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Sphinx Domain for Modern CMake

Project description

Sphinx Domain for Modern CMake

This is taken directly from the Kitware git repository's Utilities directory. The original sphinxcontrib-cmakedomain has not been touched in quite some and as a result it was wildly out of date. Documenting CMake domain entities in projects is painful otherwise. This works exactly in the same way as Kitware, so some time might be needed to study their approach to these problems.

This repository is under the same License as all of CMake, which is the BSD-3-Clause license.

🚨🚨🚨 Any issues you run into with this plugin must be reported to Kitware, unless they involve the packaging itself. The Python files exactly match the CMake source for the released version numbers. 🚨🚨🚨



This domain is available via PyPI. Install it directly via pip:

$ pip install sphinxcontrib-moderncmakedomain

Alternatively, place it inside of your, pyproject.toml, requirements.txt or whatever system it is that you use to declare and manage your dependencies. A new version will usually only be released if there is a change to this extension inside CMake.


This module is installable via pip and GitHub directly as well

$ pip install git+


To enable the use of the moderncmakedomain, add sphinxcontrib.moderncmakedomain to the extensions variable of your file:

extensions = [..., 'sphinxcontrib.moderncmakedomain', ...]

The plugin currently provides several directives and references. These are documented below.


directive description
cmake:variable:: For a basic variable
cmake:command:: For a function
cmake-module:: Autodoc style extractor (takes a relative filepath)
cmake:envvar:: For environment variables

To declare any of the references found below, they must be placed into a directory with the same name under the sphinx SOURCEDIR/master doc. Thus, prop_tgt/MY_PERSONAL_PROPERTY.rst can be referred to with :prop_tgt:`MY_PERSONAL_PROPERTY` . This is currently the only way CMake permits declaring new properties.


Each reference below can be placed into a directory with the same name to document custom extensions provided by your CMake libraries.

ref description
:variable: Refer to a CMake variable
:command: Refer to a CMake command
:envvar: Refers to an environment variable
:cpack_gen: Refers to CPack generators
:generator: Refers to a build file generator
:genex: Refers to a generator expression
:guide: Used to refer to a "guide" page
:manual: Used to refer to a "manual" page (like cmake(1))
:policy: Refers to CMake Policies
:module: Refers to CMake Modules
:prop_tgt: For target properties
:prop_test: For test properties
:prop_sf: For source file properties
:prop_gbl: For global properties
:prop_dir: For directory properties
:prop_inst: For installed file properties
:prop_cache: For cache properties


sphinx-moderncmakedomain was initially developed in October 2018 by slurps-mad-rips to help write CMake documentation by simply publishing a python package of the same. This was a critical step to ease the maintenance of sphinx-based documentation and avoid systematically copying the associated python module maintained within the CMake repository.

Later in early August 2021, henryiii discovered the sphinx-moderncmakedomain project while working on scikit-build issue #574 intended to simplify its documentation generation infrastructure and avoid updating its own copy of the sphinx extension. henryiii and jcfr then worked with slurps-mad-rips to establish a transition plan to collaboratively maintain the project within the scikit-build organization.

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