KDE Doxygen Tools


This framework contains scripts and data for building API documentation (dox) in a standard format and style. https://api.kde.org holds the result.

The Doxygen tool performs the actual documentation extraction and formatting. This framework provides a wrapper script to make generating the documentation more convenient (including reading settings from the target framework or other module) and a standard template for the generated documentation.



Python 3 is required to run the scripts. Additionally you need to have the jinja2 and yaml (or pyyaml) modules.

The following command creates a venv and installs the tool:

$ ./bootstrap-devenv.sh


Doxyqml and doxypypy might be needed to let doxygen document qml and python sources respectively.

To generate the dependency diagrams, you need the Graphviz Python bindings. They are currently not available from pip, but most distributions provide them. You can get binaries and source archives from https://www.graphviz.org/download/.


Although it should be possible to use kapidox directly it is recommended to run the tool in the docker container.

You can build the docker image like this:

docker build . -t kapidox_generate:latest

To run kapidox-generate with a project that you want to generate the docs from you need an empty folder for the results (/path/to/build/folder). The build directory inside the container is set as BUILD_DIR in Dockerfile, and must stay in sync with what is used as CONTAINER_BUILD_DIR in the volume mapping.

For this example we use libksane checked out to /path/to/libksane:

export HOST_PROJECT_SRC=/path/to/libksane
export HOST_BUILD_DIR=/path/to/build/folder
export CONTAINER_PROJECT_SRC=/home/kapidox/libksane
export CONTAINER_BUILD_DIR=/home/kapidox/apidox-build
docker run \
kapidox_generate:latest \
kapidox-generate $CONTAINER_PROJECT_SRC

Writing documentation

Writing dox is beyond the scope of this documentation – see the notes at https://community.kde.org/Frameworks/Frameworks_Documentation_Policy and the doxygen manual.

To allow code to handle the case of being processed by kapidox a C/C++ preprocessor macro is set as defined when run: K_DOXYGEN (since v5.67.0). For backward-compatibility the definition DOXYGEN_SHOULD_SKIP_THIS is also set, but its usage is deprecated.

The kapidox scripts expects certain things to be present in the directory it is run on:


Most importantly, there should be a README.md file, like this page (backward compatibility also authorize Mainpage.dox files). The first line of this file is particularly important, as it will be used as the title of the documentation.


A metainfo.yaml file is needed for the library to be generated. It should contain some meta information about the library itself, its maintainers, where the sources are, etc.

A very simple example can be:

# metainfo.yaml
description: Library doing X
maintainer: gwashington
public_lib: true
logo: libX.png

A comprehensive list of the available keys can be found on this page.

By default, the source of the public library must be in src, if the documentation refers to any dot files, these should be in docs/dot. Images should be in docs/pics, and snippets of example code should be in examples. See the doxygen documentation for help on how to refer to these files from the dox comments in the source files.

If you need to override any doxygen settings, put them in a docs/Doxyfile.local in your project. Global settings are defined in src/kapidox/data/Doxyfile.global.

Generating the documentation

The tool for generating dox is src/kapidox_generate. Change to an empty directory, then simply point it at the folder you want to generate dox for (such as a frameworks checkout).

For example, if you have a checkout of KCoreAddons at ~/kde/src/frameworks/kcoreaddons, you could run

~/kde/src/frameworks/kapidox/src/kapidox_generate ~/kde/src/frameworks/kcoreaddons

and it would create a documentation in the current directory, which needs to be empty before executing the command.

kapidox recursively walks through folders, so you can also run it on ~/kde/src/frameworks or ~/src. For a lot of libraries, the generation can last 15-30 minutes and use several hundreds of MB, so be prepared!

Pass the –help argument to see options that control the behaviour of the script.

Note that on Windows, you will need to run something like

c:\python\python.exe c:\frameworks\kapidox\src\kapidox_generate c:\frameworks\kcoreaddons

Specific to frameworks (for now)

You can ask kgenframeworksapidox to generate dependency diagrams for all the frameworks. To do so, you must first generate Graphviz .dot files for all frameworks with the depdiagram-prepare tool, like this:

mkdir dot
~/kde/src/frameworks/kapidox/src/depdiagram-prepare --all ~/kde/src/frameworks dot

Then call kgenframeworksapidox with the --depdiagram-dot-dir option, like this:

mkdir frameworks-apidocs
cd frameworks-apidocs
~/kde/src/frameworks/kapidox/src/kapidox_generate --depdiagram-dot-dir ../dot ~/kde/src/frameworks

More fine-grained tools are available for dependency diagrams. You can learn about them in depdiagrams.

Examples of generated pages:


This project is licensed under BSD-2-Clause. But the specific theme used inside KDE is licensed under AGPL-3.0-or-later. If you find the AGPL to restrictive you can alternatively use the theme from Docsy (APACHE-2.0). For that you need to replace the style and js script present in src/kapidox/data/templates/base.html.

If you need support or licensing clarification, feel free to contact the maintainers.

This file is part of the KDE documentation.
Documentation copyright © 1996-2022 The KDE developers.
Generated on Thu May 26 2022 04:02:54 by doxygen 1.8.17 written by Dimitri van Heesch, © 1997-2006

KDE's Doxygen guidelines are available online.