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;;; md-readme.el --- Markdown-formatted READMEs for your ELisp
;; Copyright (C) 2009 Thomas Kappler
;; Author: Thomas Kappler <>
;; Created: 2009 November 07
;; Keywords: lisp, help, readme, markdown, header, documentation, github
;; URL: <>
;; This file is not part of GNU Emacs.
;; This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
;; it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
;; the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
;; (at your option) any later version.
;; This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
;; but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
;; GNU General Public License for more details.
;; You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
;; along with this program. If not, see <>.
;;; Commentary:
;; The git-based source code hosting site <> has
;; lately become popular for Emacs Lisp projects. Github has a feature
;; that displays files named "README[.suffix]" automatically on a
;; project's main page. If these files are formatted in Markdown, the
;; formatting is interpreted. See
;; <> for more information.
;; Emacs Lisp files customarily have a header in a fairly standardized
;; format. md-readme extracts this header, re-formats it to Markdown,
;; and writes it to the file "" in the same directory. If you
;; put your code on github, you could have this run automatically, for
;; instance upon saving the file or from a git pre-commit hook, so you
;; always have an up-to-date README on github.
;; It recognizes headings, the GPL license disclaimer which is
;; replaced by a shorter notice linking to the GNU project's license
;; website, lists, and normal paragraphs. Lists are somewhat tricky to
;; recognize automatically, and the program employs a very simple
;; heuristic currently.
;;; Dependencies:
;; None.
;;; Installation:
;; (require 'md-readme), then you can call mdr-generate manually. I
;; have not found a way to call it automatically that I really like,
;; but here is one that works for me:
;; (require 'md-readme)
;; (dir-locals-set-class-variables
;; 'generate-README-with-md-readme
;; '((emacs-lisp-mode . ((mdr-generate-readme . t)))))
;; (dolist (dir '("~/Projects/wpmail/" "~/Projects/md-readme/"))
;; (dir-locals-set-directory-class
;; dir 'generate-README-with-md-readme))
;; (add-hook 'after-save-hook
;; '(lambda () (if (boundp 'mdr-generate-readme) (mdr-generate))))
;;; History:
;; 2009-11: First release.
;;; Code:
(defun mdr-generate (&optional out-filename)
"Generate from the header of the current file."
(let ((header (mdr-extract-header)))
(with-temp-file (or out-filename "")
(insert header)
(defun mdr-generate-batch ()
"Generate from elisp files on the command line.
Takes two command line arguments: the elisp filename, and the target
Markdown filename (which defaults to ''."
(let ((in-filename (expand-file-name (or (car command-line-args-left) "")))
(out-filename (expand-file-name (or (cadr command-line-args-left) ""))))
(message "Generating %s from %s..." out-filename in-filename)
(with-current-buffer (find-file in-filename)
(mdr-generate out-filename))
(setq command-line-args-left (cddr command-line-args-left))))
(defun mdr-convert-header ()
"Convert the header to Markdown.
This function transforms the header in-place, so be sure to
extract the header first with mdr-extract-header and call it on
the copy."
(goto-char (point-min))
(while (< (line-number-at-pos) (line-number-at-pos (point-max)))
(when (looking-at ";;")
(delete-char 2)
(cond ((looking-at ";") ; heading
(delete-char 1)
(if (looking-at " Code:?")
(delete-region (point) (line-end-position))
(insert "#")
(when (looking-at ":")
(delete-char 1)))))
((mdr-looking-at-list-p) (insert "*"))
(t (delete-char 1)))) ; whitespace
(forward-line 1)))
(defun mdr-extract-header ()
"Extract the standard ELisp file header into a string."
(buffer-substring (point-min) (mdr-end-of-header)))
(defun mdr-end-of-header ()
"Find the end of the header and return its position."
(goto-char (point-min))
(while (or (looking-at "\n") (looking-at ";;"))
(forward-line 1))
(defun mdr-looking-at-list-p ()
"Determine if the line we're looking should become a list item.
Requires point to be at the beginning of the line."
(looking-at " ?[-a-zA-Z0-9]+:")) ; why does [:alnum:] not work?
(defun mdr-find-and-replace-disclaimer ()
"Find the GPL license disclaimer, and replace it with a
one-line note linked to the GPL website."
(goto-char (point-min))
(when (search-forward "This program is free software" nil t)
(let ((start-line (progn (beginning-of-line) (point)))
(end-line (search-forward
"If not, see <>."
nil t)))
(delete-region start-line end-line)
(insert "Licensed under the [GPL version 3]( or later.")))))
(provide 'md-readme)
;;; md-readme.el ends here