The future of appledoc

In this post I’m talking about appledoc and directions I’m taking it in the future based on feedbacks and suggestions from users.

I’m getting many feedbacks and suggestions about appledoc. I would like to thank all for their interest and contributions. Since it’s been a while since I’ve updated the website, I though this would be perfect opportunity to write about my plans with the project. At this point I’m occupied with other projects I’m working on, so I can’t give as much attention to appledoc and this website & blog as I would like. Regardless it’s far from being left over - I have plans to start work on major refactoring of appledoc in the second half of 2010. The directions I’m looking include:

  • Replace doxygen with custom parsing. While I think doxygen is a wonderful tool, I find it’s support for objective-c is limited. In fact - if you take a look at appledoc code you’ll see that a lot of stuff is there just to get over these limitations. The other thing is doxygen’s configuration file. It allows great place for passing in many options, but it makes integration with post-processing tools more difficult.
  • Better logging, especially in case of problems. At it’s current implementation it’s sometimes really difficult to get an idea what really went wrong, even at maximum verbosity.
  • Update generated xhtml to look closer to newer Apple documentation, possibly with better support for customization.
  • More robust error handling.
  • Optional GUI counterpart for easier setup and management, similar to doxygen.
  • General refactoring of various components.

There you go, now it’s “on paper”, so I guess this makes it more official. This should bring the tool to it’s v2 and hopefully make the experience more “out-of-the-box”, as it should be. You’re all welcome to contribute, you can fork the project from it’s github page or modify it locally for your own purposes. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, I’m happy to hear from you, so write me an e-mail (you can find at the bottom of the readme file either from source code or precompiled binary). I do reply to all, ussually within hours (depending time zones we live in of course) but here and then it may take a little longer.

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