Since JSDoc seems cerebrally dead...

# Michaël Rouges (4 years ago)

Since JSDoc seems cerebrally dead, why the TC39 doesn't make a real documentation standard, evolving with the langage?

Actually, a part of the JS community are exiling to TS to type anything and the rest are just despited by the very outdated version of JSDoc but don't want to add TS to their stack.

IMHO, it's really urgent to have something formal to solve that missing point of my favorite language.

What would it take to make this dream come true, please?

Michaël Rouges - Lcfvs - @Lcfvs

# Bergi (4 years ago)

They don't want to add TS to their stack.

Then what else would they want to add to their stack? Notice one doesn't necessarily need the TypeScript Compiler to add TypeScript- or Flow-like type annotations and remove them in a build step - Babel for example could do that just fine as well. Or are you asking for a jsdoc-like thing that lives in comments, where the code can be run without a compilation step?

kind , Bergi

# Andrea Giammarchi (4 years ago)
# Andrea Giammarchi (4 years ago)
# Dan Peddle (4 years ago)

This feels like rich territory for a blog post, if someone feels qualified? Specifically, just running the typescript tool chain for jsdoc annotations, which are excellent for all the reasons mentioned above (comments only, vanilla js etc).

# Jacob Bloom (4 years ago)

This feels like rich territory for a blog post, if someone feels

qualified? Specifically, just running the typescript tool chain for jsdoc annotations, which are excellent for all the reasons mentioned above (comments only, vanilla js etc).

Does this count?

# Dan Peddle (4 years ago)

It’s close, but not quite the same, from a cursory read. Thanks for sharing though.

To respond to the original post, I don’t think something rigidly formal would work out given how many wildly different opinions are out there - thinking out loud, but perhaps something underlying similar to clojures meta information would enable other approaches. The data contained in jsdoc comments is similar... from a certain perspective. Annotations as first class data would let users come up with solutions without parsing comment bodies, and let that data break out of the walled gardens.

I don’t know what the syntax would look like, and still be backward compatible, which is where comments are a clear winner.

# Isiah Meadows (4 years ago)

JSDoc is not dead (far from it), people just don't frequently use automated docs generation tooling in the JS community. Most the actual use JSDoc provides nowadays is editor autocomplete hints and integrating with TypeScript (in cases where changing the extension isn't possible for whatever reason), so while it's still useful, it's just not used in the same places it was used previously.

Isiah Meadows contact at,

# Michaël Rouges (4 years ago)

Sorry, I should be a few more explicit about the needs, I'll try to fix it. (Sorry If my english isn't perfect, it isn't my native language)

Ihmo, the developers needs a strong/robust/uniform way to describe their code, using static types comments and how they are using the language features, enven why they are used for (IDE's autocomplete, doc generation, AST, subsets compilation, bundling, ...).

Actually, there is a lot of things that requires some tricks from several external sources (TS, JSDoc, Clojure, Flow, ...) to nevertheless cover 100% on our code, like @async, the | VS &, the {this} without classes, the spreading, the Symbol references, a lot of things resolved by the @template which doesn't exist in JSDoc, ... where some of the missing features are standardized since 2011, it sounds just crazy!

The real question is: why, when a new language feature is released, the developers need to wait to describe their uses, depending on an ever growing collection of external wills to learn?

If I'm asking that to the TC39, it's because:

  • they strongly discuss a lot of point of views about every language features, then they are the most initiated people to define how to describe them
  • that committee must exist as long as the JS exists, then no risk to have an abandoned spec
  • that committee controls the releases flow, it can control the features comment descriptions to be released at the same time
  • ...

Who is better placed to offer the same guarantees?

The community, like actually? I don't think so, it's why we don't have an unique uptodate solution to rely on it.

But I'm not detracting the community efforts however, it tries to fill the pending gap until today and can be empowered by a real standardization to improve/create a lot of amazing tools (IDE's autocomplete, doc generation, AST, subsets compilation, bundling, ...) on a spec which covers 100% of the language features usages.

Michaël Rouges - Lcfvs - @Lcfvs

# #!/JoePea (4 years ago)

Why not? People are generating less docs now? That doesn't sound good!


# Jordan Harband (4 years ago)

Hopefully (imo) people are hand-writing more docs now, rather than relying on autogenerated prose.

