Sven Mesecke's blog

Posted Mo 21 Oktober 2013

Dash (Zeal) and Julia

Dash is a brilliant Documentation App for Mac OS X, Julia is a promising new language for technical computing. What's better than getting the Julia documentation, which up to now has mostly lived on the web, into Dash, so that those long train rides through the countryside can be spent differently than trying to use the intermittent single reception bars to surf to the package docs, waiting in vain?


You have julia, python and git installed. Get the latest julia version from git using git pull in the cloned julia directory (if this does not make any sense, see the previous post). Install doc2dash using pip install doc2dash and sphinx, the python documentation generator, with pip install sphinx.

Run make once everything has been pulled. Go to the doc folder and run

make helpdb.jl 
make html

Next, navigate to the <JULIAHOME>/doc/_build folder. In principle it should be as simple as doc2dash -A html, however, that did not work at all for me. If you want to have a fancier julia documentation in dash, download the julia icon and save it somewhere as a 32 x 32 png for retina displays or 16 x 16 for non-retina displays and name it icon.png. Then run

doc2dash --destination ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dash/DocSets --name Julia --icon icon.png -a html/

and the julia documentation should be automatically added to Dash, after some waiting. Not very pretty, but available, though I don't get a julia logo into the docs, only the thumbnail icon.

Once I find the time, I will add the corresponding dash feed to the website, then the julia docs should be just another option from the dash doc manager menu.

Update: Zeal, an open source clone of Dash that works on Windows and Linux, actually works with these generated files as well. However, installing all the dependencies for doc2dash were a bit of a hassle on my fresh install of mint 15.

Category: Scientific Computing
Tags: mac linux science julia development