Sphinx as a doc builder for Python projects

Last year, I worked on a documentation builder based on doctest and reStructuredText format called PyCommunity. This tool is collecting doctests from Python packages and from special places on a source repository, basing its work on a set of project good practices I had presented and used in a Pycon 2007 tutorial (slides).

Basically, it uses the best practices described in Andreas Ruping book, called Agile Documentation, applied to Python projects using TDD and doctests. It can be called Document-Driven Development.

I have never found the time to finish the tool and I was looking forward to get back to it. As a matter of fact, George Brandl has released the tool that is used to generate Python documentation, called Sphinx, which does many things I still have in my TODO list, like pygments integration, and many other things.

See how Sphinx generates Python doc here: http://docs.python.org/dev

From there, it becomes dead simple to generate a website for a Python project, based on packages doctests and text files and on a specific doc/ structure.

Sphinx annoucement is really exciting, and it shouldn't be too much pain to bundle it in a buildout recipe to manage a project documentation. Since it is based on templates and configuration files, a default structure can be generated to startup a project documentation together with a code base.

I have to try and see if Sphinx allows me to set everything up. In other words, replay my Pycon tutorial with it.

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