# Michaël Rouges (4 years ago)

Sorry but my question isn't about providing a tool to generate our documentations but to have a standard syntax to describe our code (signatures). ;)

Michaël Rouges - Lcfvs - @Lcfvs

Le mar. 13 oct. 2020 à 01:29, Jordan Harband <ljharb at> a écrit :

# kai zhu (4 years ago)

Sorry but my question isn't about providing a tool to generate our

documentations but to have a standard syntax to describe our code (signatures). ;)

not standard-practice, but my style is to have documentation of functions inside the function (rather than above it). simplifies doc-generation by calling function's .toString() (rather than having to parse the parse the entire script):


let html;let local;local = {};local.foo1 = function (aa, bb) {/ * this function will blah blah blah / return aa + bb;};local.foo2 = function (cc, dd) {/ * this function will yada yada yada */ return cc + dd;};// auto-generate doc for functions in namespace <local>html = "<html>\n\n";Object.entries(local).sort().forEach(function ([ name,

obj]) { if (typeof obj === "function") { obj.toString().replace(( /function\b.?(([\S\s]?))\s*?{\n?(\s*?/*[\S\s]*?*/)/ ), function (ignore, signature, comment) { html += "<h1>function "

  • name + " " + signature.trim() + "</h1>\n"; html += "<pre>\n" +

comment + "\n</pre>\n"; html += "\n"; }); }});html += "</html>\n";console.log(html);* ```

output ```html

<html><h1>function foo1 (aa, bb)</h1><pre>/ * this function will blah

blah blah /</pre><h1>function foo2 (cc, dd)</h1><pre>/ * this function

will yada yada yada /</pre></html> ```

# #!/JoePea (4 years ago)

Would official syntax be worth it (JSDoc being officially standardized)?

Maybe it's a matter of time: Perhaps now that JSDoc is useful for type checking (thanks to TypeScript and its ability to type check plain JavaScript that is annotated with JSDoc) it may be closer to reality.

I prefer JSDoc type annotation in plain .js files over writing .ts files, because it means I can write type-checked code that has great intellisense in modern editors like VS Code, without needing any build steps and with end users being able to consume those source files directly in any way they want (possibly also without build tools). However, JSDoc can not currently do everything that regular TypeScript syntax can do (there's some open issues regarding that in the TypeScript repo).


# Michaël Rouges (4 years ago)

Yeah, I prefer the JSDoc solution too for the same reasons... but JSDoc is really slow to evolve, always several years behind the standard, a lot of solutions to describe our code are more relevant to tricks, generally found on the JSDoc issues, than something formal.

The coverage isn't the same... really, I'm dreaming about a standard annotation for each ES feature, covering all the usages. when that feature is released.

Michaël Rouges - Lcfvs - @Lcfvs

Le sam. 17 oct. 2020 à 03:29, #!/JoePea <joe at> a écrit :

# #!/JoePea (4 years ago)

That would be interesting indeed. Encouraging documentation is great I think. #!/JoePea

# Michaël Rouges (3 years ago)

Some other cases, not covered, even in JSDoc nor TS

There is no way to describe the result, to the IDE's intellisense, for those ES5/ES2015 features: Object.create(prototype, descriptors) microsoft/TypeScript/blob/master/lib/lib.es5.d.ts#L192 Object.assign(obj, ...mixins) microsoft/TypeScript/blob/master/lib/lib.es2015.core.d.ts#L313

I really love JS, but if there is no way to help the IDE to understand complex things, it's like to code with a Notepad.exe

Any TC feelings about that, please?

Michaël Rouges - Lcfvs - @Lcfvs

Le dim. 18 oct. 2020 à 05:27, #!/JoePea <joe at> a écrit :

# Jordan Harband (3 years ago)

Of course there's a way - it's just that TS's built-in types don't consistently go the extra mile, and often resort to any. See DefinitelyTyped/DefinitelyTyped/blob/5344bfc80508c53a23dae37b860fb0c905ff7b24/types/object-assign/index.d.ts, or DefinitelyTyped/DefinitelyTyped/blob/master/types/lodash/common/object.d.ts#L32-L52, for two examples of Object.assign, as an example.

# Jacob Bloom (3 years ago)

This SO answer provides a typing for Object.assign that appears to basically do the right thing: -- but none of the above libraries use this kind of solution, which leads me to think it might not be totally robust

# Michaël Rouges (3 years ago)

Yeah, that's the problem, no totally robust solution, often resorting to any, often the need to take some tricks from several sources, etc.

That's why I'm asking about a truly standard solution, thought during the TC features proposal.

Imho, if a feature can't be fully described, it must be rethought until it can.

Michaël Rouges - Lcfvs - @Lcfvs

Le mer. 11 nov. 2020 à 23:05, Jacob Bloom <mr.jacob.bloom at> a écrit :