Making the Wordpress source code something you'd want to read
If you develop with Wordpress at all, you're likely to spend a fair chunk of your time wading through source code, and poring over the Wordpress Codex when something isn't working the way you expected, or when you're coding new features.
If you're working with Ruby and (assuming the projects you're working on has some documentation in the first place), tools like RailsAPI or rdoc.info have made browsing source code, and getting an idea of how various classes or objects make up project a fairly simple process now.
Thing is, moving from there to Drupal, with its insistence on not having any useful examples in its documentation, or Wordpress, where the surrounding Codex docs are great, but where the source code less as easy to browse, has always felt clunky by comparison.
Thankfully, Harry and Tom at the Dextrous Web have worked out a clever hack that makes using the docs on Wordpress's just as nice an experience as it is on a normal ruby project, by passing all source code through Doxygen, then passing that through the same all singing, all dancing , autocompletin' sdoc templates as used on RailsAPI, giving us all the slickness we'd come to associate with a well written Ruby project, but on a workhorse platform like Wordpress.
Here's how to to get your own browsable docs like these, local to your machine for speedy offline reference.
Doxygen is a tool you can use to generate actual documentation the comments in Wordpress's existing code base. If you're on a mac, and using macports, you can install it like so (you may need to sudo install these, depending on how your system is set up):
# if you're on a mac... port install Doxygen #if you're using macports port install Doxygen #if you're using homebrew # or if you're using linux ... yum install Doxygen #if you're using a CentoOS/Redhat apt-get install Doxygen #if you're using a Debian/Ubuntu
Fetch the Wordpress source code.
We need to pull down this code so when we call the next step we have everything we need to create the documentation, then pass it through sdoc to create the docs.
git clone git://github.com/dxw/wordpressapi.git cd wordpressapi gem install wpdoc git clone git://github.com/dxw/geshi.git git clone git://github.com/dxw/[Wordpress].git ln -s wordpress/wp-includes ruby update_codex.rb
Generate your own docs
This step takes a long time (as in more than half an hour on my black new macbook) , and uses a fair old chunk of CPU power too, so don't be alarmed if this seems to take longer than you're used to.
Bookmark the document index page
The docs you're after will be created in the
docs/ directory in the wordpressapi project; you'll find the index page at
docs/ , presenting a page of all the classes that make up Wordpress, with an autocomplete listing of every class, method and file used in the project, with links to the source code on github.com, locally, and where relevant, to the [Wordpress Codex].
Browse the source
Have a quick browse - you also have keyboard shortcuts for navigating around the code, you'll I guarantee that the easier access to the source code will help you learn something new about using Wordpress, without even trying, and be navigating through the the guts of the Wordpress source like a pro in no time.