Loklak Timeline Using Sphinx Extension In Yaydoc

In Yaydoc, I decided to add option, to show show the twitter timeline which showthe latest twitter feed. But I wanted to implement it using loklak instead of twitter embedded plugin. I started to search for an embedded plugin that exists for loklak. There is no such plugin, hence I built my own plugin. You can see the source code here.

Now that I have the plugin, the next phase is to add the plugin to the documentation. Adding the plugin by appending the plugin code to HTML is not viable. Therefore I decided to make Directive for Sphinx which adds a timeline based on the query parameter which user provides.

In order to make a Directive, I had to make a Sphinx extension which creates a timeline Directive. The Directive has to look like this

.. timeline :: fossasia

from docutils import nodes

from docutils.parsers import rst

class timeline(nodes.General, nodes.Element):

def visit(self, node):



def depart(self, node):

class TimelineDirective(rst.Directive):
  name = 'timeline'
  node_class = timeline
  has_content = True
  required_argument = 1
  optional_argument = 0
  final_argument_whitespace = False
  option_spec = {}

 def run(self):
    node = self.node_class()
    node.display_name = self.content[0]
    return [node]

def setup(app):            app.add_javascript("https://cdn.rawgit.com/fossasia/loklak-timeline-plugin/master/plugi
  app.add_node(timeline, html=(visit, depart))
  app.add_directive('timeline', TimelineDirective)

We have to create an empty class for Nodes that inherits`Node.General` and `Node.Elements`. This class is used for storing the value which will be passed by the directive.

I wrote a `Visit` function which executes when sphinx visits the `timeline` directive. `Visit` function basically appends the necessary html code needed to render the twitter timeline. Then I created TimelineDirective class which inherits rst.Directive. In that class, I defined a run method which read the argument from the directive and passed it to the node. Finally I defined a setup method which adds the loklak-timeline-plugin js to the render html node, and directive to the sphinx. Setup function has to be defined, in order to detect module as an extension by the sphinx.


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Adding Github buttons to Generated Documentation with Yaydoc

Many times repository owners would want to link to their github source code, issue tracker etc. from the documentation. This would also help to direct some users to become a potential contributor to the repository. As a step towards this feature, we added the ability to add automatically generated GitHub buttons to the top of the docs with Yaydoc.

To do so we created a custom sphinx extension which makes use of http://buttons.github.io/ which is an excellent service to embed GitHub buttons to any website. The extension takes multiple config values and using them generates the `html` which it adds to the top of the internal docutils tree using a raw node.

    'watch': ('eye', 'https://github.com/{user}/{repo}/subscription'),
    'star': ('star', 'https://github.com/{user}/{repo}'),
    'fork': ('repo-forked', 'https://github.com/{user}/{repo}/fork'),
    'follow': ('', 'https://github.com/{user}'),
    'issues': ('issue-opened', 'https://github.com/{user}/{repo}/issues'),

def get_button_tag(user, repo, btn_type, show_count, size):
    spec = GITHUB_BUTTON_SPEC[btn_type]
    icon, href = spec[0], spec[1].format(user=user, repo=repo)
    tag_fmt = '<a class="github-button" href="{href}" data-size="{size}"'
    if icon:
        tag_fmt += ' data-icon="octicon-{icon}"'
    tag_fmt += ' data-show-count="{show_count}">{text}</a>'
    return tag_fmt.format(href=href,

The above snippet shows how it takes various parameters such as the user name, name of the repository, the button type which can be one of fork, issues, watch, follow and star, whether to display counts beside the buttons and whether a large button should be used. Another method named get_button_tags is used to read the various configs and call the above method with appropriate parameters to generate each button.

The extension makes use of the doctree-resolved event emitted by sphinx to hook into the internal doctree. The following snippet shows how it is done.

def on_doctree_resolved(app, doctree, docname):
    if not app.config.github_user_name or not app.config.github_repo:
    buttons = nodes.raw('', get_button_tags(app.config), format='html')
    doctree.insert(0, buttons)

Finally we add the custom javascript using the add_javascript method.


To use this with yaydoc, users would just need to add the following to their .yaydoc.yml file.

      watch: true
      star: true
      issues: true
      fork: true
      follow: true
    show_count: true
    large: true


  1. ┬áHomepage of Github:buttons – http://buttons.github.io/
  2. Sphinx extension Tutorial – http://www.sphinx-doc.org/en/stable/extdev/tutorial.html
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