Create web-friendly cheat sheets from YAML with less redundant effort.
cheater helps you produce cheat sheets about programming (etc.). It is a commandline program that takes in YAML and outputs an HTML page.
Writing a cheat sheet with
cheater is simple:
cheater init -o foo.yml
cheater -i foo.yml
npm install -g cheater # you'll need '-g' to run `cheater` wherever you want
Here's a cheat sheet made by
You can run
cheater --help for standard usage info. But here's the process in full detail.
cheater init to generate a blank cheat sheet form and print it to the console. To write it to a file
foo.yml you can do
cheater init -o foo.yml or
cheater init > foo.yml.
cheater init can take some options:
-n, --number (init) output n blank entries [default: 10] -s, --simple (init) blank entry format: instead of "good" and "bad" code examples, use single field "code" [boolean] [default: false]
Open up the YAML file and have at it!
At the top of the file is one entry that is not like the others. Use it to title and attribute your cheat sheet. For example:
meta: Truetitle: An Example Cheat Sheetsubtitle: A Quick Reference on Something or Otherauthor: Michael Floeringhomepage: http://hangtwenty.ruhoh.com/
This doesn't have to live anywhere in particular: what makes this entry special is the
meta: True line.
There are two valid kinds of cheat sheet entry. This is the default format generated by
cheater init, given no other arguments:
subject: Metasyntactic Variablestip: foo bar bazgood: |foo bar bazbad: |whatever
The other form has a single code example. You can generate a form with this simpler format using
cheater init --simple:
subject: Metasyntactic Variablestip: foo bar bazcode: |foo bar baz
cheater will include any YAML files that specify at least one of the properties exemplified above. In other words, it will ignore blank entries like the one below:
subject:tip:good: |bad: |
So go ahead generate a big blank YAML form with plenty of entries; you will not pollute your cheat sheet by leaving some of them blank.
You should also note that you can add a field
boost to order your entries. The higher the
boost, the higher up the entry will be printed. Negative values are acceptible too.
subject: Metasyntactic Variablestip: foo bar bazgood: |foo bar bazbad: |whateverboost: 1000 # push it to the top of the heap
Note that this is the only ordering principle observed by
cheater. The vertical order of the entries in the YAML file(s) is disregarded.
If you find your data file is getting too long to be manageable, go ahead and split it into multiple YAML files.
cheater can take a directory as its
cheater -i foo/.
Now you can run cheater like this:
cheater -i foo.yml
It will write the rendered cheat sheet to the console. You can write the rendered cheat sheet to a file
bar.html like this:
cheater -i foo.yml -o foo.html
cheater -i foo.yml > foo.html
Finally, note that there is a non-required option
--templates available. You can use this to point
cheater at your own directory of (jade) templates. See the
templates/ folder in this repository for the expected format; if you want to customize the templates you should duplicate the
templates/ directory and tweak them as needed.
A cheat sheet output by
cheater is self-contained except for its stylesheet, which is Twitter Bootstrap loaded from BootstrapCDN.
If you want it to be entirely self-contained (i.e. for offline use), you can edit the outputted HTML to suit your needs - or for a more maintainable solution, feed
cheater some altered templates that suit your needs perfectly.
Word processors get me down. I hate using them when they are not absolutely appropriate (such as academic papers and other formal miscellany). The chrome, sluggishness, or monetary cost of some word processors interferes with producing simple content like a cheat sheet. If the document is generic enough to use a template, I'd rather stay out of word processor land (I'm not a fan of the templating capabilities in OpenOffice, Word, or Google Docs.)
I'll bet I'm not the only one who appreciates a good cheat sheet, but doesn't want to deal with writing one in a word processor. This utility will allow you to make cheat sheets with less wasted time. Hopefully, that means you'll also make the cheat sheets you'd otherwise never get around to making.