Introspect documentation for methods, signals, properties

Daniel P. Berrange dan at
Fri Feb 17 06:58:46 PST 2006

On Fri, Feb 17, 2006 at 10:58:32AM +0100, Thiago Macieira wrote:
> Rohan McGovern wrote:
> >It seems that this could easily be done by defining a new well-known
> >annotation, say 'org.freedesktop.DBus.Description' or similar.  Then a
> >DBUS service browser program could easily convey this information to the
> >user.  What do you guys think?
> Makes a lot of sense.
> >It might also be nice to change the DTD to allow annotations on
> >method/signal arguments.  Combined with the above suggestion, each input
> >and output to a method could then be documented in a standard way.
> I'm not sure we have to annotate particular arguments. At least, not for 
> providing documentation. Maybe for things like default parameters.
> A Doxygen-style snippet should be enough:
>   This method makes the window wobble and flip.
>   \param  msec      the time in milliseconds the window should wobble
> The only thing I worry about is memory consumption. Documentation could 
> make the XML introspection of a given interface or node quite long. And 
> caching all that may prove to be too much. If we decide to go this way, 
> I'd like it to be standardised, so I could discard unnecessary data.

The documentation is only relevant to developers writing / debugging client
bindings - it is informative metdata, rather than functional metata. Mixing
the 2 different kinds of data in the single Introspect() method doesn't seem
like a good idea to me - 99% of the time the docs would be pure overhead.
Thus I'd suggest having a second method on the interface for introspection 
to allow querying of the docs out-of-bound to the normal Introspect() method.

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