Open Source Color Management

OpenColorIO 1.1.1 documentation

Documentation guidelines

OpenColorIO is documentated using reStructuredText, processed by Sphinx.

The documentation primarily lives in the docs/ folder, within the main OpenColorIO repoistory.

The rST source for the C++ API documentation is extracted from comments in the public header files in export/

The Python API documentation is extracted from dummy .py files within the src/pyglue/DocStrings/ folder

Building the docs

Just like a regular build from source, but specify the -D OCIO_BUILD_DOCS=yes argument to CMake.

Then run the make doc target. The default HTML output will be created in build_dir/docs/build-html/

Note that CMake must be run before each invokation of make to copy the edited rST files.

Initial run:

$ mkdir build && cd build

Then after each change you wish to preview:

$ cmake -D OCIO_BUILD_DOCS=yes .. && make doc


  • Try to keep the writing style consistent with surrounding docs.

  • Fix all warnings output by the Sphinx build process. An example of such an warning is:

    checking consistency... [...]/build/docs/userguide/writing_configs.rst:: WARNING: document isn't included in any toctree
  • Use the following hierarchy of header decorations:

    Level 1 heading
    Level 2 heading
    Level 3 heading
    Level 4 heading
  • To add a new page, create a new .rst file in the appropriate location. In that directory’s index.rst, add the new file to the toctree directive.

    The new file should contain a top-level heading (decorated with ===== underline), and an approriate label for referencing from other pages. For example, a new file docs/userguide/baking_luts.rst might start like this:

    .. _userguide-bakingluts:
    Baking LUT's
    In order to bake a LUT, ...

Emacs rST mode

Emacs’ includes a mode for editing rST files. It is documented on the docutils site

One of the features it includes is readjusting the hierarchy of heading decorations (the underlines for different heading levels). To configure this to use OCIO’s convention, put the following in your .emacs.d/init.el:

(setq rst-preferred-decorations
      '((?= simple 0)
        (?* simple 0)
        (?+ simple 0)
        (?- simple 0)))