AutoLinkOption

Michalis Kamburelis edited this page Jan 7, 2017 · 6 revisions
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Overview

CommandLine option --auto-link tells pasdoc to automatically turn identifiers into links inside your descriptions. In PasDocGui you can check the box _Automatically turn identifiers into links, for the same effect.

The goal is for you to not have to use the @link tag explicitly so often.

For example, consider this code:

{ This works like procedure @link(Bar). }
procedure Foo;
{ This works like procedure @link(Foo). }
procedure Bar;

You could use --auto-link option and write just

{ This works like procedure Bar. }
procedure Foo;
{ This works like procedure Foo. }
procedure Bar;

Identifiers Bar and Foo will be automatically turned into links.

@noAutoLinkHere tag

If you use auto-linking, you can prevent pasdoc from automatically linking to given item by placing @noAutoLinkHere tag within description of this item.

This is useful if the name of given item is a common "normal" word. In such cases you may prefer to not turn this word into a link automatically. You will have to always use explicit @link tag to link to this item.

Example:

{ @noAutoLinkHere }
procedure This;

{ This is a nice description of Foo.
  The word "this" is not automatically turned into a link,
  because of @@noAutoLinkHere tag in the description of
  @link(This) item. }
procedure Foo;

--auto-link-exclude option

Use like --auto-link-exclude=FILENAME, where FILENAME is an existing file that contains one identifier name per line. For example,

This
Create
Destroy

Identifiers specified in this file will never be automatically linked by pasdoc. This is the equivalent to writing @noAutoLinkHere tag at each declaration of such identifier. In some cases, using this is much more convenient than @noAutoLinkHere, because some identifiers like Create and Destroy are often declared, and you almost never want them to be auto-linked. After all, Create and Destroy are normal English words, and most often you use them in their normal meaning, without the intention of linking to class constructor / destructor.

Following the above reasoning, you may even want to put all normal English words on your exclusion list by using

--auto-link-exclude=/usr/share/dict/american-english

(assuming you live on Unix system with appropriate dictionary file installed).

@noAutoLink tag

If you use auto-linking, you can locally prevent pasdoc from automatically turning your words into a link by using @noAutoLink tag. You can put any content within @noAutoLink tag, and it will be processed as usual — with the exception that identifiers will not be auto-linked inside.

Example:

{ }
procedure This;

{ @noAutoLink( This is a nice description of Foo.
  The word "this" is not automatically turned into a link, because
  this text is within the @@noAutoLink tag.) }
procedure Foo;

The whole idea of auto-linking is that you will have to seldom use @noAutoLink and @noAutoLinkHere tags, but on the other hand you will almost never have to use @link tag. Without auto-linking, there’s no need to ever use @noAutoLink or @noAutoLinkHere tags (they don’t change anything), but you have to very often use @link tag.

Details

Auto-linking messages

When you request verbosity >= 3 (by CommandLine option --verbosity) you will see informational messages from pasdoc about what identifiers were auto-linked. They will look like this:

Info[3]: Automatically linked identifier "foo" (in description of "bar")

These messages may be useful to you when you want to make sure that you don’t have to wrap any additional text inside @noAutoLink or put @noAutoLinkHere in description of some item.

Identifier name inside its own description

When you write the name of your current item, then (with auto-linking turned on) it will be treated like you used @name tag. Consider this example:

{ MyProcedure is a very useful procedure. }
procedure MyProcedure;

With auto-linking turned on, this example is equivalent to

{ @name is a very useful procedure. }
procedure MyProcedure;

So the text "MyProcedure" will be specially formatted in the output (usually using some fixed-width font).

Other details

  • Note that actually whole qualified identifiers are subject to auto-linking. This means that you can e.g. write TMyClass.MyField and it will be turned into a link if there exists a class named TMyClass with a field MyField. Similar for things like e.g. MyUnit.MyVariable or even MyUnit.TMyClass.MyField.

  • Auto-linking in pasdoc is quite similar to idea of links in doxygen.