Open Babel user documentation

The Open Babel user documentation is generated from the text files in this project.

The source files have extension .rst, indicating reStructuredText, a simple markup language widely used in the Python community and becoming more generally popular due to Sphinx, the documentation system that we are using here.

Editing the docs

Before editing the docs, you need to create a Github account and send me (baoilleach) the account name. Then I will add you to the list of 'collaborators'.

Github provides previews of reST documentation, which makes it easy to edit the docs directly on the github website. Alternatively, you can check out the repository and edit it locally. Note that Windows users should set autocrlf=true as described in the Github tutorials.

Building the docs

To build the docs yourself, you need to have Sphinx 1.0 installed:

  1. Sphinx has several dependencies so it is most easily installed using Python's package managers. Download distribute, and once unpacked run the following commands:

    python install # (as root)
    easy_install pip # (as root) on Windows, use C:\Python26\Scripts\easy_install
    pip install sphinx # (as root)
  2. You also need to install the doxylink extension:

    pip install sphinxcontrib-doxylink # (as root)
  3. To build the documentation, type make html or make latex.

  4. To correct errors in the generated HTML and LaTeX, type python

Automatic generation

Within a few seconds, updated docs will be available at Note that these docs are missing the links to the C++ documentation and to Pybel.

The complete docs are automatically generated once an hour (on the hour) from the latest source, and are available at http:://