TOC Manager

Although the TOC data structure is defined in the LiterateCS.Theme assembly, the code that loads and saves TOC can be found here, under the TocManager class. Themes only need to read the table of contents; loading and updating it is handled by the main application.


TocManager is a helper class that groups together the functionality related to the file format and serialization. It uses YamlDotNet library to parse and deserialize the TOC file. The format of the file is described on a separate page.

namespace LiterateCS
	using LiterateCS.Theme;
	using System;
	using System.Collections.Generic;
	using System.IO;
	using System.Linq;
	using System.Text;
	using YamlDotNet.Serialization;
	using YamlDotNet.Serialization.NamingConventions;

	public class TocManager

TOC Lifespan

When a TocManager is created, a filename and the actual Toc object are provided. These are kept in private fields for the other methods to access. If new sections are added, they are be kept in a separate list to keep the Toc object immutable during the operation of the program.

		private Toc _toc;
		private string _filename;
		private List<Section> _addedSections;

The users of the class naturally need to access the Toc object. This is possible through a read-only property.

		public Toc Toc => _toc;

Constructing TOC Manager

There are two ways to create a TocManager. When a TOC file already exist, it is loaded and initialized automatically.

		public TocManager (Toc toc, string filename)
			_toc = toc ?? throw new ArgumentNullException (nameof (toc));
			_filename = filename;
			_addedSections = new List<Section> ();

If there is no file available, a parameterless constructor can be called to create an empty TOC. In this case the TOC does not need to be updated, so the _addedSections field can be left uninitialized.

		public TocManager ()
			_toc = new Toc ();
			_toc.Contents = new List<Section> ();

Loading TOC

TOC file is loaded using the deserialization feature provided by YamlDotNet. We configure the deserializer so that it converts the names of the data items into camel case and then maps them to the properties of the Toc class. Then we just open the file and feed it to the deserializer.

		public static TocManager Load (string yamlFile)
			var deserializer = new DeserializerBuilder ()
				.WithNamingConvention (new CamelCaseNamingConvention ())
				.Build ();
				using (var input = File.OpenText (yamlFile))
					return new TocManager (deserializer.Deserialize<Toc> (input), 

The most complicated part of the loading is the error reporting, which tries to give as much information for the error as possible.

			catch (Exception e)
				throw new LiterateException ("Could not load TOC file. " +
					"Make sure that its format is correct", yamlFile,
					"", e);

Adding New Sections

Instead of adding a new entry to TOC while the documentation is being generated, we add it to a temporary list. This list is concatenated to the TOC before it is saved. If there is no file associated to the TOC (in which case the temporary list is null), then we don't need to do anything.

		public void AddToToc (SplitPath path)
			if (_addedSections == null)
			var section = FindSectionForFile (path.FilePath, Toc.Contents) ??
				_addedSections.FirstOrDefault (s => s.File == path.FilePath);
			if (section == null)
				_addedSections.Add (new Section ()
					Page = path.FileNameWithoutExtension,
					File = path.FilePath,
					Desc = "TODO! Add page description."

Saving TOC

We could use the serialization functionality of YamlDotNet to write the TOC back to a file, but it is actually simpler just add the new entries as text. Serialization has its own quirks which we should work around, if we would like to use it. The new entries are always at the end of the file, so we can just open the file in the append mode and write the sections into it.

		public void Save ()
			if (_filename == null || _addedSections == null || 
				_addedSections.Count == 0)
			using (var output = File.AppendText (_filename))
				foreach (var section in _addedSections)
					output.WriteLine ();
					output.WriteLine ("  - page: " + section.Page);
					output.WriteLine ("    file: " + section.File);
					output.WriteLine ("    desc: " + section.Desc);

Checking If a Section Exists

To check whether a file is not in TOC already we need to traverse the TOC tree recursively. The function below does just that. If a given file is not found in the tree, null is returned.

		public static Section FindSectionForFile (string file, List<Section> sections)
			foreach (var section in sections)
				if (section.File == file)
					return section;
				if (section.Subs != null)
					var subSection = FindSectionForFile (file, section.Subs);
					if (subSection != null)
						return subSection;
			return null;