DocView Preview

2010/03/21

In recent weeks Ubuntu (or rather Jono Bacon) has been championing the cause of the Opportunistic Developer. As part of that drive, and for a while before, the community has developed several tools to aide the Opportunistic Developer in their goals and aims.  For example:

However one thing that is missing is within this landscape of developer aides is easy to access Developer documentation. That is a single app that presents the opportunistic developer with locally sourced docs that can hopefully help them with their project. To this end I decided to hack together such an application. It is presently called DocView (this is a tentative name) but an offical and proper name will be decided upon once I push the code to launchpad. Currently DocView is a simple python app that uses webkit to view a preselected choice of documentation that exists within the /usr/share/ directories.

Some of you might say:

What about DevHelp!?

DevHelp has pretty much exactly the same goals as my project that is providing developers with access to documentation, however, DevHelp is primarily aimed for GTK and Gnome and works with gtk-doc.  As such it does not include everything that exists within /usr/share , for instance: Doxygen and Java manuals are not included, while Python is. Moreover DevHelp integrates with a few apps such as Anjuta… so there is a bit of overlap. However I wish to keep this project quite simple at the moment.

Currently DocView is less than 2 hours old and is currently looking like this:

There is still a lot of work that still needs to be done on DocView. I still need to iron out several bits and pieces like:

  • How I am going to locate this documentation, currently, it is hardcoded as a list. Something which I want to avoid
  • How to group the items within the tree menu i.e.\ language, doc type
  • How to store the list of docs, CouchDB looks like the way to go.
  • And any other features that may be plausible for such a project.

I am also undecided given the substantial overlap with DevHelp if I should continue with this project. But who knows…