Comparison Of Documentation Generators

The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of documentation generators. Please see the individual products' articles for further information. Unless otherwise specified in footnotes, comparisons are based on the stable versions without any add-ons, extensions or external programs.

General information

Basic general information about the generators, including: creator or company, license, and price.

Name Creator First public release date Latest stable version Software license
Ddoc Walter Bright 2005/09/19 DMD 1.010, GDC 0.14 Freeware, GPL
Document! X Innovasys 1998 2014.1 Proprietary
Doxygen Dimitri van Heesch 1997/10/26 1.8.11 GPL
Epydoc Edward Loper 2002/01/-- 3.0 MIT
fpdoc (Free Pascal Documentation Generator) Sebastian Guenther 2005? 2.6.4 GPL
Haddock Simon Marlow 2002 2.13.1 (2012) BSD
HeaderDoc Apple Inc. 2000/09/-- 8.9.14 APSL
Help Generator Agora Software BV 2004/08/-- 4.0 Proprietary
Imagix 4D Imagix Corp. 1995 7.3 Proprietary
Javadoc Sun Microsystems 1995 1.6 GPL
JSDoc Michael Mathews 2001/07/-- 1.10.2 GPL
JsDoc Toolkit Michael Mathews 2007? 2.0.0 MIT
mkd Jean-Paul Louyot 1989 12.03 (2012) EUPL
Natural Docs Greg Valure 2003/05/26 1.52 GPL
NDoc Jason Diamond, Jean-Claude Manoli, Kral Ferch 2003/07/27 1.3.1 GPL
Pandoc John MacFarlane 2006 1.14.0.3 (2015) GPL
perldoc Larry Wall 1994 5.16.3 Artistic, GPL
phpDocumentor Joshua Eichorn 2000 1.4.4 LGPL
pydoc Ka-Ping Yee[1][2] 2000 in Python core Python
RDoc Dave Thomas 2001/12/14 in Ruby core Ruby
ROBODoc Frans Slothouber 1995/01/19 4.99.36 GPL
Sandcastle Microsoft 2008/05/-- 2014.5.31.0 Ms-PL
Sphinx Georg Brandl 2008/03/21 1.6.3 BSD
Visual Expert Novalys 1995 2017 Proprietary
YARD Loren Segal 2007/02/24 0.7.3 MIT
Name Creator First public release date Latest stable version Software license

Operating system support

The operating systems the generators can run on.

Windows OS X Linux BSD Unix
Ddoc Yes Yes[a] Yes Yes[a] No
Document! X Yes No No No No
Doxygen Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Epydoc Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Haddock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
HeaderDoc No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Help Generator Yes No No No No
Imagix 4D Yes No Yes No Yes
Javadoc Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
JSDoc Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
JsDoc Toolkit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
mkd Yes No? Yes Yes Yes
Natural Docs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
NDoc Yes No No No No
Pandoc Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
perldoc Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
phpDocumentor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
pydoc Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
RDoc Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ROBODoc Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sandcastle Yes No No No No
Sphinx Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Visual Expert Yes No No No No
VSdocman Yes No No No No
Windows OS X Linux BSD Unix

Language support

The programming languages the generators recognize.

