DocKnot

Blurb

DocKnot is a system for generating consistent human-readable software package documentation from metadata files and templates. The metadata is primarily JSON files, but can include files of documentation snippets. The goal is to generate both web pages and distributed documentation files (such as README) from the same source, using templates for consistency across multiple packages.

Description

After years of maintaining a variety of small free software packages, I found the most tedious part of making a new release was updating the documentation in multiple locations. Copyright dates would change, prerequisites and package descriptions would change, and I had to update at least the package README file and its web pages separately. The last straw was when GitHub became popular and I wanted to provide a Markdown version of README as well, avoiding the ugly text rendering on the GitHub page for a package.

This package uses one metadata directory as its source information and generates all the various bits of documentation for a package. This allows me to make any changes in one place and then just regenerate the web page, included documentation, and other files to incorporate those changes. It also lets me make changes to the templates to improve shared wording and push that out to every package I maintain during its next release, without having to remember which changes I wanted to make.

DocKnot was designed and written for my personal needs, and I'm not sure it will be useful for anyone else. At the least, the template files are rather specific to my preferences about how to write package documentation, and the web page output is in my personal thread language as opposed to HTML. I'm not sure if I'll have the time to make it a more general tool. But you're certainly welcome to use it if you find it useful, send pull requests to make it more general, or take ideas from it for your own purposes.

Currently included in this package are just the App::DocKnot module (which contains most of the logic), a small docknot driver program, and the templates I use for my own software. Over time, it may include more of my web publishing framework, time permitting.

Requirements

Perl 5.18 or later and Module::Build are required to build this module. The following additional Perl modules are required to use it:

IPC::System::Simple is required to run the test suite. The following additional Perl modules will be used by the test suite if present:

All are available on CPAN. Those tests will be skipped if the modules are not available.

Download

The distribution:

DocKnot 1.01 2016-12-25 tar.gz (PGP signature) tar.xz (PGP signature)

An archive of older releases is also available.

A Debian package is available from my personal repository.

DocKnot is maintained using the Git version control system. To check out the current development tree, see GitHub or clone:

    https://git.eyrie.org/git/devel/docknot.git

Pull requests on GitHub are welcome. You can also browse the current development source.

Documentation

User documentation:

Developer documentation:

License

The DocKnot package as a whole is covered by the following copyright and license:

Copyright 2013-2016 Russ Allbery <rra@cpan.org>

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

Some individual source files are covered by other, compatible licenses. For complete copyright and license information, see the file LICENSE in the DocKnot source distribution.

Last modified and spun 2016-12-25