An API Blueprint renderer with theme support


An API Blueprint renderer that supports multiple themes and outputs static HTML that can be served by any web host. API Blueprint is a Markdown-based document format that lets you write API descriptions and documentation in a simple and straightforward way. Currently supported is API Blueprint format 1A.

  • Fast parsing thanks to Protagonist
  • Asyncronous processing
  • Multiple templates/themes
  • Support for custom templates written in Jade
  • Include other documents in your blueprint
  • Commandline executable aglio -i -o api.html
  • Live preview server aglio -i --server
  • Node.js library require('aglio')
  • Excellent test coverage

Example output is generated from the example API Blueprint.

It is possible to include other files in your blueprint by using a special include directive with a path to the included file relative to the current file's directory. Included files can be written in API Blueprint, Markdown or HTML (or JSON for response examples). Included files can include other files, so be careful of circular references.

<!-- include( -->

For tools that do not support this include directive it will just render out as an HTML comment. API Blueprint may support its own mechanism of including files in the future, and this syntax was chosen to not interfere with the external documents proposal while allowing aglio users to include documents today.

Installation & Usage

There are two ways to use aglio: as an executable or as a library for Node.js.

Install aglio via NPM. You need Node.js installed and you may need to use sudo to install globally:

npm install -g aglio

Then, start generating HTML. Note that the built-in templates use scheme-relative URLs, so the resulting output files must be opened via http: or https:. Just opening the local file from the browser will result in a failure to load stylesheets and scripts. The -s option described below can help you with this.

# Default template
aglio -i -o output.html
# Get a list of built-in templates
aglio -l
# Built-in template
aglio -t slate -i -o output.html
# Custom template
aglio -t /path/to/template.jade -i -o output.html
# Run a live preview server on http://localhost:3000/
aglio -i -s
# Print output to terminal (useful for piping)
aglio -i -o -
# Disable condensing navigation links
aglio -i --no-condense -o output.html
# Render full-width page instead of fixed max width
aglio -i --full-width -o output.html

You can also use aglio as a library. First, install and save it as a dependency:

npm install --save aglio

Then, convert some API Blueprint to HTML:

var aglio = require('aglio');
// Render a blueprint with a template by name 
var blueprint = '# Some API Blueprint string';
var template = 'default';
aglio.render(blueprint, template, function (errhtmlwarnings) {
    if (err) return console.log(err);
    if (warnings) console.log(warnings);
// Render a blueprint with a custom template file 
var customTemplate = '/path/to/my-template.jade';
aglio.render(blueprint, customTemplate, function (errhtmlwarnings) {
    if (err) return console.log(err);
    if (warnings) console.log(warnings);
// Pass custom locals along to the template, for example 
// the following gives templates access to lodash and async 
var options = {
    template: '/path/to/my-template.jade',
    locals: {
        _: require('lodash'),
        async: require('async')
aglio.render(blueprint, options, function (errhtmlwarnings) {
   if (err) return console.log(err);
   if (warnings) console.log(warnings);

The following methods are available from the aglio library:

Get a list of internal template names that can be used when rendering.

aglio.getTemplates(function (errnames) {
    if (err) return console.log(err);
    console.log('Templates: ' + names.join(''));

Get a list of paths that are included in the blueprint. This list can be watched for changes to do things like live reload. The blueprint's own path is not included.

var blueprint = '# GET /foo\n<-- include(example.json -->\n';
var watchPaths = aglio.collectPathsSync(blueprint, process.cwd())

Render an API Blueprint string and pass the generated HTML to the callback. The options can either be an object of options or a simple template name or file path string. Available options are:

condenseNavbooltrueCondense navigation links
filterInputbooltrueFilter \r and \t from the input
localsobject{}Extra locals to pass to templates
templatestringTemplate name or path to custom template file
includePathstringprocess.cwd()Base directory for relative includes.
var blueprint = '...';
var options = {
    template: 'default',
    locals: {
        myVariable: 125
alio.render(blueprint, options, function (errhtmlwarnings) {
    if (err) return console.log(err);

Render an API Blueprint file and save the HTML to another file. The input/output file arguments are file paths. The options behaves the same as above for aglio.render.

aglio.renderFile('/tmp/', '/tmp/output.html', 'default', function (errwarnings) {
    if (err) return console.log(err);
    if (warnings) console.log(warnings);


Pull requests are encouraged! Feel free to fork and hack away, especially on new themes. The build system in use is Grunt, so make sure you have it installed:

npm install -g grunt-cli

Then you can build the source and run the tests:

# Lint/compile the Coffeescript
# Run the test suite
grunt test
# Generate an HTML test coverage report
grunt coverage
# Render examples
grunt examples

Themes are written using Jade, with support for Coffeescript and Stylus via filters. The output of aglio is a single HTML file, but custom themes can make use of Jade's extend and include directives, which allow you to split a theme among multiple files (the built-in themes do this). The locals available to themes look like the following:

apiThe API AST from Protagonist
condenseNavIf true, you should condense the nav if possible
dateDate and time handling from Moment.js
fullWidthIf true, you should consume the entire page width
highlightA function (code, lang) to highlight a piece of code
markdownA function to convert Markdown strings to HTML
slugA function to convert a string to a slug usable as an ID
hashA function to return an hash (currently MD5)

The default themes in the templates directory provide a fairly complete example of how to use the above locals. Remember, you can use any functionality available in Jade, Javascript, Coffeescript, CSS, and Stylus. Even though only one HTML page is generated, you can for example do client-side routing with Backbone, Sammy or Davis and get multiple pages on the client.


Copyright (c) 2014 Daniel G. Taylor