C, C++ Java C# VB, VBScript Delphi, Pascal Ada D IDL Access Fortran
Ddoc No No No No No No Yes No No No
Document! X C++/CLI only Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes No
Doxygen Yes Yes Yes with Plugin[b] with Plugin[b] No Partial Yes No Yes
Epydoc No No No No No No No No No No
Haddock No No No No No No No No No No
HeaderDoc Yes Yes No No Yes No No Yes No No
Help Generator Yes No Yes Yes No No No No Yes No
Imagix 4D Yes Yes No No No No No No No No
Javadoc No Yes No No No No No No No No
JSDoc No No No No No No No No No No
JsDoc Toolkit No No No No No No No No No No
Natural Docs Partial Partial Yes Partial Partial Partial No No No Partial
NDoc No No Yes No No No No No No No
perldoc No No No No No No No No No No
phpDocumentor No No No No No No No No No No
pydoc No No No No No No No No No No
RDoc Partial No No No No No No No No No
ROBODoc Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Sphinx Yes with Plugin No No No with Plugin No No No with Plugin
Visual Expert No No Yes No No No No No No No
VSdocman No No Yes Yes No No No No No No
YARD No No No No No No No No No No
C, C++ Java C# VB, VBScript Delphi, Pascal Ada D IDL Access Fortran
PHP Perl Python Ruby JavaScript ActionScript PL/SQL Transact-SQL Tcl Haskell
Ddoc No No No No No No No No No No
Document! X No No No No No No Yes No No No
Doxygen Yes No[b] Partial[c] No No No No No Yes No
Epydoc No No Yes No No No No No No No
Haddock No No No No No No No No No Yes
HeaderDoc Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No
Help Generator No No No No No No No No No No
Imagix 4D No No No No No No No No No No
Javadoc No No No No No No No No No No
JSDoc No No No No Yes No No No No No
JsDoc Toolkit No No No No Yes No No No No No
Natural Docs Partial Yes Partial Partial Partial Yes Partial No Partial No
NDoc No No No No No No No No No No
perldoc No Yes No No No No No No No No
phpDocumentor Yes No No No No No No No No No
pydoc No No Yes No No No No No No No
RDoc No No No Yes No No No No No No
ROBODoc Yes Yes No Yes Yes Partial Yes No Yes No
Sphinx with Plugin No Yes with Plugin Yes No No No No No
Visual Expert No No No No No No Yes [4] Yes [5] No No
VSdocman No No No No No No No No No No
YARD No No No Yes No No No No No No
PHP Perl Python Ruby JavaScript ActionScript PL/SQL Transact-SQL Tcl Haskell
AppleScript PowerBuilder MIG Bourne shell C shell Any with comments[d]
Ddoc No No No No No No
Document! X No No No No No No
Doxygen No No No No No No
Epydoc No No No No No No
Haddock No No No No No No
HeaderDoc Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Help Generator No No No No No No
Imagix 4D No No No No No No
Javadoc No No No No No No
JSDoc No No No No No No
JsDoc Toolkit No No No No No No
Natural Docs No No No No No Yes
NDoc No No No No No No
perldoc No No No No No No
phpDocumentor No No No No No No
pydoc No No No No No No
RDoc No No No No No No
ROBODoc No No No No No Yes
Sphinx No No No No No No
Visual Expert No Yes No No No No
VSdocman No No No No No No
YARD No No No No No No
AppleScript PowerBuilder MIG Bourne shell C shell Any with comments

Input formats

The input formats the generators can read.

Text Binary
Ddoc Yes No
Document! X Yes Yes
Doxygen Yes No
Epydoc Yes No
Haddock Yes No
HeaderDoc Yes No
Help Generator Yes Yes
Imagix 4D Yes No
Javadoc Yes No
JSDoc Yes No
JsDoc Toolkit Yes No
mkd Yes No
Natural Docs Yes No
NDoc No Yes
perldoc Yes No
phpDocumentor Yes No
pydoc Yes No
RDoc Yes No
ROBODoc Yes No
Sphinx Yes No
Visual Expert Yes Yes
VSdocman Yes No
YARD Yes No
Text Binary

Output formats

The output formats the generators can write.

HTML CHM RTF PDF LaTeX PostScript man pages DocBook XML ePub
Ddoc Yes Yes[e] No Yes[e] Yes[e] Yes[e] Yes[e] No Yes[e]
Document! X Yes Yes No No No No No No No
Doxygen Yes Yes Yes Indirectly[f] Yes Indirectly[f] Yes Yes Yes No
Epydoc Yes No No Yes Indirectly[g] Indirectly[g] No No No
Haddock Yes Yes No No No No No Partial No
HeaderDoc Yes No No No No No Yes No Yes
Help Generator Yes Yes Yes No No No No No Yes
Imagix 4D Yes No Yes No No No No No No
Javadoc Yes Indirectly[h] Indirectly[h] Indirectly[h] Indirectly[h] Indirectly[h] Indirectly[h] Indirectly[h] Indirectly[h]
JSDoc Yes No No No No No No No No
JsDoc Toolkit Yes No No No No No No No Yes+JSON
Natural Docs Yes No No No No No No No No
NDoc Yes Yes No No No No No No No
phpDocumentor Yes Yes No Yes No No No Yes Yes
pydoc Yes No No No No No No No No No
RDoc Yes Yes[i] No No No No Indirectly[j] No Yes[i]
ROBODoc Yes Indirectly Yes Indirectly[g] Yes Indirectly[g] Yes Yes No
Sandcastle Yes Yes No No No No No No No
Sphinx Yes Yes Indirectly[k] Yes Yes Yes
Visual Expert Yes No No No No No No No No
VSdocman Yes Yes No Yes No No No No Yes
YARD Yes No No No No No No No No
HTML CHM RTF PDF LaTeX PostScript man pages DocBook XML ePub

