How Documenter makes docs for different versions?

I’m working on a small project (not julia related), that needs documentation. I really like the sites that Documenter.jl builds, particularly that I can see the docs of different versions (and the master branch). I would like to reproduce this behavior. I considered mkdocs but I’m not against using Documenter.jl for bulding the site.
We don’t have any CI tool set up and the docs can’t be public (so GitHub with GH pages is out). We use SVN for version control.
As an example I checked Flux’s docs and didn’t find anything that explicitly creates the versions for the releases.
To sum up: how can I build a documentation site with versions (like Documenter.jl does)? Is it possible to do it with Documenter.jl, but without GH and GH pages?

If you don’t have CI then you need to build it manually. Versions are normally created when the CI for a tag runs. So to get that you’d need to check out the tag, build the docs with julia docs/make.jl and then copy the docs/build directory to wherever you are storing / hosting the docs with the correct name. That’s basically it.

That is actually literally what is happening on the CI buildbot. The only other thing deploydocs does is that it manages the versioninfo.js file, which is used to make the version selector work.

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versions.js, to be exact :slight_smile:

In general you can just recreate the directory structure in that gh-pages branch and everything should work fine.


Thank you both answers! Now I understand, how can I do it with Documenter.jl.
Is it possible to do it with only mkdocs? (Probably I should ask this at another forum on mkdocs :smiley: )

For a manual build you would just compile with MkDocs locally and then copy the site directory over.

For automatic deployment you could technically re-use deploydocs. If you use the Markdown output in Documenter then that gets compiled by MkDocs in the end, with the entire pipeline looking like: Markdown --(Documenter)--> Markdown --(MkDocs)--> HTML. You end up with the MkDocs output in site/ which deploydocs copies over to gh-pages.

Is the version selector gh-pages specific? (I don’t have knowledge in any website technology so this question may sounds dumb.)
For learning/testing I cloned Flux’s gh-pages branch and I can open a specific version’s page (and check different sections/modules), but can’t change version, because that opens up the “version file”. For example if I choose v0.1, I only see v0.1.1
Can I get this working locally? (I think this is the last issue that holds me back to get the whole thing to work.)

No, it’s not specific to GitHub Pages per se. (It is Documenter-specific though.)

But the versions.js file it depends on is generated here in deploydocs where the versions themselves are generated by expand_versions here. To generate it when you are not using deploydocs you would have to run these yourself.

Basically, it looks at what directories (versions) you have, filters it down a bit and writes a JS file with the list of entries you should have in the version selector.

I understand how it is generated. My problem is, that with the cloned Flux gh-branch I can’t select versions. I can open a specific version v0.8.1 for example, but can’t change version, because if I click on it, it shows me the file that specifies which version to open.

The whole branch is on the server:

myuser:~/public_html/Flux.jl$ ls -loga
total 164
drwxr-xr-x 27 4096 Apr  4 09:40 .
drwxr-xr-x  3 4096 Apr  4 09:40 ..
drwxr-xr-x 12 4096 Apr  4 09:40 dev
-rwxr--r--  1 2246 Apr  2 12:10 flux.css
drwxr-xr-x  7 4096 Apr  4 09:40 .git
-rwxr--r--  1    7 Apr  2 12:10 .gitignore
-rwxr--r--  1   64 Apr  2 12:10 index.html
-rwxr--r--  1    3 Apr  2 12:10 latest
-rwxr--r--  1    6 Apr  2 12:10 stable
-rwxr--r--  1    6 Apr  2 12:10 v0.1
drwxr-xr-x  6 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.1.0
drwxr-xr-x  6 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.1.1
-rwxr--r--  1    6 Apr  2 12:10 v0.2
drwxr-xr-x  6 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.2.0
drwxr-xr-x  6 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.2.1
-rwxr--r--  1    6 Apr  2 12:10 v0.3
drwxr-xr-x  6 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.3.0
drwxr-xr-x  6 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.3.1
drwxr-xr-x  6 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.3.2
drwxr-xr-x  6 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.3.3
drwxr-xr-x  6 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.3.4
-rwxr--r--  1    6 Apr  2 12:10 v0.4
drwxr-xr-x  6 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.4.0
drwxr-xr-x  6 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.4.1
-rwxr--r--  1    6 Apr  2 12:10 v0.5
drwxr-xr-x  6 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.5.0
drwxr-xr-x  7 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.5.3
drwxr-xr-x  7 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.5.4
-rwxr--r--  1    7 Apr  2 12:10 v0.6
drwxr-xr-x  7 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.6.10
drwxr-xr-x  7 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.6.7
drwxr-xr-x  7 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.6.8
drwxr-xr-x  7 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.6.9
-rwxr--r--  1    6 Apr  2 12:10 v0.7
drwxr-xr-x 11 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.7.0
drwxr-xr-x 11 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.7.1
drwxr-xr-x 11 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.7.3
-rwxr--r--  1    6 Apr  2 12:10 v0.8
drwxr-xr-x 12 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.8.0
drwxr-xr-x 12 4096 Apr  4 09:40 v0.8.1
-rwxr--r--  1  137 Apr  2 12:10 versions.js

