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swagger-dsl Build Status Dependencies NPM version

A CoffeeScript-based domain-specific language for generating JSON documents for Swagger.

Try it Now

See for an in-browser, interactive demonstration.


Here is a Swagger-DSL-format document describing a simple REST API:

swagger_version 1.2
api_version 3.2
base_path ''

GET '/user/{uid}':
  summary: 'Fetch the user with the specified `uid`.'
  returns: 'UserModel'
  produces: json
    uid:[path,int64,required,'The user identifier']
    401:'User or application must authenticate'
    403:'User not authorized to take this action'
    404:'No user with the given `uid`'

MODEL 'UserModel':
  uid:         ['User identifier',int64,required]
  given_name:  ['Last name',string]
  family_name: ['Last name',string]
  email:       ['Email address',required,string]
  tel:         ['Phone numbers',[ref:'PhoneNumber']]

MODEL 'PhoneNumber':
  type: [string,enum:['home','work','mobile','other'],required]
  number: [string,required]

When processed with swagger-dsl (for example, by executing swagger-dsl listings/user), the following Swagger Specification JSON document is generated:

  "apis": [
      "path": "/user/{uid}",
      "operations": [
          "summary": "Fetch the user with the specified <code>uid</code>.",
          "type": "UserModel",
          "produces": [
          "parameters": [
              "name": "uid",
              "paramType": "path",
              "type": "integer",
              "format": "int64",
              "required": true,
              "defaultValue": "The user identifier"
              "name": "include",
              "paramType": "query",
              "type": "string",
              "default": "family_name,given_name,email",
              "required": false,
              "format": "string"
          "responseMessages": [
              "code": "200",
              "message": "OK"
              "code": "401",
              "message": "Unauthorized; User or application must authenticate"
              "code": "403",
              "message": "Forbidden; User not authorized to take this action"
              "code": "404",
              "message": "Not Found; No user with the given `uid`"
          "method": "GET",
          "nickname": "get__user__uid_"
  "models": {
    "UserModel": {
      "properties": {
        "uid": {
          "description": "User identifier",
          "format": "int64",
          "type": "integer",
          "required": true
        "given_name": {
          "description": "Last name",
          "type": "string",
          "required": false
        "family_name": {
          "description": "Last name",
          "type": "string",
          "required": false
        "email": {
          "description": "Email address",
          "required": true,
          "type": "string"
        "tel": {
          "description": "Phone numbers",
          "type": "array",
          "items": {
            "$ref": "PhoneNumber"
          "required": false
      "id": "UserModel"
    "PhoneNumber": {
      "properties": {
        "type": {
          "type": "string",
          "enum": [
          "required": true
        "number": {
          "type": "string",
          "required": true
      "id": "PhoneNumber"
  "swaggerVersion": "1.2",
  "apiVersion": "3.2",
  "basePath": ""


Via npm

Swagger DSL is published as swagger-dsl on npm.

Hence you can install a pre-packaged version with the command:

npm install -g swagger-dsl

(Omit the -g to install swagger-dsl "locally" in the current working directory.)

From Source

The source code and documentation for Swagger DSL is available on GitHub at intellinote/swagger-dsl. You can clone the repository via:

git clone

Once you've cloned the respository, move (cd) into it and run:

make clean install test bin

in order to download and compile any external depedencies (install), run the unit test suite to confirm that everything was installed properly (test) and create the swagger-dsl script in the ./bin directory (bin).



Assuming swagger-dsl is in your $PATH (it will be in node_modules/.bin if you installed via npm, or ./bin if you installed from the source files) you can run:

swagger-dsl myfile.dsl

to generate a Swagger Specification JSON document from the Swagger DSL file myfile.dsl.

By default Swagger DSL will parse and execute each file you enumerate on the command line and print the resulting JSON document(s) to STDOUT.

You can use:

swagger-dsl myfile.dsl -o myfile.json

to write the output to the specified file.

Renaming output files with -x

You can also use:

swagger-dsl myfile.dsl -x "json"

to write the output to a file named myfile.dsl.json. (More generally, -x or --suffix specifies an extension to add to the input file name(s) to generate output file name(s). Hence:

swagger-dsl listings/*.dsl -x "json"

will process all files with the extension .dsl in the listings directory. The output from processing each file will be written to files with names that end with .dsl.json, also in the listings directory.)

Renaming output files with -r

For greater control over the generated filenames you can use the -r or --rename command line option to specify a rule for generating output file names based on input file names. For example:

swagger-dsl listings/*.dsl -r listings/*.dsl --rename '/^(.+)\.dsl$/,\"$1\"'

will change the extension from .dsl to .json.

More generally, -r or --rename accepts a comma-delimited regular expression, string pair. The regular expression will be matched against the input filename, and the string will be used to generate the output filename (by replacing $n with the text matching nth group in the regular expression).

swagger-dsl listings/*.dsl -x "json"

will process all files with the extension .dsl in the listings directory. The output from processing each file will be written to files with names that end with .dsl.json, also in the listings directory.)


The swagger-dsl library and related documentation are made available under an MIT License. For details, please see the file LICENSE.txt in the root directory of the repository.

How to contribute

Your contributions, bug reports and pull-requests are greatly appreciated.

We're happy to accept any help you can offer, but the following guidelines can help streamline the process for everyone.

  • You can report any bugs at

    • We'll be able to address the issue more easily if you can provide an demonstration of the problem you are encountering. The best format for this demonstration is a failing unit test (like those found in ./test/), but your report is welcome with or without that.
  • Our preferred channel for contributions or changes to the source code and documentation is as a Git "patch" or "pull-request".

    • If you've never submitted a pull-request, here's one way to go about it:

      1. Fork or clone the repository.
      2. Create a local branch to contain your changes (git checkout -b my-new-branch).
      3. Make your changes and commit them to your local repository.
      4. Create a pull request as described here.
    • If you'd rather use a private (or just non-GitHub) repository, you might find these generic instructions on creating a "patch" with Git helpful.

  • If you are making changes to the code please ensure that the unit test suite still passes.

  • If you are making changes to the code to address a bug or introduce new features, we'd greatly appreciate it if you can provide one or more unit tests that demonstrate the bug or exercise the new feature.

Please Note: We'd rather have a contribution that doesn't follow these guidelines than no contribution at all. If you are confused or put-off by any of the above, your contribution is still welcome. Feel free to contribute or comment in whatever channel works for you.


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