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Flight Software & Embedded Systems Framework

Documentation of F´ Projects

Most projects need to generate documentation on the software. F´ uses Doxygen to generate project documentation and projects using F´ may use Doxygen to generate their project documents. Doxygen was chosen because it can run automatically on F´ markdown and C++ documents to generate a web-compatible (HTML) version of the documentation.

The document will describe the basic usage of Doxygen for F´ projects and will also discuss some key settings that projects may wish to change. The output of Doxygen will be a set of HTML files that allow inspection of the project markdowns and C++ code. F´ Doxygen documentation may be viewed to see what the output will look like and is available at

Basic Doxygen Usage

Although a full understanding of Doxygen is outside of the scope of this document, we will attempt to discuss the basic usage of doxygen as it pertains to F´. Doxygen requires two things a working directory and a configuration file. It will recurse through the working directory generating documentation using the settings set the configuration.

If the user wishes to include autocoded parts of F´ to the documentation, make sure to build your F´ project before running Doxygen. Make sure to delete or exclude (see EXCLUDE settings below) any non-native builds before running.

The working directory should be the root of the project that is to be documented. A configuration file can be generated or the sample can be used/modified. To run Doxygen through the GUI, select the working directory and a configuration file and then run generation. Alternatively the doxygen command line utility can be run. Change to the working directory and supply the path to the configuration file. More detail can be found on the Doxygen website.

A sample configuration file can be seen at This file can be used to run documentation of a project. Note: the output directory inside F´ will need to be changed basic configuration settings are described below.

Once generated, load index.html in the output directory using a web browser to view the documentation.

Basic Doxygen Configuration

There are certain settings that users should change in the above configuration sample, and likely these settings should be changed when starting from scratch.

Note: The sample file and templated Doxygen configuration give a detailed explanation of each Doxygen setting.

Key Settings

These settings are essential to use Doxygen to generate documentation.

Setting Description Example
OUTPUT_DIRECTORY Directory relative to working directory to write out HTML. ./docs
STRIP_FROM_PATH Paths to strip out of documentation. Add your project’s build cache to this. ./MyProject/build-fprime-automatic-native/
STRIP_FROM_INC_PATH Paths to strip from autocoder include files. Add your project’s build cache to this. ./MyProject/build-fprime-automatic-native/
USE_MDFILE_AS_MAINPAGE Set a MD file to be the landing page documentation MyProject/
MARKDOWN_SUPPORT Pull in markdown files YES
RECURSIVE Run doxygen recursively YES
EXCLUDE Paths to exclude. Used to not generate fprime Doxygen inside project documentation. ./fprime
EXCLUDE_PATTERNS Wildcard patterns to not include MyProject/test*

Project Descriptions

There are several settings that describe the basic project these are described in the table below. A project should change these settings.

Setting Description
PROJECT_NAME Name of project displayed prominently in the documentation
PROJECT_NUMBER Project version number
PROJECT_BRIEF Brief description of project
PROJECT_LOGO 200x50 or smaller logo for project. Leave blank for no logo

GitHub Pages Notes

There is a small problem with the Doxygen files generated and hosting these pages on GitHub pages. This is because Doxygen converts the leading / of markdown paths to an _ which then is ignored by GitHub pages autogenerator Jekyll.

Possible fixes:

  1. Projects can set no-jekyll on their github pages. This will prevent converting MD to web pages, but the HTML output of Doxygen will be hosted as-is. This is a good choice for projects that just want to host Doxygen output.

  2. Rename underscore files. This is necessary when Jekyll needs to preprocess MD files. A sample renaming script can be found next to the Doxygen sample configuration. Mileage may vary.