Configuration

All configurations take place in your project’s conf.py file.

Activation

Add sphinxcontrib.needs to your extensions:

extensions = ["sphinxcontrib.needs",]

Options

All options starts with the prefix needs_ for this extension.

needs_include_needs

Set this option on False, if no needs should be documented inside the generated documentation.

Default: True:

needs_include_needs = False

needs_id_length

This option defines the length of an automated generated ID (the length of the prefix does not count).

Default: 5:

needs_id_length = 3

needs_types

The option allows the setup of own need types like bugs, user_stories and more.

By default it is set to:

needs_types = [dict(directive="req", title="Requirement", prefix="R_", color="#BFD8D2", style="node"),
               dict(directive="spec", title="Specification", prefix="S_", color="#FEDCD2", style="node"),
               dict(directive="impl", title="Implementation", prefix="I_", color="#DF744A", style="node"),
               dict(directive="test", title="Test Case", prefix="T_", color="#DCB239", style="node"),
               # Kept for backwards compatibility
               dict(directive="need", title="Need", prefix="N_", color="#9856a5", style="node")
           ]

needs_types must be a list of dictionaries, where each dictionary must contain the following items:

  • directive: Name of the directive. For instance “req”, which can be used via .. req:: in documents
  • title: Title, which is used as human readable name in lists
  • prefix: A prefix for generated IDs, to easily identify that an ID belongs to a specific type. Can also be “”
  • color: A color as hex value. Used in diagrams and some days maybe in other representations as well.
  • style: A plantuml node type, like node, artifact, frame, storage or database. See plantuml documentation for more.

needs_extra_options

New in version 0.2.2.

The option allows the addition of extra options that can be specified on needs.

It can be specified as a dict inside conf.py as follows:

from docutils.parsers.rst import directives

 needs_extra_options = {
  "introduced": directives.unchanged,
  "updated": directives.unchanged,
  "impacts": directives.unchanged
 }

And used like:

.. req:: My Requirement
   :status: open
   :introduced: Yes
   :updated: 2018/03/26
   :tags: important;complex;
   :impacts: really everything

Default value = {'hidden': directives.unchanged}

The hidden option is a globally available option, which is always hidden and can be used to easily execute Dynamic functions.

The key of the dict represents the option/attribute name that can be associated with the need, and the value represents the option conversion function to apply to the associated value.

Extra options automatically appear in needs, if a value is set. By using needs_hide_options the output of such options can be hidden.

Note

To filter on these options in needlist, needtable, etc. you must use the Filtering needs option.

Show example

conf.py

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from docutils.parsers.rst import directives

needs_extra_options = {
   "my_extra_option": directives.unchanged,
   "another_option": directives.unchanged,
   }

index.rst

.. req:: My requirement with custom options
   :id: xyz_123
   :status: open
   :my_extra_option: A new option
   :another_option: filter_me

   Some content

.. needfilter::
   :filter: "filter_me" in another_option

Result

Requirement: My requirement with custom options xyz_123
status: open
my_extra_option: A new option
another_option: filter_me

Some content

needs_global_options

New in version 0.3.0.

Global options are set on global level for all needs, so that all needs get the same value for the configured option.

needs_global_options = {
   'global_option': 'Fix value'
}

Default value = {}

Combined with Dynamic functions this can be a powerful method to automate data handling:

needs_global_options = {
      'global_option': '[[copy("id")]]'
}

needs_hide_options

New in version 0.3.0.

Can be used to hide specific options from general output in rendered document:

needs_hide_options = ['tags', 'global_option']

Works with local set options, extra options and global options.

Default value: ['hidden']

The hidden option is a globally available option, which is always hidden and can be used to easily execute Dynamic functions.

Combined with Dynamic functions and needs_global_options this configuration can be used to perform complex calculations in the background and hide any output.

needs_diagram_template

This option allows to control the content of diagram elements, which get automatically generated by using .. needfilter:: and :layout: diagram.

This function is based on plantuml, so that each supported style can be used.

The rendered template is used inside the following plantuml syntax and must care about leaving the final string valid:

'node "YOUR_TEMPLATE" as need_id [[need_link]]'

By default the following template is used:

<size:12>{{type_name}}</size>\\n**{{title}}**\\n<size:10>{{id}}</size>

needs_id_required

New in version 0.1.19.

Forces the user to set an ID for each need, which gets defined.

So no ID is autogenerated anymore, if this option is set to True:

needs_id_required = True

By default this option is set to False.

If an ID is missing sphinx throws the exception “NeedsNoIdException” and stops the build.

Example:

# With needs_id_required = True

.. req:: Working Requirement
   :id: R_001

.. req:: *Not* working, because :id: is not set.