Other features

possibility of extended customization generated diagrams highlighting and linking of generated doc parameter types extracted
Ddoc with macros
Document! X customizable HTML based templates, custom comment tags linked graphical object relationship diagrams internal links and links to .NET framework documentation types extracted and linked
Doxygen with XSLT caller and callee graphs, dependency graphs, inheritance diagrams, collaboration diagrams
Epydoc
Haddock Yes Yes
HeaderDoc Custom headers, footers, code coloring, and other CSS styles in individual pages. Project-wide TOC is generated from a user-defined template. Configurable syntax highlighting/coloring with automatic linking to symbols in declaration, ability to manually link to symbols in discussion, etc. Provides warnings if tagged parameters do not match code, parsed parameters included in XML output and Doxygen-style tagfile (-D flag in 8.7). Partial C preprocessor support with -p flag. Support for #if/#ifdef control over documentation inclusion using the -D and -U command-line flags.
Help Generator
Imagix 4D customizable through style sheets and CSS linked hierarchy and dependency graphs for function calls, variable sets and reads, class inheritance and interface, and file includes and interface, intra-function flow charts fully cross-linked project-wide, including all hierarchy and dependency graphs, metrics tables, source code snippets, and source files full semantic analysis of source code, including parameter types, conditional compilation directives, macro expansions
Javadoc
JSDoc Yes
JsDoc Toolkit Yes
mkd Customisable for all type of comments 'as-is' in comments all general documentation; references, manual, organigrams, ... Including the binary codes included in the comments. all coded comments
Natural Docs
NDoc
perldoc Extend the generator classes through Perl programming. Only linking
phpDocumentor Smarty-based templates class inheritance diagrams cross reference to generated documentation, and to php.net function reference Yes
pydoc
RDoc
ROBODoc
Sphinx 10 themes; Jinja2 templating; Python plugins several in sphinx-contrib, e.g. using aafigure, actdiag, Google Chart, or gnuplot Table of Contents, Index; cross referencing; syntax highlighting with Pygments custom objects (such as functions and classes)
Visual Expert documentation content and styles customizable Class inheritance, call trees, dependencies (impact analysis) internal links between classes, methods, variables, tables, columns... all types extracted
VSdocman full customization for all output formats, templates for MSDN-like output, custom XML comment tags linked graphical class diagrams, class inheritance tree internal links and links to .NET framework documentation types extracted and linked
YARD customizable Ruby templates class diagrams with extra tool internal classes/modules cross-referenced and Ruby source highlighted

Possible omissions

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b GNU D Compiler
  2. ^ a b c Though not supported as a native input language, Doxygen can be extended through the use of filters. Examples include Visual Basic, VB.NET, Perl, and Pascal.[3]
  3. ^ Doxygen has limited native support for Python. It can be extended through the use of the doxypypy input filter.
  4. ^ Generators listed here can be extended to support any language that has comments.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Ddoc has a macro system which can be customized to output any desired format. CHM, groff (manpages), XHTML, XML, and LaTeX (so PostScript and PDF) were tested. They are not currently included in the standard distribution. Standard HTML output also is generated using macros and can be redefined.
  6. ^ a b Generated from the LaTeX output only.[6]
  7. ^ a b c d Though not officially supported as an output format, Epydoc uses LaTeX and PostScript as intermediate steps to produce the final PDF documentation.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Via Doclets from Third Parties.
  9. ^ a b RDoc currently only provides generators for CHM and XML documents in the RDoc version provided as part of the Ruby 1.9 Core.
  10. ^ RDoc generates documentation for RI, which is Ruby's version of the Unix man pages.
  11. ^ Generated from the LaTeX output only

References


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


Comparison_of_documentation_generators



 
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