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A way to use Dox to document the public REST API provided by Express

branch: master
README.md

A simple wrapper for generating REST API documentation for Express-based projects. This combines the parsing of [dox][1] with a [Handlebars][2] template engine to produce HTML documentation describing a REST interface.

Keep in mind, the project makes some assumptions, so you probably want to really just clone this project and change it.

Installation

You can install by either running the following command:

npm install express-api-docs

Or adding the appropriate line to your package.json file.

Using

Create a JavaScript file, like make-docs.sh that contains the following:

   var api = require('express-api-docs');
   api.generate('app.js', 'public/api.html');

The api variable has a single function, generate(), which takes two parameters:

  • Input file specifies an app or router script (see below).
  • Output file where the HTML code should be placed.

Router File

Currently, the project reads a single file for all the routes. While most projects use the app.js file, you could separate the routes into another file that the app.js file calls. Something like a router.js file:

/**
 * Routes all API requests to particular functions.
 * This file would be referenced by the `app.js` file, as:
 *
 *      var app    = express.createServer();
 *      var routes = require('./router');
 *
 * And called:
 *
 *      routes.setup(app);
 */

var index = require('./routes/index');
var user = require('./routes/user');

module.exports.setup = function( app ) {
    app.get(   '/',            index.index );
    app.get(   '/user',        user.getAllUsers);  
    app.post(  '/user',        user.createUser);  
    app.get(   '/user/:email', user.getUser ); 
    app.delete('/user/:email', user.deleteUser);        
    app.put(   '/user/:email', user.updateUser );
};

The parsing code for analyzing the routes is currently very brittle and will be the first piece to be retooled.

Resource Entries

The documentation also reads Express-Resource entries. For instance:

app.resource('user',     require('./resources/user'));
app.resource('register', require('./resources/register'));
app.resource('apps',     require('./resources/application'));
app.resource('services', require('./resources/service'));

In this case, the files are read and the REST routes are determined based on the name of the function:

  • GET /name -> index()
  • GET /name/new -> new()
  • POST /name -> create()
  • GET /name/<ID> -> show()
  • GET /name/<ID>/edit -> edit()
  • PUT /name/<ID> -> update()
  • DELETE /name/<ID> -> destroy()

Release Notes

v 0.0.4

Bug Fix: Variable names that require other files now can include underbar characters.

v 0.0.3

Work with both Express routes (e.g. app.get) as well as Express Resource projects (e.g. app.resource).

v 0.0.2

Minor Update: Templates now use the Handlebars project.

v 0.0.1

Initial project that can parse a given JavaScript file containing Express routes, e.g. app.get and app.post, and infer the comments from the referenced files.

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