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Sphinx Extensions to support API reference sites in OpenStack

Project description


Sphinx Extensions to support API reference sites in OpenStack

This project is a collection of sphinx stanzas that assist in building an API Reference site for an OpenStack project in RST. RST is great for unstructured English, but displaying semi structured (and repetitive) data in tables is not its strength. This provides tooling to insert semi-structured data describing request and response parameters and status or error messages, and turn those into nice tables.

The project also includes a set of styling (and javascript) that is expected to layer on top of a Sphinx theme base. This addition provides a nice set of collapsing sections for REST methods and javascript controls to expand / collapse all sections.


  • Sphinx stanza rest_method describing the method and resource for a REST API call. Lets authors write simply and also gives readers a clean way to scan all methods then click a button to get more information about a method.

  • Sphinx stanza rest_parameters used to insert semi-structured data into the RST files describing the parameters users can send with the request. The stanza points to a structured YAML file, parameters.yaml.

  • Sphinx stanza rest_status_code used to insert pointers to error or status codes returned by the service. Points to a structured YAML file, http_codes.yaml.


A list, in no particular order, of things we should do in this project. If you would like to contribute to any of these please show up in #openstack-dev on IRC and ask for sdague or mugsie to discuss or send an email to the list with [api] in the subject line.

  • Enhance documentation with more examples and best practices

  • Testing for the code

  • max_microversion parameter support - so that we automatically tag parameters that have been removed

  • Make a microversion selector, so that you can get a version of the api-ref that hides all microversion elements beyond your selected version (this one is going to be a bit of complex javascript), in progress.

Potential ideas

These aren’t even quite todos, but just ideas about things that might be useful.

  • .. literalinclude is good for API samples files to be included, but should we have more markup that includes the full REST /URL as well.

Sphinx stanzas

rest_method: Enter the REST method, such as GET, PUT, POST, DELETE, followed by the resource (not including an endpoint) for the call. For example:

.. rest_method:: PUT /v2/images/{image_id}/file

rest_parameters: Enter a reference to a parameters.yaml file and indicate which parameter you want to document. For example:

.. rest_parameters:: images-parameters.yaml

   - Content-type: Content-Type-data
   - image_id: image_id-in-path

Where the images-parameters.yaml file contains pointers named Content-type and image_id and descriptions for each.

rest_status_code: Enter a reference to a http-status.yaml file and indicate which errors or status codes you want to document. You can also add a pointer to more precise descriptions for each code. For example:

.. rest_status_code:: success http-codes.yaml

  - 204

.. rest_status_code:: error http-codes.yaml

  - 400: informal
  - 401
  - 403
  - 404
  - 409
  - 410: image-data-410
  - 413: image-data-413
  - 415: image-data-415
  - 500: informal
  - 503: image-data-503

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