin on the very next line following
-this opening short function description line, with no intervening
-empty comment lines.
-
-If a function parameter is "..." (varargs), it should be listed in
-kernel-doc notation as:
- * @...: description
-
-
-Example kernel-doc data structure comment.
-
-/**
- * struct blah - the basic blah structure
- * @mem1: describe the first member of struct blah
- * @mem2: describe the second member of struct blah,
- * perhaps with more lines and words.
- *
- * Longer description of this structure.
- */
-
-The kernel-doc function comments describe each parameter to the
-function, in order, with the @name lines.
-
-The kernel-doc data structure comments describe each structure member
-in the data structure, with the @name lines.
-
-The longer description formatting is "reflowed", losing your line
-breaks. So presenting carefully formatted lists within these
-descriptions won't work so well; derived documentation will lose
-the formatting.
-
-See the section below "How to add extractable documentation to your
-source files" for more details and notes on how to format kernel-doc
-comments.
-
-Components of the kernel-doc system
------------------------------------
-
-Many places in the source tree have extractable documentation in the
-form of block comments above functions. The components of this system
-are:
-
-- scripts/kernel-doc
-
- This is a perl script that hunts for the block comments and can mark
- them up directly into DocBook, man, text, and HTML. (No, not
- texinfo.)
-
-- Documentation/DocBook/*.tmpl
-
- These are SGML template files, which are normal SGML files with
- special place-holders for where the extracted documentation should
- go.
-
-- scripts/basic/docproc.c
-
- This is a program for converting SGML template files into SGML
- files. When a file is referenced it is searched for symbols
- exported (EXPORT_SYMBOL), to be able to distinguish between internal
- and external functions.
- It invokes kernel-doc, giving it the list of functions that
- are to be documented.
- Additionally it is used to scan the SGML template files to locate
- all the files referenced herein. This is used to generate dependency
- information as used by make.
-
-- Makefile
-
- The targets 'sgmldocs', 'psdocs', 'pdfdocs', and 'htmldocs' are used
- to build DocBook files, PostScript files, PDF files, and html files
- in Documentation/DocBook.
-
-- Documentation/DocBook/Makefile
-
- This is where C files are associated with SGML templates.
-
-
-How to extract the documentation
---------------------------------
-
-If you just want to read the ready-made books on the various
-subsystems (see Documentation/DocBook/*.tmpl), just type 'make
-psdocs', or 'make pdfdocs', or 'make htmldocs', depending on your
-preference. If you would rather read a different format, you can type
-'make sgmldocs' and then use DocBook tools to convert
-Documentation/DocBook/*.sgml to a format of your choice (for example,
-'db2html ...' if 'make htmldocs' was not defined).
-
-If you want to see man pages instead, you can do this:
-
-$ cd linux
-$ scripts/kernel-doc -man $(find -name '*.c') | split-man.pl /tmp/man
-$ scripts/kernel-doc -man $(find -name '*.h') | split-man.pl /tmp/man
-
-Here is split-man.pl:
-
--->
-#!/usr/bin/perl
-
-if ($#ARGV < 0) {
- die "where do I put the results?\n";
-}
-
-mkdir $ARGV[0],0777;
-$state = 0;
-while (<STDIN>) {
- if (/^\.TH \"[^\"]*\" 9 \"([^\"]*)\"/) {
- if ($state == 1) { close OUT }
- $state = 1;
- $fn = "$ARGV[0]/$1.9";
- print STDERR "Creating $fn\n";
- open OUT, ">$fn" or die "can't open $fn: $!\n";
- print OUT $_;
- } elsif ($state != 0) {
- print OUT $_;
- }
-}
-
-close OUT;
-<--
-
-If you just want to view the documentation for one function in one
-file, you can do this:
-
-$ scripts/kernel-doc -man -function fn file | nroff -man | less
-
-or this:
-
-$ scripts/kernel-doc -text -function fn file
-
-
-How to add extractable documentation to your source files
----------------------------------------------------------
-
-The format of the block comment is like this:
-
-/**
- * function_name(:)? (- short description)?
-(* @parameterx(space)*: (description of parameter x)?)*
-(* a blank line)?
- * (Description:)? (Description of function)?
