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Scilab help >> Online help management > help_from_sci


Generate help files and demo files from the head comments section of a .sci source file.

Calling Sequence

help_from_sci() // generate an empty function template
help_from_sci(funname,helpdir) // generate helpdir/funname.xml from funname.sci
help_from_sci(dirname,helpdir) // process dirname/*.sci and create helpdir/*.xml help files.
help_from_sci(dirname,helpdir,demodir) // as above but also creating demodir/*.dem.sce demo files.
[helptxt,demotxt]=help_from_sci(funname) // return funname.xml and funname.dem.sce code as two text matrixes.



the name of a single .sci source file to be processed.


directory name where all .sci files will be processed.


optional path where the .xml help file will be created.


optional path where .dem.sce demo files will be created based on code from the Examples section.


returns the XML help code if helpdir is empty, or the path to the new .xml file.


returns the demo code if demodir is empty, or the path to the new file.


help_from_sci is a revised version of the help_skeleton function. Its objective is to generate .xml help files based on the head comments section of .sci source files. Optionally .dem.sce demo files can be generated based on code from the Examples section in the head comments section of .sci files.

In order for help_from_sci to format the .xml file properly the head comments section should comply with some simple formatting rules.

The first comment line following the function definition should contain a short description of the function.

The remaining comments are formatted according to the following (optional) headlines: "Calling Sequence", "Parameters", "Description", "Examples", "See also", "Used functions", "Authors" and "Bibliography".

The following guidelines should be used when writing the source code comments:

  • Calling Sequence - one example pr. line.

  • Parameters - separate parameter name and description by a ":". Keep the description of each parameter on the same line.

  • Description - formatting of the text can be done using XML commands. Adding an empty comment line in the Description section is interpreted as the start of a new paragraph.

  • See also - list one function name pr line.

  • Authors - write one author on each line following the Authors headline. Use ";" to separate the authors name from any add additional information.

  • Bibliography - write one reference pr line following the References headline.


If your .sci file have some Non-ASCII characters, help_from_sci can fail to generate .xml help file associated. In this case, please save as .sci file with UTF-8 (NO-BOM) file encoding.


help_from_sci()   // Open an empty source code template in the scilab editor.
// Save this template as test_fun.sci in the current directory before running
// the next example commands.

help_from_sci('test_fun')        // return the xml skeleton as a text string

help_from_sci('test_fun','.')    // create the xml help file in the current directory.

// create both a xml help file and a demo file in the current directory.

// From a toolbox root directory a typical calling sequence would be:
// help_from_sci('macros','help\en_US','demos')
// This command would process all .sci files in the macros directory
// and use the head comments section to update all .xml help files in the
// help\en_US directory an rebuild the .dem.sce files in the demos\ directory.

See Also

  • help — on-line help command
  • help_skeleton — build the skeleton of the xml help file associated to a Scilab function
  • xmltohtml — converts xml Scilab help files to HTML format


T. Pettersen

<< help Online help management help_skeleton >>

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Last updated:
Thu Mar 03 11:01:00 CET 2011