Documentation Guidelines

Documentation Guidelines

The Akka documentation uses reStructuredText as its markup language and is built using Sphinx.


For more details see The Sphinx Documentation


For more details see The reST Quickref


Section headings are very flexible in reST. We use the following convention in the Akka documentation:

  • # (over and under) for module headings
  • = for sections
  • - for subsections
  • ^ for subsubsections
  • ~ for subsubsubsections


Sections that may be cross-referenced across the documentation should be marked with a reference. To mark a section use .. _ref-name: before the section heading. The section can then be linked with :ref:`ref-name`. These are unique references across the entire documentation.

For example:

.. _akka-module:

 Akka Module

This is the module documentation.

.. _akka-section:

Akka Section

Akka Subsection

Here is a reference to "akka section": :ref:`akka-section` which will have the
name "Akka Section".

Build the documentation

First install Sphinx. See below.


For the html version of the docs:

sbt sphinx:generate-html

open <project-dir>/akka-docs/target/sphinx/html/index.html

For the pdf version of the docs:

sbt sphinx:generate-pdf

open <project-dir>/akka-docs/target/sphinx/latex/AkkaJava.pdf
open <project-dir>/akka-docs/target/sphinx/latex/AkkaScala.pdf

Installing Sphinx on OS X

Install Homebrew

Install Python with Homebrew:

brew install python

Homebrew will automatically add Python executable to your $PATH and pip is a part of the default Python installation with Homebrew.

More information in case of trouble:

Install sphinx:

pip install sphinx

Install BasicTeX package from:

Add texlive bin to $PATH:

export TEXLIVE_PATH=/usr/local/texlive/2015basic/bin/universal-darwin

Add missing tex packages:

sudo tlmgr update --self
sudo tlmgr install titlesec
sudo tlmgr install framed
sudo tlmgr install threeparttable
sudo tlmgr install wrapfig
sudo tlmgr install helvetic
sudo tlmgr install courier
sudo tlmgr install multirow

If you get the error "unknown locale: UTF-8" when generating the documentation the solution is to define the following environment variables:

export LANG=en_US.UTF-8
export LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8