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eiffeldoc is the tool that documents your Liberty Eiffel project. Currently only HTML output is supported, but maybe others will be added in the future.


  • eiffeldoc {-title title} {-home_address address} {-nav_css file} {-doc_css file} {-class_css file} {-arrow_address address} {-separator_address address} {-depends} {-prune cluster...} {-verbose} {-help} {-wiki_prefix prefix} [loadpath.se | ACE file]
-title The title of the generated documentation
-home_address The address of the go home upper-left link. If -home_address is not given, the go home upper link won't be generated.
-home_image_address The address of the go home image
-nav_css The stylesheet to use in the navigation bar (i.e. the left frames)
-doc_css The stylesheet to use in the cluster documentation (i.e. on the right frames)
-class_css The stylesheet to use in the class documentation (i.e. on the right frames)
-arrow_address The address of the arrow image. If the -arrow_address is not given, links in the left navigation bar won't have an arrow.
-separator_address The address of the separator image. If the -separator_address is not given, there will be no separation before the description of a cluster.
-prune Don't show the cluster nor its classes in the left navigation bar. It uses the loadpath.se or ACE syntax for paths. Note that it also removes all the subclusters.
-remote replace the generation of that class by the address of the class generated by another instance of eiffeldoc at the given address. Note that, like -prune, the clusters don't show in eiffeldoc. It is useful for consistency. For example: eiffeldoc -remote 'lib' 'http://doc.liberty-eiffel.org/libraries/'

As a special case, -prune cwd allows not to take the current working directory into account.


se doc -prune 'lib/scoop'
-depends Generate dependant classes even if their cluster is pruned. This helps avoiding dangling links.
-verbose Output a lot of information about what eiffeldoc is doing.
-wiki_prefix Generate links to wiki URLs (in square brackets)


The stylesheets are heavily used to customize the output of Eiffeldoc. The known classes are:

A.home for the home link
A.title for the titles
A.cluster for the clusters
A.class for the classes
A.client for the upper-right clients frame
A.description for the one-sentence description in the cluster summary
TD.home for the home link
TD.title for the titles
TD.cluster for the clusters
TD.class for the classes (except in the short proper)
TD.client for the upper-right clients frame
TD.description for the one-sentence description in the cluster summary
B.obsolete for the obsolete header
I.obsolete for the obsolete message
TD.comment for a class comment
PRE.comment for a class comment
B.comment for a feature clause comment
I.comment for a feature comment
LI.summary for a feature in the summary
A.summary for the feature link in the summary
TD.details for a feature definition in the details section
B.details for the feature name in the details section
B.assertion for the assertion tags
TT.assertion for the assertion expressions
I.assertion for the assertion comments
A.link for a class link in the class documentation
U.wiki_entity for a link to a field in a comment, not anchored ?Is 'anchor' the correct translation of 'lier' here?
A.wiki_entity for a link to a field in a comment, anchored
B.wiki_bold for bold elements in a comment (wiki syntax)
I.wiki_italics for italic elements in a comment (wiki syntax)
TT.wiki_class_name for class names in a comment
TT.wiki_string for character strings in a comment
TT.wiki_character for characters in a comment
UL.wiki_bullet_list for bullet-point lists
LI.wiki_bullet_list for bullet-point list items
OL.wiki_numbered_list for numbered lists
LI.wiki_numbered_list for numbered list items
A.wiki_url for URLs (between [...])
A.wiki_word for wiki words (between [[...]])



Eiffeldoc analyses a project's whole set of classes in order to provide HTML1 documentation organised by cluster and class. Eiffeldoc can be used to produce the API for these classes.

Eiffeldoc has been designed to generate the documentation for a whole project. But what is a project?

A project is a set of classes that makes a coherent whole: a library, an application, a set of applications, a plug-in, and so on.

Eiffeldoc defines the project by the set of class search paths. It uses the same method as finder: using the ACE file or else loadpath.se and the paths from the system configuration file.


A high quality API does not only list its features with their signatures and contracts. The reader generally needs documentation at a higher level, which does not only explain how to call some method, but also explains the purpose of each feature and the way it is implemented, together with more general considerations.

In order to do this, Eiffeldoc uses two complementary mechanisms. The classes and their features are described by their comments; the clusters are described by a special file.


Eiffeldoc makes full use of comments. There is a convention about the position of comments.

For classes, the class comment is the comment placed just after the class declaration. For example:

class MY_CLASS
   -- this is the class comment

The convention is to describe the overall purpose of the class, what it is used for, in what context, and so on.

For groups of features, the feature group comment is the comment placed just after the feature clause. For example:

feature {ANY} -- Consultation:

The convention is to use short comments, because they are used as feature group headings.

For features, the feature comment is the comment placed just after the feature signature (after the return type for attributes, after the keyword is for routines). For example:

my_routine (i: INTEGER): INTEGER is
   -- a function that depends on the argument `i'

The convention for complicated comments is to begin with a summary sentence. This sentence2 is extracted and used in the first part of the class description.


Each cluster can be documented by a file cluster.html, stored in the same directory as the cluster's classes. If this file exists, Eiffeldoc extracts from it the HTML code between the elements <body> and </body>. Here too, it extracts the first sentence to use in the page that describes the whole group of clusters.

1. Other output formats are expected to be possible in the future.
2. A sentence is delimited by a full-stop, ellipsis, question mark or exclamation mark, followed by a space. Note that Eiffeldoc keeps track of parentheses, so that (`lower' .. `upper') is not the end of a sentence. As a special case, a sentence like does lots of things (this, that, etc.) finishes after the parenthesis.