Exploration of the design space for "(semi)automatic documentation" in haskell.
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This project is an exploration of the design space for "(semi)automatic documentation" in Haskell.

The approach is multifold:

Semantic learning order

A preliminary pass could be to analyze the various components (classes and types) which appear in a signature: for example, if a signature is (ClassFoo a) => a -> b -> c, the components are ClassFoo, ClassFoo a => a, b and c. Heuristics can then be used to create a order in which the types ought to be learned.

Entry/Exit points for a library

An "Entry point" for a library is a function that uses external types and abstractions to construct an abstraction that lies in the library. This can be searched for automatically, and is quite useful to answer the question of "what are the types of the things I can create at first, and how".

Similarly, an "exit point" for a library, can be defined as a function that returns a value which is out of the abstraction of the library.

Constructors/Destructors for given types

An "Constructor" for a type answers to the question "How is this type constructed". How do I obtain a value of type X? Similarly, a "Destructor" is a function which yields the data contained in a given type.

Improving heuristics with source analysis

This could be linked to an automatic API to scan the Haskell projects on github and/or the hackage packages, to find and retrieve commonly used functions or patterns, or to refine the heuristic for the relative importance of functions and types.


Please, use the stack.yaml file, as I am using a slightly patched version of hint. So, if you use stack, stack build should do the trick.

If you prefer to use cabal:

git clone https://github.com/meditans/documentator
cd documentator
cabal sandbox init
git clone https://github.com/meditans/hint
git clone https://github.com/meditans/preprocessor
cabal sandbox add-source ./hint
cabal sandbox add-source ./preprocessor
cabal install

Long term plan

Eventually, we should be able to generate a html proto-tutorial for the library, and/or integrate the heuristics as a plugint in the new haskell-ide project.


This project is in its early stage, so feedback or suggestions on desired functionality or architecture is appreciated.

You can find a design document, written in italian, in the file design.org, intended for the (wonderful) people of Haskell-ITA.

For the later stages, you can send me a pull request, and/or if you're a beginner, get in touch to be mentored in contributions.