Examples in manuals – how to verify (test) them

I’ve gotten some just comments as feedback for the examples in the Searduino Manuals. Searduino is a software to make it easy to program C/C++ for Arduino, a simulator for source level Arduino API, … and more.

Problem is the following: I’d written some examples to make it easy to get started with Searduino. After some weeks of updates to the code the examples were not correct anymore. What good is it to have examples if they don’t work? But on the other hand, it’s really a pain in the ¤/&% to have to update example code. We need a way to test example code in manuals and to automate the tests!

Copying/pasting code from a manual is not something that is not desired (error prune to say one problem). So how to find some middle ground here? Is there any software for this?

My temporary solution was to write all examples as C files and Makefiles and to write some scripts to

  • convert a C file to texinfo file (c2texi)
  • convert a Makefile file to texinfo file (makefile2texi)

and then include the generated texi files in the manual (written in Texinfo). Will probably do the same for GNU Xnee

There must be  a better way … or?


3 responses to “Examples in manuals – how to verify (test) them

  1. A weird but maybe good way of going about this would be to put ikiwiki on top of the git repo of the source. Then you could embed examples in other pages in the wiki, without modifying the source code in any way, and make use of code highlighting for proper layout. Finally, you could convert that page to pdf if needed.

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