[Qgis-developer] Editing rst files

Larry Shaffer larrys at dakotacarto.com
Mon May 7 09:43:24 PDT 2012

Hi Paolo,

On Sun, May 6, 2012 at 10:31 AM, Paolo Cavallini <cavallini at faunalia.it>wrote:

> Il 06/05/2012 02:03, Larry Shaffer ha scritto:
> >
> > For a large .rst project like the QGIS manual, it may not be much
> > different than using a separate text editor. Having Plugin Editor
> > embedded (installed) in QGIS offers the advantages of consistency of
> > interface/tools and portability, useful for new plugin developers and
> > teaching/seminar environments. There are many clever things you can do
> > with it, but if you are already an experienced developer, you may find
> > its features only occasionally useful compared with your current
> workflow.

> I'm now thinking more to the documentation writer, which is not
> necessarily a developer (most probably not). So anything we can do to
> make her/his life easier, the better documentation will have, I guess.
> I'm thinking of:
> - fetching automatically manual sources
> - emitting pull requests with a button, after manual production
> - preview of the compiled manual
> - automatically incorporating screenshots
> - etc.
> All the best.

This is an interesting set of documentation tools that I am now going to
add to Plugin Editor, and have adjusted the plugin's releases accordingly.
The first release will be for other devs to beta-test the text editor and
plugin tools. The second for beta-testing documentation tools and
commenting on the embedded tutorial (created with Sphinx). Then, after
re-working the plugin, finally a public release.

Here is what I am planning for regular (not plugin strings) documentation

- Function for rst -> output generation
- Refresh-able graphic tool for previewing .rst files (ala ReText or temp
Sphinx builds)
- Function for generating translation .pot files
- Function for viewing translations (see your plugin in another language)
- Tool for capturing screeshots of the QGIS interface window(s) (using
QPixmap static methods [0][1]), dumping to correct screenshots folder, then
copying doc-folder-relative link to clipboard (is this what you meant by
'automatically incorporating screenshots'?)

Concerning source control, I have specifically not designed anything into
Plugin Editor, except for one button to launch your SCM app of choice
(GitHub for Mac, for example). So, source control is managed outside of the

My main design focus of the plugin is to ensure portability and,
ultimately, to require no additional installs beyond QGIS and Qt dev tools.
This means zero (or optional) reliance upon command line tools like 'make',
etc., relying instead upon mostly pure Python solutions.

[0] http://qt-project.org/doc/qt-4.8/qpixmap.html#grabWidget
[1] http://doc.qt.nokia.com/main-snapshot/desktop-screenshot.html


Larry Shaffer
Dakota Cartography
Black Hills, South Dakota
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