Section author: Axel Huebl, alpaka-group

In the following section we explain how to contribute to this documentation.

If you are reading the HTML version and want to improve or correct existing pages, check the “Edit on GitHub” link on the right upper corner of each document.

Alternatively, go to docs/source in our source code and follow the directory structure of reStructuredText (.rst) files there. For intrusive changes, like structural changes to chapters, please open an issue to discuss them beforehand.

Build Locally

This document is build based on free open-source software, namely Sphinx, Doxygen (C++ APIs as XML), Breathe (to include doxygen XML in Sphinx) and rst2pdf (render the cheat sheet). A web-version is hosted on ReadTheDocs.

The following requirements need to be installed (once) to build our documentation successfully:

cd docs/

# doxygen is not shipped via pip, install it externally,
# from the homepage, your package manager, conda, etc.
# example:
sudo apt-get install doxygen
# sudo pacman -S doxygen

# python tools & style theme
pip install -r requirements.txt # --user

With all documentation-related software successfully installed, just run the following commands to build your docs locally. Please check your documentation build is successful and renders as you expected before opening a pull request!

# skip this if you are still in docs/
cd docs/

# parse the C++ API documentation (default: xml format)
doxygen Doxyfile

# render the cheatsheet.pdf
rst2pdf -s cheatsheet/cheatsheet.style source/basic/cheatsheet.rst -o cheatsheet/cheatsheet.pdf

# render the '.rst' files with sphinx
make html

# open it, e.g. with firefox :)
firefox build/html/index.html

# now again for the pdf :)
make latexpdf

# open it, e.g. with okular


Run make clean to clean the build directory before executing actual make. This is necessary to reflect changes outside the rst files.


There is a checklinks target to check links in the rst files on availability:

# check existence of links
# cd docs/
make checklinks


The Doxyfile for doxygen is configured to output in xml format per default. Another targets can be configured in the Doxyfile. The final documentations are stored in docs/doxygen/.

# run in docs/doxygen/
sed -i -E 's/(GENERATE_HTML\s*=\s*)NO/\1YES/g' Doxyfile


To maintain or import a github project an account on ReadTheDocs is required. Further instructions can be found on readthedocs on github and readthedocs import guide.