# With needs_id_required = False

.. req:: This works now!

needs_title_optional

New in version 0.2.3.

Normally a title is required to follow the need directive as follows:

.. req:: This is the required title
    :id: R_9999

By default this option is set to False.

When this option is set to True, a title does not need to be provided, but either some content or an :id: element will be required. If a title is not provided and no ID is provided, then an ID will be generated based on the content of the requirement.

It is important to note in these scenarios that titles will not be available in other directives such as needtable, needlist, needflow.

A title can be auto-generated for a requirement by either setting needs_title_from_content to True or providing the flag :title_from_content: as follows:

.. req::
    :title_from_content:

    This will be my title.  Anything after the first sentence will not be
    part of the title.

The resulting requirement would have the title derived from the first sentence of the requirement.

Requirement: This will be my title R_D8F29

This will be my title. Anything after the first sentence will not be part of the title.

needs_title_from_content

New in version 0.2.3.

This setting defaults to False. When set to True and a need does not provide a title, then a title will be generated using the first sentence of the requirement. The length of the title will adhere to the needs_max_title_length setting (which is not limited by default).

When using this setting be sure to exercise caution that special formatting that you would not want in the title (bulleted lists, nested directives, etc.) do not appear in the first sentence.

If a title is specified for an individual requirement, then that title will be used over the generated title.

Example:

.. req::

    The tool must have error logging.  All critical errors must be
    written to the console.

This will be rendered the first sentence as the title

Requirement: The tool must have error logging R_6F81D

The tool must have error logging. All critical errors must be written to the console.

needs_max_title_length

This option is used in conjunction with auto-generated titles as controlled by needs_title_from_content and title_from_content. By default there is no limit to the length of a title.

If a maximum length is provided and the generated title would exceed that limit, then an elided version of the title will be used.

When generating a requirement ID from the title, the full generated title will still be used.

Example:

Requirement: This is a requirement with a very long title that will need to be shorte... R_B6E1F

This is a requirement with a very long title that will need to be shortened to prevent our titles from being too long. Additional content can be provided in the requirement and not be part of the title.

needs_file

New in version 0.1.30.

Defines the location of a json file, which is used by the builder needs as input source. Default value: needs.json.

needs_statuses

New in version 0.1.41.

Defines a set of valid statuses, which are allowed to be used inside documentation. If a not defined status is detected, an error is thrown and the build stops. The checks are case sensitive.

Activate it by setting it like this:

needs_statuses = [
    dict(name="open", description="Nothing done yet"),
    dict(name="in progress", description="Someone is working on it"),
    dict(name="implemented", description="Work is done and implemented"),
]

If parameter is not set or set to False, no checks will be performed.

Default value: False.

needs_tags

New in version 0.1.41.

Defines a set of valid tags, which are allowed to be used inside documentation. If a not defined tag is detected, an error is thrown and the build stops. The checks are case sensitive.

Activate it by setting it like this:

needs_tags = [
    dict(name="new", description="new needs"),
    dict(name="security", description="tag for security needs"),
]

If parameter is not set or set to False, no checks will be performed.

Default value: False.

needs_css

New in version 0.1.42.

Defines the location of a css file, which will be added during documentation build.

If path is relative, sphinx-needs will search for related file in its own css-folder only! Currently supported css files:

  • blank.css : css file with empty styles
  • modern.css: modern styles for a need (default)
  • dark.css: styles for dark page backgrounds

Use it like this:

needs_css = "blank.css"

To provide your own css file, the path must be absolute. Example:

import os

conf_py_folder = os.path.dirname(__file__)
needs_css =  os.path.join(conf_py_folder, "my_styles.css")

See Sphinx-needs CSS option for available css selectors and more.

needs_role_need_template

New in version 0.1.48.

Provides a way of changing the text representation of a referenced need.

If the role need is used, sphinx-needs will create a text representation of the referenced need. By default a referenced need is described by the following string:

{title} ({id})

By using needs_role_need_template this representation can be easily adjusted to own requirements.

Here are some ideas, how it could be used inside the conf.py file:

needs_role_need_template = "[{id}]: {title}"
needs_role_need_template = "-{id}-"
needs_role_need_template = "{type}: {title} ({status})"
needs_role_need_template = "{title} ({tags})"
needs_role_need_template = "{title:*^20s} - {content:.30}"
needs_role_need_template = "[{id}] {title} ({status}) {type_name}/{type} - {tags} - {links} - {links_back} - {content}"

needs_role_need_template must be a string, which supports the following placeholders:

  • id
  • type (short version)
  • type_name (long, human readable version)
  • title
  • status
  • tags, joined by “;”
  • links, joined by “;”
  • links_back, joined by “;”
  • content

All options of Python’s .format() function are supported. Please see https://pyformat.info/ for more information.

