Simple JavaScript Duckumentation generator.
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API documentation generator for Sencha JavaScript frameworks.

JSDuck aims to be a better documentation generator for Ext JS than the old ext-doc was. It is used by Sencha to document Ext JS 4, Sencha Touch and several other products.

The highlights of JSDuck are Markdown support and keeping you DRY by inferring a lot of information from code. Read the Guide for full overview.

New to JSDuck? Watch introductory talk by Nick Poulden:

SenchaCon 2011 JSDuck talk

Getting it

Standard rubygems install should do:

$ [sudo] gem install jsduck

If you encounter errors during gem installation, you may need to install the header files for compiling extension modules for Ruby 1.9. For Debian systems you'll need the ruby1.9-dev package. For Red Hat / CentOS / Fedora use the ruby-devel package.

In OSX Mountain Lion the compilation of therubyracer dependency often fails for so far unknown reasons. Most users have found a solution in upgrading to Ruby 1.9 using RVM.

For Windows users out there, you can download the binary version, which includes Ruby interpreter and all dependencies bundled in a single .exe file. Grab it from the download page.

Alternatively you can install through rubygems, but you need to do some additional tweaks. First go and download therubyracer gem and v8 lib that stereobooster has built for windows. You need to install this special rubyracer version instead of the one from rubygems:

> gem install therubyracer-0.11.0beta1-x86-mingw32.gem

To make it actually work you need v8.dll somewhere in your system. Extract the take the v8.dll inside it and place into the bin directory of your Ruby installation (other dirs that are on your PATH can work too, but I've found this to be the most sensible place to put it). Now you're ready to install JSDuck:

> gem install jsduck


For the simplest test-run just use the --builtin-classes option to automatically produce documentation for JavaScript builtin classes like Array, String and Object:

$ jsduck --builtin-classes --output your/docs

You can also use --verbose option to see what's actually happening.

To generate docs for Ext JS 4 add path to the corresponding src/ dir:

$ jsduck ext-4.1.1/src \
         --builtin-classes \
         --images ext-4.1.1/docs/images \
         --warnings=-no_doc,-dup_member,-link_ambiguous \
         --external XMLHttpRequest \
         --output your/docs

The --images option specifies a path for images included with {@img} tags inside the source code.

The --warnings option disables some of the warnings which you would otherwise be overwhelmed with. That's because Ext JS 4.1.1 was released when JSDuck 4 wasn't out yet. Sorry for that, JSDuck just wants to be helpful. Similarly the --external option defines XMLHttpRequest as an external class, otherwise a warning would be thrown.

Another thing that often happens is that JSDuck is unable to determine into which class a member belongs and will place all such items into a global class - you can disable this using the --ignore-global switch. For full list of all command line options type jsduck --help. For help on a specific option use --help=--some-option.

To generate docs for your own project, simply name additional input directories:

$ jsduck ext-4.1.1/src project1/js project2/js ...

Note that the resulting documentation will only contain the API documentation. Guides, videos and examples will not be present. These can be added using more command line options as explained in the Advanced Usage section of wiki.

Documenting your code

For quick overview read the Guide and take a look at example.js. Follow links in the guide to digg into the details.

Looking for specific @tag? Take a look at the whole list of supported tags.

Hacking it

See Hacking guide in wiki.

Who's using JSDuck?

These are some that we know of. Want your project listed here? Drop us a line.


JSDuck is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 3.

JSDuck was developed by Rene Saarsoo, with many contributions from Nick Poulden.

Thanks to Ondřej Jirman, Thomas Aylott, johnnywengluu, gevik, ligaard, Bill Hubbard, Ed Spencer, atian25, Katherine Chu, Rob Dougan, Dave Thompson, burnnat, vjetteam, Chris Westbrook, Scott Whittaker, and many-many others who reported bugs, submitted patches, and provided a lot of useful input.


See Changelog page in wiki.

More questions?

Feel free to post an issue, but read the FAQ first.