docidx_intro - docidx introduction
docidx (short for documentation tables of contents) stands for a set of related, yet different, entities which are working together for the easy creation and transformation of keyword-based indices for documentation. These are
A tcl based language for the semantic markup of a keyword index. Markup is represented by Tcl commands.
A package providing the ability to read and transform texts written in that markup language. It is important to note that the actual transformation of the input text is delegated to plugins.
An API describing the interface between the package above and a plugin.
Which of the more detailed documents are relevant to the reader of this introduction depends on their role in the documentation process.
A writer of documentation has to understand the markup language itself. A beginner to docidx should read the more informally written docidx language introduction first. Having digested this the formal docidx language syntax specification should become understandable. A writer experienced with docidx may only need the docidx language command reference from time to time to refresh her memory.
While a document is written the dtp application can be used to validate it, and after completion it also performs the conversion into the chosen system of visual markup, be it *roff, HTML, plain text, wiki, etc. The simpler dtplite application makes internal use of docidx when handling directories of documentation, automatically generating a proper keyword index for them.
A processor of documentation written in the docidx markup language has to know which tools are available for use.
The main tool is the aforementioned dtp application provided by Tcllib. The simpler dtplite does not expose docidx to the user. At the bottom level, common to both applications, however sits the package doctoools::idx, providing the basic facilities to read and process files containing text in the docidx format.
docidx does not stand alone, it has two companion formats. These are called doctoc and doctools, and they are for the markup of tables of contents, and general documentation, respectively. They are described in their own sets of documents, starting at the doctoc introduction and the doctools introduction, respectively.
This document, and the package it describes, will undoubtedly contain bugs and other problems. Please report such in the category doctools of the Tcllib Trackers. Please also report any ideas for enhancements you may have for either package and/or documentation.