Go: Package documentation

The GoDoc website hosts docu­men­tation for Go packages on Bitbucket, GitHub, Google Project Hosting and Launchpad:

Godoc command

The godoc command extracts and generates documentation for all locally installed Go programs, both your own code and the standard libraries.

The command

$ godoc -http=:6060 &

starts a web server that presents the documentation at http://localhost:6060/:

Web browser localhost:6060

The documentation is tightly coupled with the code. For example, you can navigate from a function’s documentation to its implementation with a single click.

Without the -http flag, godoc prints plain text documentation to standard output:

$ godoc fmt Println
func Println(a ...interface{}) (n int, err error)
    Println formats using the default formats for its operands and writes to
    standard output. Spaces are always added between operands and a newline
    is appended. It returns the number of bytes written and any write error
    encountered.

Create documentation

To document a function, type, constant, variable, or even a complete package, write a regular comment directly preceding its declaration, with no blank line in between. For example, this is the documentation for the fmt.Println function:

// Println formats using the default formats for its operands and writes to standard output.
// Spaces are always added between operands and a newline is appended.
// It returns the number of bytes written and any write error encountered.
func Println(a ...interface{}) (n int, err error) {
…

For best practices on how to document Go code, see Effective Go: Commentary.

Godoc examples

You can add example code snippets to the package documentation; this code is verified by running it as a test. For more information on how to create such testable examples, see The Go Blog: Testable Examples in Go.

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