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Here are your tasks for this assignment: 1. Go back to each and every package and TYPE specification you ve written, and add properly formatted comments (come on, at least do a couple). 2. Add the specification for procedure help() to each of those specifications, if you haven t already. 3. Access your help text by executing the help() command on each of your PL/SQL executables. What do you think Wouldn t you find immediate and easy access to documentation on what an object is for and how to use it invaluable In practice, I ve found that programmers are twice as likely to reuse a component if they have easy access to its documentation. But we can do even better.
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CHAPTER 9 WHAT DOES THIS THIN G DO A NYWA Y
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Programmers are four times as likely to use a component if they know it exists beforehand and they also know how to use it. That sounds like training, doesn t it Will your CFO or project manager tell you that you may not provide training; in other words, that you may not reuse your components If not, then you ll need documentation you can distribute freely. To that end, let s look at the ability to create distributable documentation from a package or TYPE specification next.
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All we need to do to create a set of distributable documentation for every specification in the database is to query the database s data dictionary for a list of those specifications, and then save each document to an operating system file. And we could do that by calling the help() method for each executable object. But we can do better than that. Text-based documentation can look quite boring and be quite unfriendly. I know, let s use HTML instead! Let s create an HTML-based documentation formatting tool, or HTML-help tool. We can even go so far as to call it HTML_HELP!
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An HTML-Based Documentation Formatting Tool
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Listing 9-3 is the package specification for an HTML-based help tool. Working with the capabilities of SQL*Plus, you can use it to produce an HTML help file for each executable object, and then an index to all those documents. Listing 9-3. A Package Spec to Create HTML-Based Help, html_help.pks 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 create or replace PACKAGE HTML_HELP as /* html_help.pks by Donald J. Bales on 12/15/2006 Package to create HTML-based help files for packages. */ -- Creates an "object_index" html file for the current USER. PROCEDURE create_index;
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-- Creates an "<object_name>" html for each package for the current USER. PROCEDURE create_help( aiv_object_name
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-- Text-based help for this package. PROCEDURE help;
"set serveroutput on" in SQL*Plus.
C HA PTER 9 WH AT D OE S T H IS TH I NG D O ANY WA Y
24 25 26 27 28 29
PROCEDURE test;
end HTML_HELP; / @se.sql HTML_HELP HTML_HELP has four methods: create_index(): Creates an index to all the documents created using the next method, create_help(). create_help(): Creates an HTML-based document from the comments and method signatures in a specification. help(): Produces on-demand help for this package. test(): The test unit for this package.
Methods create_index() and create_help() require the use of a SQL*Plus script in order to write the output to operating system files. Listing 9-4 is the implementation for HTML_HELP. In this case, I m showing only a partial listing. You will find the full listing in the chapter s download directory. What s important here is the outcome of this package: documentation. And that outcome can be distributable if we save it as individual files on a file system. Listing 9-4. A Package Body to Create HTML-Based Help, html_help.pkb 001 002 003 004 005 006 007 ... 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 create or replace PACKAGE BODY HTML_HELP as /* html_help.pkb by Donald J. Bales on 12/15/2006 Package to create HTML-based help files for packages */
PROCEDURE create_index is cursor c1 is select distinct name from SYS.USER_SOURCE where type in ('PACKAGE', 'TYPE') order by 1; cursor c2( aiv_name in select text from SYS.USER_SOURCE where type in ('PACKAGE', 'TYPE') and name = aiv_name order by line;
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