[erlang-questions] Accessing the documentation at runtime

Vlad Dumitrescu <>
Wed Sep 28 20:28:55 CEST 2016


Hi,

Following the documentation discussion, and the details about how Elixir
supports that as API, I wonder if we could (should?) support something
similar for Erlang.

My suggestion for the data to store is the xml source, parsed with xmerl
into simple-form. For non-otp modules, there is an edoclet that can produce
opt-like xml from edoc. I don't know what format elixir uses, but for
consuming the OTP docs this feels the easiest.

One way is to add an optional chunk to the beam files, storing the docs. A
new compiler option would select that, similar to 'debug'. This would
increase the size of the files significantly and possibly only few people
will add the docs, resulting in an useless chunk, but if it gets used then
all data is readily available.

An alternative would be to deliver archives with the docs in separate files
(a zip in myapp/doc?).

What is needed then is an API to access that, "code:get_doc(Module|App)"
feels like it would be enough.

Thoughts?

best regards,
Vlad
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