Could you please point me where the issue is with this setup? How should I modify the files to get the versionselector to work?

Do you mean that you end up on a page like this?

Edit: If yes, then that is because the Flux docs are built with HTML(prettyurls=true) (the default), which generates pagename/index.html for each page. But if you open a local file with file://, the browser does not resolve to index.html files. But the version selector redirects to e.g. the v0.8.1/ URL and not v0.8.1/index.html.

So for local builds you should set HTML(prettyurls=false) – that way it generates pagename.html. This way the version selectors and all internal links should work fine, even if you open it with file://.

Alternatively, you can also run a local webserver with e.g. python3 -m http.server. That way the index.html files get resolved and prettyurls=true builds work correctly too.

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I end up on a page like this:

Edit: I’m aware of prettyurl and don’t think that it causes my problem.

Oh, ok… that’s because of the symlinks I think. Only vX.Y.Z are real directories and all the vX.Y etc. are symlinks to the latest appropriate one. On GitHub Pages they work, but it seems that your webserver does not follow symlinks. Perhaps it’s configurable, but otherwise you may have to convert the symlinks to proper copies.

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We configured the server so with recreating the symlinks it is working now.
Thank you for your help!

Hi there,

I’m having some trouble getting versioning to work with CI for my package. I can’t find anything obvious in the logs (see below), but my gh-pages branch still only contains a dev/ folder.

┌ Info: Deployment criteria for deploying devbranch build from GitHub Actions:
│ - ✔ ENV["GITHUB_REPOSITORY"]="pat-alt/CounterfactualExplanations.jl" occurs in repo=""
│ - ✔ ENV["GITHUB_EVENT_NAME"]="push" is "push", "workflow_dispatch" or "schedule"
│ - ✔ ENV["GITHUB_REF"] matches devbranch="main"
│ - ✔ ENV["GITHUB_ACTOR"] exists and is non-empty
│ - ✔ ENV["DOCUMENTER_KEY"] exists and is non-empty
└ Deploying: ✔

Any idea what I’m doing wrong?

Thanks in advance.

Here is my docs workflow:

    name: Documentation
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: julia-actions/setup-julia@v1
          version: '1'
      - uses: julia-actions/julia-buildpkg@v1
      - uses: julia-actions/julia-docdeploy@v1
          GITHUB_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
          DOCUMENTER_KEY: ${{ secrets.DOCUMENTER_KEY }}
      - run: |
          julia --project=docs -e '
            using Documenter: DocMeta, doctest
            using CounterfactualExplanations
            DocMeta.setdocmeta!(CounterfactualExplanations, :DocTestSetup, :(using CounterfactualExplanations); recursive=true)
      - run: julia --project=docs docs/make.jl
          JULIA_PKG_SERVER: ""
          GITHUB_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
          DOCUMENTER_KEY: ${{ secrets.DOCUMENTER_KEY }}

I seem to remember this was all autogenerated when I originally generated the package, but perhaps something is wrong here?