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Using `docstrip' and `doc'

If you are going to write a large class or package for LaTeX then you should consider using the doc software which comes with LaTeX. LaTeX classes and packages written using this can be processed in two ways: they can be run through LaTeX, to produce documentation; and they can be processed with docstrip, to produce the .cls or .sty file.

The doc software can automatically generate indexes of definitions, indexes of command use, and change-log lists. It is very useful for maintaining and documenting large TeX sources.

The documented sources of the LaTeX kernel itself, and of the standard classes, etc, are doc documents; they are in the .dtx files in the distribution. You can, in fact, typeset the source code of the kernel as one long document, complete with index, by running LaTeX on source2e.tex.

For more information on doc and docstrip, consult the files docstrip.dtx, doc.dtx, and The LaTeX Companion. For examples of its use, look at the .dtx files.

Rainer Schoepf
Thu Jul 31 16:40:04 MEST 1997