doctools2toc_introduction(3) Tables of Contents


doctoc (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 tables and contents for documentation.

These are

A tcl based language for the semantic markup of a table of contents. Markup is represented by Tcl commands. Beginners should start with the doctoc language introduction. The formal specification is split over two documents, one dealing with the doctoc language syntax, the other a doctoc language command reference.
A set of packages for the programmatic manipulation of tables of contents in memory, and their conversion between various formats, reading and writing. The aforementioned markup language is one of the formats which can be both read from and written to.
The system for the conversion of tables of contents is based on a plugin mechanism, for this we have two APIs describing the interface between the packages above and the import/export plugins.

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 doctoc should read the more informally written doctoc language introduction first. Having digested this the formal doctoc language syntax specification should become understandable. A writer experienced with doctoc may only need the doctoc 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 doctoc when handling directories of documentation, automatically generating a proper table of contents for them.

A processor of documentation written in the doctoc 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 doctoc to the user. At the bottom level, common to both applications, however we find the three packages providing the basic facilities to handle tables of contents, i.e. import from textual formats, programmatic manipulation in memory, and export to textual formats. These are

Programmatic manipulation of tables of contents in memory.
Import of tables of contents from various textual formats. The set of supported formats is extensible through plugin packages.
Export of tables of contents to various textual formats. The set of supported formats is extensible through plugin packages.
See also section Package Overview for an overview of the dependencies between these and other, supporting packages.
At last, but not least, plugin writers have to understand the interaction between the import and export packages and their plugins. These APIs are described in the documentation for the two relevant packages, i.e.
  • doctoools::toc::import
  • doctoools::toc::export


The doctoc format does not stand alone, it has two companion formats. These are called docidx and doctools, and they are intended for the markup of keyword indices, and of general documentation, respectively. They are described in their own sets of documents, starting at the DocTools - Keyword Indices and the DocTools - General, respectively.


                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~ doctools::toc ~~~~~~~~~~~
                                   ~~                   |               ~~
                doctools::toc::export ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ doctools::toc::import
                        |                               |                       |
        +---------------+-------------------------+     |    +------------------+---------------+-----------------------+---------------+
        |               |                         |     |    |                  |               |                       |               |
doctools::config        =                         |     |    |                  =       doctools::include       doctools::config doctools::paths
                        |                         |     |    |                  |
                doctools::toc::export::<*>        |     |    |          doctools::toc::import::<*>
                        doctoc                    |     |    |                  doctoc, json
                        json                      |     |    |                  |           \\
                        html                      |     |    |          doctools::toc::parse \\
                        nroff                     |     |    |                  |             \\
                        wiki                      |     |    |  +---------------+              json
                        text                      |     |    |  |               |
                                                doctools::toc::structure        |
                                                                        |                       |
          doctools::html  doctools::html::cssdefaults           doctools::tcl::parse    doctools::msgcat
                |                                                                               |
          doctools::text  doctools::nroff::man_macros                                           =
                                                                                                c, en, de, fr
                                                                                                (fr == en for now)
        ~~      Interoperable objects, without actual package dependencies
        --      Package dependency, higher requires lower package
        =       Dynamic dependency through plugin system
        <*>     Multiple packages following the given form of naming.


This document, and the package it describes, will undoubtedly contain bugs and other problems. Please report such in the category doctools of the Tcllib SF Trackers []. Please also report any ideas for enhancements you may have for either package and/or documentation.


contents, conversion, formatting, markup, parsing, plugin, semantic markup, table of contents


Documentation tools


Copyright (c) 2009 Andreas Kupries <[email protected]>