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README
= RDOC - Ruby Documentation System

This package contains RDoc and RDoc::Markup.  RDoc is an application that
produces documentation for one or more Ruby source files.  We work similarly to
JavaDoc, parsing the source, and extracting the definition for classes,
modules, and methods (along with includes and requires).  We associate with
these optional documentation contained in the immediately preceding comment
block, and then render the result using a pluggable output formatter.
RDoc::Markup is a library that converts plain text into various output formats.
The markup library is used to interpret the comment blocks that RDoc uses to
document methods, classes, and so on.

== Roadmap

* If you want to use RDoc to create documentation for your Ruby source files,
  read on.
* If you want to include extensions written in C, see RDoc::C_Parser
* For information on the various markups available in comment blocks, see
  RDoc::Markup.
* If you want to drive RDoc programmatically, see RDoc::RDoc.
* If you want to use the library to format text blocks into HTML, have a look
  at RDoc::Markup.
* If you want to try writing your own HTML output template, see
  RDoc::Generator::HTML

== Summary

Once installed, you can create documentation using the 'rdoc' command
(the command is 'rdoc.bat' under Windows)

  % rdoc [options] [names...]

Type "rdoc --help" for an up-to-date option summary.

A typical use might be to generate documentation for a package of Ruby
source (such as rdoc itself). 

  % rdoc

This command generates documentation for all the Ruby and C source
files in and below the current directory.  These will be stored in a
documentation tree starting in the subdirectory 'doc'.

You can make this slightly more useful for your readers by having the
index page contain the documentation for the primary file.  In our
case, we could type

  % rdoc --main rdoc.rb

You'll find information on the various formatting tricks you can use
in comment blocks in the documentation this generates.

RDoc uses file extensions to determine how to process each file.  File names
ending +.rb+ and <tt>.rbw</tt> are assumed to be Ruby source.  Files
ending +.c+ are parsed as C files.  All other files are assumed to
contain just Markup-style markup (with or without leading '#' comment markers).
If directory names are passed to RDoc, they are scanned recursively for C and
Ruby source files only.

= Markup

For information on how to make lists, hyperlinks, & etc. with RDoc, see
RDoc::Markup.

Comment blocks can be written fairly naturally, either using '#' on successive
lines of the comment, or by including the comment in an =begin/=end block.  If
you use the latter form, the =begin line must be flagged with an RDoc tag:

  =begin rdoc
  Documentation to be processed by RDoc.
  
  ...
  =end

RDoc stops processing comments if it finds a comment line containing '+#--+'.
This can be used to separate external from internal comments, or to stop a
comment being associated with a method, class, or module.  Commenting can be
turned back on with a line that starts '+#+++'.

  ##
  # Extract the age and calculate the date-of-birth.
  #--
  # FIXME: fails if the birthday falls on February 29th
  #++
  # The DOB is returned as a Time object.
  
  def get_dob(person)
    # ...
  end

Names of classes, source files, and any method names containing an underscore
or preceded by a hash character are automatically hyperlinked from comment text
to their description. 

Method parameter lists are extracted and displayed with the method description.
If a method calls +yield+, then the parameters passed to yield will also be
displayed:

  def fred
    ...
    yield line, address

This will get documented as:

  fred() { |line, address| ... }

You can override this using a comment containing ':yields: ...' immediately
after the method definition

  def fred # :yields: index, position
    # ...
  
    yield line, address

which will get documented as

   fred() { |index, position| ... }

+:yields:+ is an example of a documentation directive.  These appear immediately
after the start of the document element they are modifying.

== Directives

[+:nodoc:+ / +:nodoc:+ all]
  Don't include this element in the documentation.  For classes
  and modules, the methods, aliases, constants, and attributes
  directly within the affected class or module will also be
  omitted.  By default, though, modules and classes within that
  class of module _will_ be documented.  This is turned off by
  adding the +all+ modifier.
  
    module MyModule # :nodoc:
      class Input
      end
    end
    
    module OtherModule # :nodoc: all
      class Output
      end
    end
  
  In the above code, only class +MyModule::Input+ will be documented.

[+:doc:+]
  Force a method or attribute to be documented even if it wouldn't otherwise
  be.  Useful if, for example, you want to include documentation of a
  particular private method.

[+:notnew:+]
  Only applicable to the +initialize+ instance method.  Normally RDoc assumes
  that the documentation and parameters for #initialize are actually for the
  ::new method, and so fakes out a ::new for the class.  The :notnew: modifier
  stops this.  Remember that #initialize is protected, so you won't see the
  documentation unless you use the -a command line option.

Comment blocks can contain other directives:

[+:section: title+]
  Starts a new section in the output.  The title following +:section:+ is used
  as the section heading, and the remainder of the comment containing the
  section is used as introductory text.  Subsequent methods, aliases,
  attributes, and classes will be documented in this section.  A :section:
  comment block may have one or more lines before the :section: directive.
  These will be removed, and any identical lines at the end of the block are
  also removed.  This allows you to add visual cues such as:
    
    # ----------------------------------------
    # :section: My Section
    # This is the section that I wrote.
    # See it glisten in the noon-day sun.
    # ----------------------------------------

[+:call-seq:+]
  Lines up to the next blank line in the comment are treated as the method's
  calling sequence, overriding the default parsing of method parameters and
  yield arguments.

[+:include:+ _filename_]
  Include the contents of the named file at this point.  The file will be
  searched for in the directories listed by the +--include+ option, or in the
  current directory by default.  The contents of the file will be shifted to
  have the same indentation as the ':' at the start of the :include: directive.

[+:title:+ _text_]
  Sets the title for the document.  Equivalent to the --title command line
  parameter.  (The command line parameter overrides any :title: directive in
  the source).

[+:enddoc:+]
  Document nothing further at the current level.

[+:main:+ _name_]
  Equivalent to the --main command line parameter.

[+:stopdoc:+ / +:startdoc:+]
  Stop and start adding new documentation elements to the current container.
  For example, if a class has a number of constants that you don't want to
  document, put a +:stopdoc:+ before the first, and a +:startdoc:+ after the
  last.  If you don't specify a +:startdoc:+ by the end of the container,
  disables documentation for the entire class or module.

= Other stuff

Author::   Dave Thomas <dave@pragmaticprogrammer.com>

== Credits

* The Ruby parser in rdoc/parse.rb is based heavily on the outstanding
  work of Keiju ISHITSUKA of Nippon Rational Inc, who produced the Ruby
  parser for irb and the rtags package.

* Code to diagram classes and modules was written by Sergey A Yanovitsky
  (Jah) of Enticla. 

* Charset patch from MoonWolf.

* Rich Kilmer wrote the kilmer.rb output template.

* Dan Brickley led the design of the RDF format.

== License

RDoc is Copyright (c) 2001-2003 Dave Thomas, The Pragmatic Programmers.  It
is free software, and may be redistributed under the terms specified
in the README file of the Ruby distribution.

== Warranty

This software is provided "as is" and without any express or implied
warranties, including, without limitation, the implied warranties of
merchantibility and fitness for a particular purpose.

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