deal.II comes with quite extensive online documentation, which falls into several categories. They are listed below.
First, there is the README file of the library. It gives information on system requirements, installation, and copyright.
The tutorial is for new users of the library. It explains the basic elements of finite element programs based on the library, and provides small example programs. You can also reach the tutorial link from the menu bar at the left.
Note that along with the rest of the documentation, the local HTML pages of the tutorials need to be generated first. Please follow the instructions in the ReadMe file on how to do this.
The programming interface/manual pages are what you will need most often as a reference of all classes, functions and variables in the library. They are extensively documented (presently more than 5000 pages if printed), and generated by Doxygen. There is also a quick link to these pages from the menu bar at the left.
The documentation uses many of the features of Doxygen. In particular, the link takes you straight to a page that lists modules, a way to group classes with similar purposes. This may be what you are probably interested in when you are not yet familiar with the library. If you already know your way around and want to look up the signature of a particular member function, for example, you may go to the class view or choose any of the other ways in which Doxygen allows you to navigate through the documentation.
Just as for the tutorials, the API docs need to be generated first, if you download deal.II. Please follow the instructions in the ReadMe file on how to do this.
If you plan to develop your own applications using deal.II, it might be worth to take a look at this page.
There are a number of papers that describe the overall design or individual aspects of deal.II. Please refer to the papers listed at the top of the publications page for full references. In addition, there are the following reports:
A publication on the basics of dimension independent programming in deal.II (by Wolfgang Bangerth). This explains some of the fundamentals of the library's design, though rather briefly due to the page limit imposed for the publication.
This publication appeared in the proceedings of the 16th IMACS World Congress, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2000. See the publications page for the full reference as well as a way to obtain a reprint of the original paper as a postscript or PDF file.
A brief report about the classes involved in the iterators and accessors used to access cells in the triangulations and the data thereon, such as their geometry, the number of the degrees of freedom, data values, etc. You may want to read this object or parts of it if you want to know what information is available from iterators (by Wolfgang Bangerth).
A brief report on mapping functions of higher polynomial
degrees (by Ralf Hartmann). These allow the realisation
of higher order boundary approximations. This report
gives the theoretical background of the
A report on assembling matrices (by Wolfgang Bangerth). This report looks in particular at how matrices are assembled for vector-valued problems, and how things change if vector-valued finite elements are used for which the shape functions have more than one non-zero vector component, such as Nedelec or Raviart-Thomas elements. There are printable versions of the report in postscript and PDF format.
A very detailed report on Nedelec elements (by Anna Schneebeli, University of Basel, Switzerland). It explains the construction and application of Nedelec edge elements for H-curl spaces, as used, for example, in the numerical solution of the Maxwell equations. It also gives numerical results obtained with deal.II. There is also a postscript version of the report.
A report on the codimension one capabilities of the library (by Antonio DeSimone, Luca Heltai and Cataldo Manigrasso, SISSA, Trieste, Italy). It explains in detail how to use the library for the solution of problems defined on codimension one manifolds, such as, for example, Boundary Element Methods.
A list of publications about and based on deal.II can be found on this page.
deal.II is copyright of the deal.II authors. It is a joint effort of the current maintainers, Wolfgang Bangerth, Timo Heister, Guido Kanschat, and quite a number of contributors. deal.II is distributed under an OpenSource license. The full text of the license can be found in license.html.
We have a discussion group for discussion of issues of general interest to users and developers of deal.II.
More specific questions may be sent to the authors immediately at the address firstName.lastname at dealii.org.