Public release of Sphinx, Python's documentation toolchain

Georg Brandl georg at
Fri Mar 21 18:39:08 CET 2008

I'm delighted to announce that the Sphinx library, used to build the
new Python documentation (for 2.6 and 3.0) [1], is now released for
general use.

What is it?

Sphinx is a tool that makes it easy to create intelligent and beautiful
documentation for Python projects (or other documents consisting of
multiple reStructuredText source files).

Its website is at <>.

What does it do?

Sphinx is not an API documentation generator like Epydoc.  Instead, its
focus is on hand-written documentation, such as the Python one.

* Main output formats: HTML (including HTML Help) and LaTeX

* Extensive cross-references: semantic markup and automatic links
   for functions, classes, glossary terms and similar pieces of information

* Hierarchical structure: easy definition of a document tree, with
   automatic links to siblings, parents and children

* Automatic indices: general index as well as a module index

* Code handling: automatic highlighting using the Pygments highlighter

* Goodies such as changes overview, and external link checking

What else?

Various extensions are available and in development:

* autodoc: pulls in documentation from docstrings that are written in
   reST, to avoid having to maintain multiple documentation locations

* doctest: automatically tests snippets in the documentation in doctest

* coverage: documentation coverage checker



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