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#xquerydoc v0.1

Parses xqDoc style comments from XQuery and generates a set of API level html documentation, implemented in pure XQuery v1.0.

The xquerydoc commandline uses XML Calabash (which ships with Saxon) though as xquerydoc is implemented in pure XQuery v1.0 you may also invoke from most XQuery processors (Saxon, MarkLogic, XQilla, eXist ...).


  • parsing of XQuery 1.0, XQuery 3.0, XQuery Update, XQuery Full Text, and other variants (MarkLogic)
  • pure XQuery parsing of xqdoc comments
  • generation of simple, customizable documentation
  • support for html, markdown, raw output formats
  • recursive directory processing
  • Invoke from commandline or from within your own XQuery applications

For the impatient

I. download a zipped installer (from top level directory), unzip, click and follow GUI installer instructions or run the following one liner.


II. change directory to your applications directory which contains xquery

III. invoke xquerydoc to generate api docs xquerydoc


To run the commandline version you will need Java 1.5 or higher installed

xquerydoc ships with Norman Walsh's XML Calabash, an XProc processor implemented in Java and runs xquerydoc via xproc xquerydoc step.

Note that Java and XProc processor is not required as you could always run xquerydoc directly from XQuery itself (see below).



windows support coming soon!


Download the xquerydoc installer from

Double click the installation package or run

java -jar xquerydoc-0.1.jar

which will start a step by step graphical installation.

Alternatively you could always clone a copy from github



The xquerydoc script can be invoked from the commandline. To get started using xquerydoc just execute it with no options in a directory containing XQuery.


xquerydoc will recursively search through for .xq, .xqy, .xqm and .xql files and will generate html documentation placing the results in a default directory named xqdocs. Your XQuery most follow xqDoc coding conventions.

Note many people try to run xquerydoc on xquerydoc ... which is good but realise that there are some HUGE parser files written in xquery which will take a long time to generate docs for; suggest you test on your own xquery source code.

Alternately you may supply xquerydoc with options, to specify the directory containing XQuery, where you want to output documentation as well as format of documentation.

xquerydoc -x xquery dir -o output dir -f format

There are four supported formats;

  • html - outputs xquery documentation format
  • xqdoc - outputs original xqdoc xml
  • markdown - outputs markdown format
  • raw - outputs direct from parser, though you could opt to download xqueryparser.xq

we soon hope to support other formats (like xslfo, text, docbook, etc...).

Invoking xquerydoc from XQuery

As xquerydoc is itself written in pure XQuery v1.0 you may invoke it directly from xquery. You will find the xquerydoc modules under src/xquery.

The following example illustrates how to do this, using saxon XQuery processor.

####XQuery v1.0 Example (Saxon)

xquery version "1.0" encoding "UTF-8";

import module namespace xqdoc="" at "src/xquery/xquerydoc.xq";


Note that we are using the SAXON convention with fn:collection to bring in an unparsed xquery file.

This function invoke will emit xqdoc markup (akin to xqueryx), like the following listing.

<doc:xqdoc xmlns:doc="">
    <!--Generated by xquerydoc:>
  <doc:module type="main">
      <doc:description>   This main module controls the
      presentation of the home page for  xqDoc.  The home page
      will list all of the library and main modules  contained in
      the 'xqDoc' collection.  The mainline function invokes only
      the  method to generate the HTML for the xqDoc home page.
      A parameter of type   xs:boolean is passed to indicate
      whether links on the page should be constructed   to static
      HTML pages (for off-line viewing) or to XQuery scripts for
dynamic  real-time viewing. 
      <doc:author> Darin McBeath
      <doc:since> June 9, 2006
      <doc:version> 1.3

It is relatively easy to take this XML and style it using provided XSLT stylesheets provided for under src/lib.


Read more about how to integrate xquerydoc using xquery or XProc.

API Docs

Yup we eat our own dog chow, view API docs here.

Note that we do not include documentation for the parser xquery files as they are frankly HUGE.

##Credit, Acknowledgements

xquerydoc created by Jim Fuller, John Snelson

Thanks to Darin McBeath for creating the original xqDoc, which xquerydoc borrows heavily. xqDoc is released under the Apache License, Version 2.0

The XQuery parser itself is now a separate library under Apache License, Version 2.

XQuery parsers were generated from EBNF using Gunther Rademacher's excellent

Norman Walsh's xproc processor XML Calabash is available under either the GPLv2 or Sun's CDDL license

Michael Kay's Saxon XQuery and XSLT 2.0 Processor is released under the Mozilla Public License

Prettify (used by api doc and testsuite) is released under Apache License, Version 2.0

XQuery prettify 'brush' was provided by Patrick Wied (as part of a MarkLogic bounty contest ;) ) and can be obtained here

Andy Bunce [apb2006] with patch for windows batch and minor amends to raw format


xquerydoc is released under Apache License v2.0

Copyright 2011, 2012 Jim Fuller, John Snelson

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and


How do I output xqdoc markup from commandline ?

To see the original underlying xqdoc output from the commandline, invoke the following command, setting the -f switch to xqdoc.

xquerydoc -x /some/directory/with/xquery/ -o /desired/output -f xqdoc

How do I output raw parser output from commandline ?

The output from the parser can be generated using the raw format

xquerydoc -x /some/directory/with/xquery/ -o /desired/output -f raw

Why a pure XQuery v1.0 implementation ?

This means you can generate api level documentation using just XQuery ! Need we say more ?

Why use XML Calabash XProc and Java ?

As we are applying an XQuery process and an XSLT process on a set of xquery documents it seemed like a good match for the commandline invokation. You can of course use the XQuery v1.0 libraries without XProc but you will need to apply XSLT stylesheets using your own processors capabilities.

Using XProc means we use Java, which has good cross platform characteristics effectively requiring us to maintain a single version of the commandline.

xquerydoc does not seem to parse correctly !

We are very interested in parsing as correctly as possible so please submit issue to

Doesn't work!

Please make an issue submission here

##More Info


xquerydoc - generate XQuery API documentation from your source code comments







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