# Contributing to the Manual¶

This section briefly describes how to contribute to the manual and is primarily “by developers, for developers.” This section should iterate until a consistent view on style/contents is reached.

Desirable:

• Use the following table templates when describing XML input.

• Unicode rules

• Do not use characters for which well-established idioms exists, especially dashes, quotes, and apostrophes.

• Use math mode markup instead of unicode characters for equations.

• Be cautious of WYSIWYG word processors; cutting and pasting can pickup characters promoted to unicode by the program.

• Take a look at your text multibyte expanded; that is open it in (emacs and ‘esc-x toggle-enable-multibyte-characters’)—see any unicode you did not intend?

• Newly added entries to a Bib file should be as complete as possible. Use a tool such as JabRef or Zotero that can automate creation of these entries from just a DOI.

Forbidden:

• Including images instead of text tables.

• Saving files in encodings other than UTF8. Some may report being ASCII encoded since they contain no unicode characters.

Missing sections (these are opinions, not decided priorities):

• Description of XML input in general. Discuss XML format, use of attributes and <parameter/> s in general, case sensitivity (input is generally case sensitive), and behavior of when unrecognized XML elements are encountered (they are generally ignored without notification).

• Overview of the input file in general, broad structure, and at least one full example that works in isolation.

Information currently missing for a complete reference specification:

• Noting how many instances of each child element are allowed. Examples: simulation–1 only, method–1 or more, jastrow–0 or more.

Table templates follow for describing XML elements in reference fashion. A number of examples can be found in, for example, Hamiltonian and Observables. Preliminary style is (please weigh in with opinions): typewriter text (\texttt\{}) for XML elements, attributes, and parameter names; normal text for literal information in the datatype, values, and default columns; bold (\textbf{}) text if an attribute or parameter must take on a particular value (values column); italics (\textit{}) for descriptive (nonliteral) information in the values column (e.g., anything, non-zero); and required/optional attributes or parameters noted by some_attr $$^r$$/some_attr $$^r$$ superscripts. Valid datatypes are text, integer, real, Boolean, and arrays of each. Fixed length arrays can be noted, for example, by “real array(3).”

Template for a generic XML element:

generic element:

 parent elements: parent1 parent2 child elements: child1 child2 child3

attributes:

Name

Datatype

Values

Default

Description

attr1$$^r$$

text

attr2$$^r$$

integer

attr3$$^r$$

real

attr4$$^r$$

boolean

attr5$$^r$$

text array

attr6$$^r$$

integer array

attr7$$^r$$

real array

attr8$$^r$$

boolean array

parameters:

Name

Datatype

Values

Default

Description

param1$$^r$$

text

param2$$^r$$

integer

param3$$^r$$

real

param4$$^r$$

boolean

param5$$^r$$

text array

param6$$^r$$

integer array

param7$$^r$$

real array

param8$$^r$$

boolean array

body text: Long form description of body text format

“Factory” elements are XML elements that share a tag but whose contents change based on the value an attribute, or sometimes multiple attributes, take. The attribute(s) that determines the allowed content is subsequently referred to as the “type selector” (e.g., for <estimator/> elements, the type selector is usually the type attribute). These types of elements are frequently encountered as they correspond (sometimes loosely, sometimes literally) to polymorphic classes in QMCPACK that are built in “factories.” This name is true to the underlying code but may be obscure to the general user (is there a better name to retain the general meaning?).

The following template should be provided each time a new “factory” type is encountered (such as <estimator/>). The table lists all types of possible elements (see “type options” in the template) and any attributes that are common to all possible related elements. Specific “derived” elements are then described one at a time with the previous template, noting the type selector in addition to the XML tag (e.g., “estimator type=density element”).

Template for shared information about “factory” elements.

generic factory element:

 parent elements: parent1 parent2 child elements: child1 child2 child3 type selector some attribute type options Selection 1 Selection 2 Selection 3 …

shared attributes:

Name

Datatype

Values

Default

Description

attr1$$^r$$

text

attr2$$^r$$

integer