0.3.0 • Public • Published

    // otis

    (the next documentation generator)

    named after the documenter of the dock of some nameless bay somewhere.

    supported languages:

    • javascript
    • coffeescript
    • objective-c
    • c / c++
    • c#
    • java
    • python
    • ruby
    • gaelic. i think.

    how sick is this, bro?

    real sick. check it:

    • auto-append custom CSS to every single documentation build
      never have to waste any suffering on crappy or hyper-corporate color schemes again. hell, make your docs look like the dead sea scrolls or something. sky's the limit.
    • syntax highlighting: pygments.
    • templating: visionmedia/consolidate.js, which means just about every template engine ever is supported.
      • jade templates are provided out of the box. that's right. so sick you just threw up.
    • 3 markdown engines you can choose from:
      • showdown.js
      • github-flavored-markdown
      • marked
      • it wouldn't be hard at all to add support for more. the API is simply a synchronous function that takes one argument and returns the rendered markdown.
    • simple project config files
      uses node.js's native module require architecture to store settings per-project for generating documentation. that way you can just type otis in the project root -- nothing more. finally, you'll be able to get that frontal lobotomy without inconveniencing your coworkers -- you've earned it!
    • simple global config files
      ...in case you know you'll always want this or that flag specified, no matter what you're documenting.
    • a cakefile task
      because who doesn't love cake watching?
    • it documents Objective-C code
      why? because that's my godawful day job. otis will also help you document
      1. tearing the wings off of angels,
      2. grinding little puppies into big mac meat patties
      3. etc.


    Pygments (http://pygments.org)


    (this should easy_install pygments for you, but if not, it's not very hard to get it up and running manually)

    npm install -g otis


    $ otis [use <config>] [options] [files to document]

    when use <config> is present, otis will attempt to load config files in the following order:

    • ~/.otis/otis.config.js
    • ~/.otis/otis.config.<config>.js
    • ./otis.config.<config>.js

    ... and will bail if neither of the latter two could be found, assuming you have made a grave error of some kind. otis will not look for ./otis.config.js under these circumstances.

    when there is no 'use ' argument specified, otis will use this order instead:

    • ~/.otis/otis.config.js
    • ./otis.config.js

    + config files

    otis loads all of the config files it can find and merges them together, giving "override precedence" to the files listed closer to the bottom in the two lists above.

    so for example, if you have a home directory otis.config.js and also a current directory otis.config.js, otis will load both, and will allow anything in the current directory config to override the home directory config.

    + input files

    they're just your typical input files. four little NBs, though:

    • the list of files is relative to the path you give in the inDir argument (if you give one).
    • any of the files given can also be directories, in which case otis will recurse into them.
    • folder structure inside the input directory is preserved into the output directory.
    • output file names are simply <original filename with ext>.html.

    + options (you can put any of these in an otis.config.js file!)

      -i, --inDir           Input directory (defaults to current dir)
      -o, --outDir          Output directory (defaults to ./doc)
      -t, --tplDir          Directory containing dox.<ext>, code.<ext>, and tmpl.<ext>
      -e, --tplEngine       Template parser (see github.com/visionmedia/consolidate.js)
      -n, --tplExtension    Template file extension
      -m, --markdownEngine  Only two choices, cowboy.
      -u, --onlyUpdated     Only process files that have been changed
      -c, --colourScheme    Color scheme to use (as in pygmentize -L styles)
      -y, --css             CSS file to include after pygments CSS (you can specify this flag multiple times)
      -T, --tolerant        Will parse comments without a leading ! (ex: "/**! ...")
      -w, --watch           Watch on the input directory for file changes (experimental)
      -I, --ignoreHidden    Ignore hidden files and directories (starting with . or _)
      -s, --sidebarState    Whether the sidebar should be open or not by default
      -x, --exclude         Paths to exclude
      -W, --writeConfig     Write 'otis.config.js' in PWD using the options provided.
      -h, --help            Show this help text.

    otis.config.js dissection

    you can have otis auto-generate a config file for you in the current directory freezing whatever flags you pass to it into a reusable command. if the current directory or ~/.otis contain an otis.config.js file, all you have to type to generate beautiful, easily-navigable documentation is otis . (mind the dot)

    but, just for reference's sake, an otis.config.js file will basically look like this:

    module.exports = {
      inDir: './',
      outDir: './doc',
      tplDir: require("path").join(process.env.HOME, '.otis', 'templates'),
      tplEngine: 'jade',
      tplExtension: 'jade',
      markdownEngine: 'showdown',
      onlyUpdated: false,
      colorScheme: 'friendly',
      tolerant: false,
      ignoreHidden: true,
      sidebarState: true,
      exclude: 'otis.config.js,*.md,doc,node_modules,bin'

    yep, just a regular old node.js module.

    note that the keys on this object correlate 1 to 1 with the available command-line options. that's the plan moving forward indefinitely.


    there's currently only one file that otis is hard-coded to look for in ~/.otis, namely, otis.config.js (or otis.config.<config>.js as the case may be).

    however, it's also a great place to store your custom templates, custom css files, etc. as well. only difference is that you have to tell otis (yes, in a config file) that he should look there for them.

    don't waste your ~/.otis. put it to good use.


    1. process every file in the current directory into ./doc

    $ otis .

    2. process files in ./src to ./documents

    $ otis -i src -o documents


    $ otis -o documents src


    $ otis -o documents src/*

    note that in the first example, the contents of src will be mapped directly into documents whereas in the second and third examples, the files will be created inside documents/src.

    3. generate otis docs

    i will bequeath to you the secret, ancient command i use to generate this project's documentation. it does all of the following:

    • uses jade as the templating engine
    • uses custom jade templates sitting in my home directory instead of something ugly and hardcoded like with most doc tools
    • uses the "friendly" color scheme from pygments
    • modifies the "friendly" color scheme with custom CSS
    • outputs to a directory on the gh-pages branch of this repo
    • ignores files starting with _ or .
    • excludes the node_modules directory, the README.md file, and a few other things
    • ignores comment blocks that don't begin with a "!"

    the command is:

    $ otis .

    hahaaaaa, gotcha! see? use otis.config.js files. they're great.


    + strict-mode and tolerant-mode

    you may not want every single comment in your code to end up as a line in your documentation. otis assumes that to be the case by default and will only process a comment as documentation if the very first character after the comment delimiter is ! (an exclamation point).

    so, depending on the language, something like the following:

    //! slkdfjslkdjf 
     * alskdfjlaskjdf

    if you want to disable this behavior so that all comments become documentation, just use the --tolerant or -T flag on the command line, or include tolerant: true in your otis.config.js file.

    + color schemes

    these are exactly as in pygmentize -L styles:

    • monokai
    • manni
    • rrt
    • perldoc
    • borland
    • colorful
    • default
    • murphy
    • vs
    • trac
    • tango
    • fruity
    • autumn
    • bw
    • emacs
    • vim
    • pastie
    • friendly
    • native

    authors / contributors

    at the moment, only:

    bryn austin bellomy < bryn.bellomy@gmail.com >

    forefathers / ancestors

    otis owes unrepayable debts to:

    license (wtfpl)

    Version 2, December 2004
    Copyright (C) 2004 Sam Hocevar <[sam@hocevar.net](mailto:sam@hocevar.net)>
    Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim or modified 
    copies of this license document, and changing it is allowed as long 
    as the name is changed. 
    0. You just DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO. 




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