9. Building the documentation

9.1. Tools for building the Documentation

The following additional tools are required if you want to format the documentation that comes with the fptools projects:


Much of our documentation is written in DocBook XML, instructions on installing and configuring the DocBook tools are below.


A decent TeX distribution is required if you want to produce printable documentation. We recomment teTeX, which includes just about everything you need.


Haddock is a Haskell documentation tool that we use for automatically generating documentation from the library source code. It is an fptools project in itself. To build documentation for the libraries (fptools/libraries) you should check out and build Haddock in fptools/haddock. Haddock requires GHC to build.

9.2. Installing the DocBook tools

9.2.1. Installing the DocBook tools on Linux

If you're on a recent RedHat (7.0+) or SuSE (8.1+) system, you probably have working DocBook tools already installed. The configure script should detect your setup and you're away.

If you don't have DocBook tools installed, and you are using a system that can handle RPM packages, you can use Rpmfind.net to find suitable packages for your system. Search for the packages docbook-dtd, docbook-xsl-stylesheets, libxslt, libxml2, fop, xmltex, and dvips.

9.2.2. Installing DocBook on FreeBSD

On FreeBSD systems, the easiest way to get DocBook up and running is to install it from the ports tree or a pre-compiled package (packages are available from your local FreeBSD mirror site).

To use the ports tree, do this:

$ cd /usr/ports/textproc/docproj
$ make install

This installs the FreeBSD documentation project tools, which includes everything needed to format the GHC documentation.

9.2.3. Installing from binaries on Windows

Probably the fastest route to a working DocBook environment on Windows is to install Cygwin with the complete Doc category. If you are using MinGW for compilation, you have to help configure a little bit: Set the environment variables XmllintCmd and XsltprocCmd to the paths of the Cygwin executables xmllint and xsltproc, respectively, and set fp_cv_dir_docbook_xsl to the path of the directory where the XSL stylesheets are installed, e.g. c:/cygwin/usr/share/docbook-xsl.

If you want to build HTML Help, you have to install the HTML Help SDK, too, and make sure that hhc is in your PATH.

9.3. Configuring the DocBook tools

Once the DocBook tools are installed, the configure script will detect them and set up the build system accordingly. If you have a system that isn't supported, let us know, and we'll try to help.

9.4. Building the documentation

To build documentation in a certain format, you can say, for example,

$ make html

to build HTML documentation below the current directory. The available formats are: dvi, ps, pdf, html, and rtf. Note that not all documentation can be built in all of these formats: HTML documentation is generally supported everywhere, and DocBook documentation might support the other formats (depending on what other tools you have installed).

All of these targets are recursive; that is, saying make html will make HTML docs for all the documents recursively below the current directory.

Because there are many different formats that the DocBook documentation can be generated in, you have to select which ones you want by setting the XMLDocWays variable to a list of them. For example, in build.mk you might have a line:

XMLDocWays = html ps

This will cause the documentation to be built in the requested formats as part of the main build (the default is not to build any documentation at all).

9.5. Installing the documentation

To install the documentation, use:

$ make install-docs

This will install the documentation into $(datadir) (which defaults to $(prefix)/share). The exception is HTML documentation, which goes into $(datadir)/html, to keep things tidy.

Note that unless you set $(XMLDocWays) to a list of formats, the install-docs target won't do anything for DocBook XML documentation.