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Dictum

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Create automatic documentation of your Rails APIs.

Installation

Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'dictum'

And then execute:

$ bundle install

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install dictum

Usage

First, run:

$ bundle exec rake dictum:configure [PATH_TO_HELPER_FILE]

This will create a basic Rspec configuration for Dictum in spec/support/spec_helper.rb or PATH_TO_HELPER_FILE, along with Dictum's initializer file (/config/initializers/dictum.rb).

To document an endpoint, you have to append dictum: true to your controller's it statements, as shown below:

# spec/controllers/my_resource_controller_spec.rb
require 'rails_helper'

describe V1::MyResourceController do
  Dictum.resource(
    name: 'MyResource',
    description: 'This is MyResource description.'
  )

  describe '#some_method' do
    context 'some context for my resource' do
      it 'returns status ok', dictum: 'This property exists to add a description to the endpoint. If you do not want a description, just set it to true' do
        get :index
        expect(response_status).to eq(200)
      end
    end
  end
end

Then execute:

$ bundle exec rake dictum:document

And voilà, Dictum will create a document like this in /docs/Documentation.md.

Error codes

Dictum supports the documentation of the custom error codes of your API. In order to do this you need to send an array of errors with a specific format, like the following:

ERROR_CODES = [
  {
    code: 1234,
    message: 'This is a short description of the error, usually what is returned in the body of the response.',
    description: 'This is a larger and more detailed description of the error, usually you want to show this only in the documentation'
  }
]

# spec_helper.rb
Dictum.error_codes(ERROR_CODES)

We recommend you to define your error codes in a module or class with useful methods like get(error_code) and get_all, like this one.

Descriptive usage

Also, if you prefer to have more control over your endpoints documentation, you can use Dictum in the most verbose and fully customizable way, as shown below:

# spec/controllers/my_resource_controller_spec.rb
require 'rails_helper'

describe V1::MyResourceController do
  Dictum.resource(
    name: 'MyResource',
    description: 'This is MyResource description.'
  )

  describe '#some_method' do
    context 'some context for my resource' do
      it 'returns status ok' do
        get :index
        Dictum.endpoint(
          resource: 'MyResource',
          endpoint: '/api/v1/my_resource/:id',
          http_verb: 'POST',
          description: 'This optional property exists to add a description to the endpoint.',
          request_headers: { 'AUTHORIZATION' => 'user_token',
                             'Content-Type' => 'application/json',
                             'Accept' => 'application/json' },
          request_path_parameters: { id: 1, page: 1 },
          request_body_parameters: { some: 'parameter' },
          response_headers: { 'some_header' => 'some_header_value' },
          response_status: response.status,
          response_body: response_body
        )
        expect(response_status).to eq(200)
      end
    end
  end
end

Dynamic HTML documentation

So far so good, but your team needs to read the documentation everytime you update it, and sending the documentation file to them doesn't seem too practical. Instead you can use the HTML version of Dictum and generate static views with the content. Here is a very basic example of what you can do to generate the views and routes dynamycally:

# /config/initializers/dictum.rb
Dictum.configure do |config|
  config.output_path = Rails.root.join('app', 'views')
  config.root_path = Rails.root
  config.output_filename = 'docs'
  config.output_format = :html
  config.index_title = 'My documentation title'
  config.header_title = 'API doc'
  config.inline_css = File.read(Rails.root.join('app', 'assets', 'stylesheets', 'documentation.css'))
end

Here we are telling Dictum to generate the HTML documentation in 'app/views/docs', where it will put one HTML file per resource you have defined. Now that we have the files, lets create the routes for them:

# config/routes.rb
YourApp::Application.routes.draw do
  #
  # Other routes defined
  #

  doc_paths = Dir["#{Rails.root.join('app', 'views', 'docs')}/*"].each do |path|
    resource = path.split('/').last.gsub('.html', '')
    get "/docs/#{resource}", to: "docs##{resource}"
  end
end

Of course you will need to have a controller for this, in this case one named 'docs_controller.rb'. And finally go to 'http://localhost:3000/docs/index.html'

This is an HTML example:

You can customize the HTML using css like this example.

Contributing

  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Run rubocop lint (rubocop -R --format simple)
  5. Run rspec tests (bundle exec rspec)
  6. Push your branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  7. Create a new Pull Request

About

This project is maintained by Alejandro Bezdjian and it was written by Wolox.

Wolox

License

Dictum is available under the MIT license.

Copyright (c) 2017 Wolox

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.