Flow documentation

Hi, I migrate my own developed home-automation based on node.js to node-red. Thank you guys for your excellent work. I use homematic, webcams, e-mail, feeds and much more components deployed in multiple node-red-instances. For documentation purpose I used in the past JsDOC. Is there a way to produce documentation from my flows, for example get a graphic of the flow completed with nodes and own descriptions. thx

Welcome.

You need to elaborate a bit more on your idea, because:

for example get a graphic of the flow completed with nodes and own descriptions

This is what node-red itself already shows you. What would you want to see in terms of a graphic ?

Hi,

Thanks for your answer. I thought about a kind of documentation – outside of node-red – perhaps as pdf- or html-document or something else.

The idea ist to get a page per flow with

  • A graphic
  • Node-descriptions of all nodes : The used nodes with the type and the documentation-text (for example node "e1e81c77.baf1e", type „function“ and the js „……. return msg“ of this node)
  • And the connection – this node is connected to node ….

I believe it is possible to get this information out of the flow-files (without graphic).

I believe node-red is used in production environments. There can be the need to have some docmentation for audit.

The doc should be generated without further manual effort. The output would help to get a overview and detailed information if needed.

It is only an idea

My suggestion is to pepper your flows with comment nodes where you can fill them in with an explaination and it will show in the Info tab of the sidebar when you click on it. In addition, for every node use the 'name' option to put an explanation of what it is doing. Like this:


Doccumenting a program of any kind is work and keeping it up is important. Having the documentation in the flow means you won't misplace it.

P.S. this is from a flow that was in the projects category but which I've move to GitHub https://github.com/juggledad/ET-Display-Home
in case you want to take a look at what I did.

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You can indeed add comments like that. You can also add info to each node or tab's description field

that is then displayed in the sidebar info, and of course you can now do the same with groups of nodes also.

All of this info is of course stored in your flow file so I guess you could write a parser to go through it and pull out a more list like document as you describe.

Yes you are right. It is possible to use description on every level (flow, group, node), close by every element.

I will inspect the structure of the flow-file to build a parser, perhaps with different output format (html, markdown).

THX

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