Storing internal code documentation

This project provides a simple web application written in Django/python that helps sharing documentation and other artifacts in a public or private way.

It is the perfect companion of a build server (which generates the documentation and eg. installers) when it comes to sharing those artifacts with different group of developers in your organization.

Workflow of use

An example of workflow that we actually use is: workflow


The main features are:

  • handling projects and associated metadata, such as descriptions, authors, maintainers, repositories, copyright holders, license, home page, etc
  • organization of projects by series, the meaning of the series is up to the project. It can be a specific release channel (release, beta or even continuous build), a set of packages, etc
  • serving HTML documentation: documentation files (zip, tar...) are deflated on the server side and served directly from the web application. Each revision is kept (if not explicitly removed) and you can track the evolution of the documentation, have consistent release together with documentation, etc
  • a small scripting API that let update/push artifacts from remote, which is especially convenient for Continuous Integration servers such as Atlassian Bamboo or Jenkins
  • handling a limit on the number of revisions per series, which works well for continuous builds
  • permission management: each of the resources that are served can have a set of permissions applied to it, which can be used to restrict the visibility of internal or intermediate work/project
  • not so ugly interface using Bootstrap


Main page

The main page shows the projects, a short description for each of them, and the "topics".

main page

Project page

A project consists of information that describe the project (repositories, authors, license, description, logo, etc) and a set of series. For each series, it is possible to jump directly to the last documentation (by date).

project page

Series page

A series consists of a description, a date, revisions, each of which is associated with zero or more artifacts and branches. Each artifact can be a normal one, or a documentation one. Documentation artifacts are deflated on server side and served as files. Each series can have a different set of access permissions.

series page

The project is developed at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, T´┐Żbingen, Germany, within the Software Workshop. It is released under the BSD-3 clauses license.


This project is still active and any contribution or feature request is welcome. Please use the Bitbucket issue tracker for that.

The main developer/maintainer is Raffi Enficiaud (here and here), and a big contributor has been Stephan Wenninger.

Running the application

This project is based on the Django framework and has very few dependencies, which makes it easy to run:

# create a dedicated virtual environment
> virtualenv my_env
> . my_env/bin/activate

# install the dependencies
> pip install django pillow django-markdown pygments pytz

and now you can just test the application as follow (we deflate Bootstrap which is part of the source code):

> cd <code_doc-respository>/code_doc/static
> unzip
> cd <code_doc-respository>/
> python migrate
> python runserver

If there is no error message, you can then open a browser and visit http://localhost:8000 .

We do not explain how to deploy this application in production environment, there are several examples of settings that we use in production and that can be found under the www folder.

Adding a superuser

In order to perform some operations such as adding a project, you need to create a super user first.

> cd code_doc
> python createsuperuser

Adding a project

This can be currently done only from the admin interface of Django:

  • open a browser and visit http://localhost:8000/admin
  • then add a project there
    • specify a copyright holder
    • specify a license
    • describe the project
    • indicate a maintainer

And that is it.

Additional stuff

We use:

  • a fork of the crowd authentication back-end (available here:, this is included in the repository (folder crowdrest) but can safely be removed if you use authentication other than Atlassian Crowd
  • Bootstrap 3.2