A clojure namespace documentation browser.
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Ayler: namespace browser

A web based namespace browser that's capable of displaying source code and docstrings for the namespaces/vars in your classpath. It's main features are:

  • Requires minimal (or no) dependencies in your project. It operates by connecting to a running nrepl.
  • Displays all loaded namespaces.
  • Displays all public member for a selected namespace.
  • Displays docstring for selected namespace.
  • Displays the docstring and source of selected var.
  • Allows you to search and load any namespace from a list of all namespaces in your classpath (provided you've added required dependencies).

For more information on installing and using this application please see the wiki.

Development environment setup

External dependencies

This project relies on external applications to manage different parts of it's life cycle. You'll need the following applications:

  • Nodejs (currently 0.10.x)
  • phantomjs (currently 1.9.x)
  • Leiningen - use version 2.3.2 (the output uberjar path differ from 2.2.x).

Once you have these installed run the following:

  • Install required node packages (make take some time):
    • npm install
  • Configure your environment to use the installed grunt command. Either one of the below will do:
    • export PATH=${PWD}/node_modules/.bin:$PATH
    • alias grunt=${PWD}/node_modules/.bin/grunt
    • Or just install grunt-cli as a global npm package.
  • Install required js/css dependencies (may take some time):
    • grunt vendor


Grunt Is a great tool for automating various tasks during the life cycle of a project. You can find the full configuration in the Gruntfile.js file. Here are a list of the most common tasks we use:

  • To generate required assets on every change (leave this running during all development sessions):
    • grunt
  • To run the karma (testacular) server (this is used together with the previous invocation to run the javascript tests on each change - note that you may need to set the PHANTOMJS_BIN environment variable to point to your phantomjs executable):
    • grunt karma:unit
  • To generate assets for production:
    • grunt production
  • To generate both fat jar (target/ayler-standalone.jar) and executable jar (target/ayler) run:
    • grunt release

During development it's advisable to run grunt on one terminal and grung karme:unit on another.

Managing application version

The application version should be configured in package.json and not in the expected project.clj. After changing the version in package.json run (see above about grunt):

# grunt version

and it will replace the version in all required places.

Querying outdated dependencies

There are tools to query outdated dependencies (both for assets and for clojure dependencies).

Clojure outdated dependencies could be queried using the lein-outdated plugin.

Node outdated packages could be queried in 2 ways:

  • Query for updates within the boundaries of your version constraint (e.g. if you specified ~1.2.0 as version you will not be shown version 1.3):
    • npm outdated
  • Query for updated regardless of version constraints:
    • npmedge

And last, for a list of outdated assets just run bower list. The up-to-date version should be specified alongside the existing version.

A note about asset dependencies

Most asset dependencies are downloaded from the internet by npm or bower. However some dependencies are not available by these tools. I created a vendor branch which holds dependencies like these. These dependencies are checked out on top of the current brunch by running grunt vendor.


Copyright © 2013 Haim Ashkenazi

Distributed under the GPLv3 license.