- * (section header: (section description)? )*
-(*)?*/
-
-All "description" text can span multiple lines, although the
-function_name & its short description are traditionally on a single line.
-Description text may also contain blank lines (i.e., lines that contain
-only a "*").
-
-"section header:" names must be unique per function (or struct,
-union, typedef, enum).
-
-Avoid putting a spurious blank line after the function name, or else the
-description will be repeated!
-
-All descriptive text is further processed, scanning for the following special
-patterns, which are highlighted appropriately.
-
-'funcname()' - function
-'$ENVVAR' - environment variable
-'&struct_name' - name of a structure (up to two words including 'struct')
-'@parameter' - name of a parameter
-'%CONST' - name of a constant.
-
-NOTE 1: The multi-line descriptive text you provide does *not* recognize
-line breaks, so if you try to format some text nicely, as in:
-
- Return codes
- 0 - cool
- 1 - invalid arg
- 2 - out of memory
-
-this will all run together and produce:
-
- Return codes 0 - cool 1 - invalid arg 2 - out of memory
-
-NOTE 2: If the descriptive text you provide has lines that begin with
-some phrase followed by a colon, each of those phrases will be taken as
-a new section heading, which means you should similarly try to avoid text
-like:
-
- Return codes:
- 0: cool
- 1: invalid arg
- 2: out of memory
-
-every line of which would start a new section. Again, probably not
-what you were after.
-
-Take a look around the source tree for examples.
-
-
-kernel-doc for structs, unions, enums, and typedefs
----------------------------------------------------
-
-Beside functions you can also write documentation for structs, unions,
-enums and typedefs. Instead of the function name you must write the name
-of the declaration; the struct/union/enum/typedef must always precede
-the name. Nesting of declarations is not supported.
-Use the argument mechanism to document members or constants.
-
-Inside a struct description, you can use the "private:" and "public:"
-comment tags. Structure fields that are inside a "private:" area
-are not listed in the generated output documentation. The "private:"
-and "public:" tags must begin immediately following a "/*" comment
-marker. They may optionally include comments between the ":" and the
-ending "*/" marker.
-
-Example:
-
-/**
- * struct my_struct - short description
- * @a: first member
- * @b: second member
- *
- * Longer description
- */
-struct my_struct {
- int a;
- int b;
-/* private: internal use only */
- int c;
-};
-
-
-Including documentation blocks in source files
-----------------------------------------------
-
-To facilitate having source code and comments close together, you can
-include kernel-doc documentation blocks that are free-form comments
-instead of being kernel-doc for functions, structures, unions,
-enums, or typedefs. This could be used for something like a
-theory of operation for a driver or library code, for example.
-
-This is done by using a DOC: section keyword with a section title. E.g.:
-
-/**
- * DOC: Theory of Operation
- *
- * The whizbang foobar is a dilly of a gizmo. It can do whatever you
- * want it to do, at any time. It reads your mind. Here's how it works.
- *
- * foo bar splat
- *
- * The only drawback to this gizmo is that is can sometimes damage
- * hardware, software, or its subject(s).
- */
-
-DOC: sections are used in SGML templates files as indicated below.
-
-
-How to make new SGML template files
------------------------------------
-
-SGML template files (*.tmpl) are like normal SGML files, except that
-they can contain escape sequences where extracted documentation should
-be inserted.
-
-!E<filename> is replaced by the documentation, in <filename>, for
-functions that are exported using EXPORT_SYMBOL: the function list is
-collected from files listed in Documentation/DocBook/Makefile.
-
-!I<filename> is replaced by the documentation for functions that are
-_not_ exported using EXPORT_SYMBOL.
-
-!D<filename> is used to name additional files to search for functions
-exported using EXPORT_SYMBOL.
-
-!F<filename> <function [functions...]> is replaced by the
-documentation, in <filename>, for the functions listed.
-
-!P<filename> <section title> is replaced by the contents of the DOC:
-section titled <section title> from <filename>.
-Spaces are allowed in <section title>; do not quote the <section title>.
-
-!C<filename> is replaced by nothing, but makes the tools check that
-all DOC: sections and documented functions, symbols, etc. are used.
-This makes sense to use when you use !F/!P only and want to verify
-that all documentation is included.
-
-Tim.
-*/ <twaugh@redhat.com>