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Natural Docs 1.1 released
August 28th, 2003

Has it been a month already?  Time for another release!

First off, Natural Docs 1.1 adds a slew of new languages to its repertoire: C#, Visual Basic, Python, PL/SQL, Pascal, Assembly, and Ada.  I’d like to thank Brett Michael for his help here.

Also in 1.1, the tooltips you get when hovering over a link are now done in DHTML, which brings a number of benefits.  First, function and variable prototypes look exactly the same there as they do where they’re documented: nicely formatted and large enough to read easily.  Second, if the function or variable has a summary sentence (what you see on the right side of the summary boxes) that gets added to the tooltip as well.  Third, since that turned out to be a really nice feature, every topic that’s linked to now gets its summary sentence as a tooltip.  The new tooltips have been tested to work on all four major browsers: IE, Gecko (Mozilla, Netscape), Opera, and KHTML (Safari, Konqueror) with only minor issues on their older versions.  Try it out.

Building on the menu automation introduced in 1.0, 1.1 now automatically adds and removes indexes.  As always, you still get the final say.  If you delete an index from the menu, it won’t come back unless you delete the “don’t index” line that gets automatically added.

This is especially good because there are two new indexes: constants and types.  If you’ve documented anything with keywords like constant and typedef, which were already recognized by Natural Docs, you’ll see the new indexes appear automatically.

That brings us closer to my ideal of automation, but I’ve also moved closer to my ideal of natural, readable documentation.  Links now accept plurals and possessives inside the brackets.  So if you’re writing a sentence that mentions a number of Widget objects, you don’t have to write “<Widget> objects” or the especially awkward “<Widget>s”, which even I forget to do right.  You can just write “<Widgets>” and everything will be fine.

You can use the common plural forms (<Kids>, <Foxes>) virtually every irregular plural form (<Children>, <Indices>, <Amoebae>, <Teeth>, I’m not kidding) possessives (<Kid’s>, <Class’>) and combinations of the two (<Classes’> <Alumni’s>.)  It will all work.  Trust me.

1.1 now scans .c and .cpp files for C and C++ users.  However, if you only put documentation in the headers, you can use the new -ho (headers only) option which will go back to the older, faster behavior.

Finally, 1.1 fixes some bugs in prototype formatting, such as if you had angle brackets or a lot of parenthesis.  Those should all work fine now.  Also, compatibility with KHTML (Safari, Konqueror) is much improved.

Copyright © 2003-2011 Greg Valure