Documentation

Documentation is written in reStructuredText format.

The Agda documentation is shipped together with the main Agda repository in the doc/user-manual subdirectory. The content of this directory is automatically published to https://agda.readthedocs.io.

Rendering documentation locally

  • To build the user manual locally, you need to install the following dependencies:

    • Python ≥3.3

    • Sphinx and sphinx-rtd-theme

      pip install –user -r doc/user-manual/requirements.txt

      Note that the --user option puts the Sphinx binaries in $HOME/.local/bin.

    • LaTeX

    To see the list of available targets, execute make help in doc/user-manual. E.g., call make html to build the documentation in html format.

Type-checking code examples

You can include code examples in your documentation.

If your give the documentation file the extension .lagda.rst, Agda will recognise it as an Agda file and type-check it.

Tip

If you edit .lagda.rst documentation files in Emacs, you can use Agda’s interactive mode to write your code examples. Run M-x agda2-mode to switch to Agda mode, and M-x rst-mode to switch back to rST mode.

You can check that all the examples in the manual are type-correct by running make user-manual-test from the root directory. This check will be run as part of the continuous integration build.

Warning

Remember to run fix-agda-whitespace to remove trailing whitespace before submitting the documentation to the repository.

Syntax for code examples

The syntax for embedding code examples depends on:

  1. Whether the code example should be visible to the reader of the documentation.
  2. Whether the code example contains valid Agda code (which should be type-checked).

Visible, checked code examples

This is code that the user will see, and that will be also checked for correctness by Agda. Ideally, all code in the documentation should be of this form: both visible and valid.

It can appear stand-alone:

::

   data Bool : Set where
     true false : Bool


Or at the end of a paragraph::

   data Bool : Set where
     true false : Bool

Here ends the code fragment.

Result:

It can appear stand-alone:

data Bool : Set where
  true false : Bool

Or at the end of a paragraph:

data Bool : Set where
  true false : Bool

Here ends the code fragment.

Warning

Remember to always leave a blank like after the ::. Otherwise, the code will be checked by Agda, but it will appear as regular paragraph text in the documentation.

Visible, unchecked code examples

This is code that the reader will see, but will not be checked by Agda. It is useful for examples of incorrect code, program output, or code in languages different from Agda.

.. code-block:: agda

   -- This is not a valid definition

   ω :  a  a
   ω x = x


.. code-block:: haskell

   -- This is haskell code

   data Bool = True | False

Result:

-- This is not a valid definition

ω :  a  a
ω x = x
-- This is haskell code

data Bool = True | False

Invisible, checked code examples

This is code that is not shown to the reader, but which is used to typecheck the code that is actually displayed.

This might be definitions that are well known enough that do not need to be shown again.

..
  ::
  data Nat : Set where
    zero : Nat
    suc  : Nat → Nat

::

  add : Nat → Nat → Nat
  add zero y = y
  add (suc x) y = suc (add x y)

Result:

add : Nat  Nat  Nat
add zero y = y
add (suc x) y = suc (add x y)

File structure

Documentation literate files (.lagda.*) are type-checked as whole Agda files, as if all literate text was replaced by whitespace. Thus, indentation is interpreted globally.

Namespacing

In the documentation, files are typechecked starting from the doc/user-manual/ root. For example, the file doc/user-manual/language/data-types.lagda.rst should start with a hidden code block declaring the name of the module as language.data-types:

..
  ::
  module language.data-types where

Scoping

Sometimes you will want to use the same name in different places in the same documentation file. You can do this by using hidden module declarations to isolate the definitions from the rest of the file.

..
  ::
  module scoped-1 where

::

    foo : Nat
    foo = 42

..
  ::
  module scoped-2 where

  ::
    foo : Nat
    foo = 66

Result:

foo : Nat
foo = 42