Object Documentation

Before I submit an official feature request, I wanted to run this past the group here to see if anyone else thinks this would be a good idea.

I noticed that almost everything within the IDE has a ‘Description’ field. If you add a method, event or property to a class, you’ll almost always find an empty description field into which you can type a short description of what that thing is for. This will then appear at the bottom of the code editor when you hover over any reference to it in your code. This got me thinking…

What if you could document your project within your project. Beyond inline comments and notes (which badly need to be markdown documents), what if the descriptions that you put on every element within a custom class was automatically collected and presented in some sort of html page that appeared when you selected the class.

Instead of seeing a big empty space that says ‘No Editor’, you’d see your very own reference page…


This part of Xojo i’ve hated for years… empty unused space…
What you are showing is ideal, never thought of such. I did a FB request once calling for the right-side space just below “Interfaces [Choose]” i’d like to see the current selected interfaces. Since then i’ve never called for such feature again.

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This may not be the answer you are awaiting, but you can drop a document into the Navigation pane.

In that document, you can place the description of whatever thing you want… and this, since… ages (2015 or earlier).

Actually, I have a rtfd (rtf with images, macOS) that do that for one large feature. Because of a lack of time, the document is under construction, but it is great.

If I click on its (or double click) name in the Navigator, TextEdit (macOS App) is fired and the document is loaded.


@Emile_Schwarz did you read the suggestion actually ?

I’ve not been able to reproduce what you are saying here. It seems that if i drag a document, text file, pdf file or whatever to the IDE navigator i get a shortcut to a file eg i can’t read the actual document in the middle of the IDE?

Having the Xojo docs right into the ide would be a great feature, but having the “Description” (you add using the gear on code) of your code (custom classes, properties, methods etc) inside a central location would make life much easier.

i can’t read the actual document in the middle of the IDE?
I do not wrote that.

The document’s application is fired and launch the document in its own space. I check.

Done. I dropped an html custom file and it works as expected. A double-click load the file in Firefox (my default browser).

Thanks for the reply. That’s not a great solution but it might help someone. What bothers me most about this is the fact that you accept that opening the document from the IDE doesn’t actually open it for editing right there in the IDE… that it launches another application seems ok to you… I find that a little strange.

As a completely separate feature request, I’ve often wondered why we couldn’t add text files to our projects in such a way that they were viewable and editable just like any other item in the navigator. Imagine being able to create a README.md file (like so many other IDEs)… or an .sql file that could be accessed by a method!

Isn’t the ‘I’ in IDE supposed to stand for ‘Integrated’?

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You also have Notes for some uses.

You can even place URLS in your code comments and access them from the IDE (that fires your defeulat browser) with a single click…

Now, if you prefer a Xojo Engineer taking times to add this feature while other solutions exists…

Nota: I understand your concern.

Notes are a simple solution and I am glad that they are there but after working with them for a while, I’ve been frustrated by the absence of even the most basic of formatting options. A far more elegant solution would have been to provide the ability to include text files of various formats and a mechanism by which the user could switch between edit mode (a simple text area) and view mode (an html viewer?). Markdown, HTML, XML, JSON, and SQL could all have been easy options in addition to txt and rtf.

Still, using the description fields that are already present to dynamically create a single HTML page that describes all the events, methods and properties of a selected class just seemed like low-hanging fruit.

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Important notice:
Read this entry about my advice above.


Feature Request has been submitted. Give it a vote if you agree!


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I love your idea!

Unfortunately, Classes, windows, and modules don’t have description fields, would that they did.


Well I didn’t want to seem greedy in my request but ya, descriptions would need to be added to those things as well.

While we’re at it let’s make all the descriptions markdown! :wink:

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Maybe an added note with the class or module name as the title could add to this…

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I wished for the same thing long time ago:
43673 - turn “NoEditor” into note