Generate Markdown-formatted READMEs from your Emacs Lisp file headers.
Emacs Lisp
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md-readme.el --- Markdown-formatted READMEs for your ELisp

Copyright (C) 2009 Thomas Kappler

This file is not part of GNU Emacs.

Licensed under the GPL version 3 or later.


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.




(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)
 '((emacs-lisp-mode . ((mdr-generate-readme . t)))))
(dolist (dir '("~/Projects/wpmail/" "~/Projects/md-readme/"))
   dir 'generate-README-with-md-readme))
(add-hook 'after-save-hook 
          '(lambda () (if (boundp 'mdr-generate-readme) (mdr-generate))))


  • 2009-11: First release.