RST-attributes like **bold** are not supported.

needs_table_style

New in version 0.2.0.

Defines the default style for each table. Can be overridden for specific tables by setting parameter style of directive needtable.

# conf.py
needs_table_style = "datatables"

Default value: datatables

Supported values:

  • table: Default sphinx table
  • datatables: Table with activated DataTables functions (Sort, search, export, …).

needs_table_columns

New in version 0.2.0.

Defines the default columns for each table. Can be overridden for specific tables by setting parameter columns of directive needtable.

# conf.py
needs_table_columns = "title;status;tags"

Default value: id;title;status;type;outgoing;tags

Supported values:

  • id
  • title
  • status
  • type
  • tags
  • incoming
  • outgoing

needs_collapse_details

New in version 0.2.0.

If true, need details like status, tags or links are collapsed and shown only after a click on the need title.

# conf.py
needs_collapse_details = False

Default value: True

Can be overwritten for each single need by setting collapse.

needs_id_regex

New in version 0.2.0.

Defines a regular expression, which is used to validate all manual set IDs and to generate valid IDs for needs without a given ID.

Default value: ^[A-Z0-9_]{3,}

By default an ID is allowed to contain upper characters, numbers and underscore only. The ID length must be at least 3 characters.

Warning

An automatically generated ID of needs without an manually given ID does match the default value of needs_id_regex only.

If you change the regular expression you should also set needs_id_required so that authors are forced to set an valid ID.

needs_functions

New in version 0.3.0.

Used to register own dynamic functions.

Must be a list of python functions.

Default value: []

Inside your conf.py file ue it like this:

needs_functions == [my_own_function]

def my_own_function(app, need, needs):
    return "Awesome"]

See Dynamic functions for ore information.

needs_part_prefix

New in version 0.3.6.

String used as prefix for need_part / np output in tables.

Default value: u'\u2192\u00a0'

The default value contains an arrow right and a non breaking space.

needs_part_prefix = u'\u2192\u00a0'

See show_parts for an example output.

Removed options

The following options are no longer supported, if the latest version of sphinx-needs is used.

needs_template

removed: 0.3.0

The layout of needs can be fully customized by using jinja.

If nothing is set, the following default template is used:

.. _{{id}}:

{% if hide == false -%}
.. role:: needs_tag
.. role:: needs_status
.. role:: needs_type
.. role:: needs_id
.. role:: needs_title

.. rst-class:: need
.. rst-class:: need_{{type_name}}

.. container:: need

    :needs_type:`{{type_name}}`: :needs_title:`{{title}}` :needs_id:`{{id}}`
        {%- if status and  status|upper != "NONE" and not hide_status %}
        | status: :needs_status:`{{status}}`
        {%- endif -%}
        {%- if tags and not hide_tags %}
        | tags: :needs_tag:`{{tags|join("` :needs_tag:`")}}`
        {%- endif %}
        | links incoming: :need_incoming:`{{id}}`
        | links outgoing: :need_outgoing:`{{id}}`

        {{content|indent(8) }}

{% endif -%}

Available jinja variables are:

  • type
  • type_name
  • type_prefix
  • status
  • tags
  • id
  • links
  • title
  • content
  • hide
  • hide_tags
  • hide_status

Warning

You must add a reference like .. _{{id}}: to the template. Otherwise linking will not work!

needs_template_collapse

removed: 0.3.0

Defines a template, which is used for need with active option collapse.

Default value:

 .. _{{id}}:

 {% if hide == false -%}
.. role:: needs_tag
.. role:: needs_status
.. role:: needs_type
.. role:: needs_id
.. role:: needs_title
.. rst-class:: need
.. rst-class:: need_{{type_name}}

.. container:: need

    .. container:: toggle

        .. container:: header

            :needs_type:`{{type_name}}`: :needs_title:`{{title}}` :needs_id:`{{id}}`
            :needs_type:`{{type_name}}`: :needs_title:`{{title}}` :needs_id:`{{id}}`
        {%- if status and  status|upper != "NONE" and not hide_status %}
        | status: :needs_status:`{{status}}`
        {%- endif -%}
        {%- if tags and not hide_tags %}
        | tags: :needs_tag:`{{tags|join("` :needs_tag:`")}}`
        {%- endif %}
        | links incoming: :need_incoming:`{{id}}`
        | links outgoing: :need_outgoing:`{{id}}`

    {{content|indent(4) }}

{% endif -%}

For more details please see needs_template.