20 Responses to “Introducing: DocBlox”

Awesome! I’ve been very unsatisfied with the state of DGA’s in the PHP world. PHPDocumentor, Doxygen, etc have had major limitations. I look forward to testing Docblox with my hudson install.

Nice job, the community will suppot your project even more as soon as the project is integrated with phpundercontrol and jenkins

Thank you, it works great and really is blazingly fast. I was wondering, are there any more themes available? It would be awesome to have a php.net like theme or something, the now available themes are a bit unclear.

Keep up the good work!

@seth: I have not had the chance to test it with Hudson; though the basic command line arguments are equal to phpDocumentor. Please let me know how that fares!

@Dvdende: that would be a dream of mine; to have DocBlox available in phpUnderControl and Jenkins. Currently I am focusing my efforts on more features so that DocBlox will be fully compatible with phpDocumentor and the switch does not change anything for the user.

@Sjoerd: currently not. but the themes are XSLT transformations; thus if you’d like to create one you are free to do so ;) I plan to support other theming options as well in the future (twig?) but other items have priority currently.

Great job! Ever since 5.3 was released, PHP API documentation has had a real void.

I tried Docblox out on a project of mine, and it did a nice job. I know you said it’s a preview release, but here are a few suggestions:

  1. Not all of my class associations were linked correctly. I think it isn’t picking up my “use” statements in my classes. When you “use” something, you should be able to reference it in a docblock without having to give the full path. (e.g. “@param MyClass $c” vs “@param Namespace\Part2\MyClass $c”
  2. Support {@inheritdoc}
  3. The image that shows the class map didn’t pick up any of my class hierarchies except for my exception classes.
  4. When finished, I think Docblox would be a perfect use case for being distributed as a Phar file. I’d suggest making it easy to install by distributing it with Pyrus.

Default theme UI:

  1. Remove the Docblox logo from the default template. Instead use “Generate by Docblox” or some other equivalent text at the bottom of each documented page.
  2. Use a two column layout instead of a three column layout.
  3. Use a standard tree view. There doesn’t need to be a brief description of each class in the hierarchy. Maybe you could should that on hover with a title attribute?
  4. Don’t center the search box. Left align.

@Dvdende: I don’t think you integrate Docblox with a CI server, you integrate Docblox with a build system like Phing and then run phing tasks from within your CI server. You could do that right now by just executing the script using the exec Phing task: http://phing.info/docs/guide/current/chapters/appendixes/AppendixB-CoreTasks.html#ExecTask

@Michael Great feedback! I really appreciate the comments that you have made. Allow me to elaborate on them:

  1. The T_USE token is currently not supported by DocBlox; it is on the roadmap for inclusion but it poses some challenges as I need to process it after indexing all classes (since a class coming from a T_USE could exist in multiple namespaces. It will be included, do not worry.
  2. Inline tags are also still unsupported; I am currently using a component from Zend Framework to parse the docblocks and it does not recognize these. I am planning on building this support (and fixing some minor annoyances at the same time).
  3. I’ll look into it; thank you.
  4. I am researching what is necessary for it to be easily installable; whether that be PEAR’s own repository, my own Pyrus server or something else. If I were to use phar, it would not be the only option as phar is 5.3+ and I try to support 5.2.1+ for as long as possible.

Concerning the theme suggestions: although this theme is the second that I have created, it is by no means final and I might change composition entirely based on UX feedback. You are the first to provide such feedback and I will definitely keep your suggestion in mind during development! (Concrete: I might or might not change it soon; my first priority is on (new) bug-free features)


I’m going to test this with jenkins..

Nice Work, i like it :)

A little Problem: The linebreak in the description is escaped as & lt ;br/& gt ;

Just out of curiosity, have you tried Doxygen? Any thoughts on that? As for phpDocumenter, the project looks kind of dead (last release was 2008). As we need something like ths at the company I am currently working for I might get on board in supporting you great effort! ;-)

@Malte: I am curious what results you have? In the mean time I have altered DocBlox to play nice with Jenkins and even have one running using DocBlox as documentation generator (will try to do a blog post about that)

@Christian: that should be fixed by now. If you still encounter issues with that: please let me know on github (http://www.github.com/mvriel/docblox) with an example Docblock.

@Potherca: To be honest; I must admit that I have only briefly looked at Doxygen and based on what I saw, the feature list and feedback from several people in the community I decided not to work with it. Please let me know what you encounter (as you actually already had on Github ;) ) and if you require any assistance. There is an IRC channel on freenode called #docblox where I am quite regularly.

[...] DocBlox project has really taken off since my introduction post. The interest in the project has sparked and quite a bit of changes have been pushed onto [...]

@mvriel: Do you plan to create a pear channel / package to be able to serve this up? It would be very beneficial to those of us that utilize PEAR for installing such packages.

You could easily do this through Pirum :)

@mike: actually, there is already a PEAR channel. I am now in the final stages of making sure that the invocation of DocBlox from an arbitrary location works. I expect to announce full support this evening.

If you’d like to know as soon as possible; there is a @DocBlox account on twitter where I regularly post updates on DocBlox’ progress.

I have chosen Docblox for my current project, and am in love! Would you be interested in working on an HTML interface design (a la PHP Documentor?). I don’t have tons of free time, but perhaps I could find some for this.

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