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Build documentation

This is the Play documentation project. It does not build with the rest of the Play projects, and uses its own sbt project instead.


This project depends on play-doc. If you want to tweak the format or change the includes, you should do so there.

Existing Docs

All the documentation is under the /manual folder, and is in Markdown format with an extension that looks like this


Code snippets are identified using the hash symbol prepended to the label, like this:

println("Hello world")

As an example, if you open up main/akka/JavaAkka.md then you'll see:


which refers to the code snippet in the file code/javaguide/JavaAkka.java (note it is relative to the akka directory):

ActorRef myActor = Akka.system().actorOf(new Props(MyActor.class));

And this code snippet is included in the generated documentation.


Any directory under /manual called "code" is treated as a root of a test directory. You can put configuration files, Java files, or Scala files in there. Source files do not have to be part of a test suite, but it is highly encouraged to ensure that all included code snippets can compile and pass some internal checks.

All documentation code samples must be adequately namespaced. For example, no code samples should ever create a class called "controllers.Application", nor should any code samples ever create a routes file called "routes", they should instead namespace them, eg something like "javaguide.async.routes".

IDE integration

There is no out of the box integration, but you can use IntelliJ IDEA's Scala plugin or the Eclipse plugin to generate a project for you. If you are using IntelliJ IDEA, the Markdown plugin will make editing documentation much easier.


Before you run the tests make sure you have the latest snapshot version of the Play library in your local repository. This can be achieved through:

(cd ../framework && sbt publishLocal)

You can run the test suite for the documentation using:

> test


You can validate the integrity of the documentation internal links by calling:

> validateDocs

To validate the availability of the external links use:

> validateExternalLinks


There is no distinct packaging of HTML files in the project. Instead, the main project has a /project/Docs SBT file that will package the documentation with the rest of the application.

cd $PLAY_HOME/framework
sbt compile doc package

All Play projects can see documentation embedded by going to http://localhost:9000/@documentation. Internally, the @documentation route goes to DocumentationServer in the play-docs subproject, which relies on play-doc for generating HTML from the raw Markdown.


You can run a built-in documentation server directly from the documentation project, without packaging. This will give you quick access to the documentation without having to build everything. It is available at http://localhost:9000.

cd documentation
sbt run