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Simple JavaScript Duckumentation generator.
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Simple JavaScript Duckumentation generator.

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JsDuck aims to be a better documentation generator for ExtJS. While it tries to do everything that ext-doc does, it isn't satisfied with it and aims to make your life much easier.

Basically JsDuck thinks that the following doc-comment really sucks:

 * @class Ext.form.TextField
 * @extends Ext.form.Field
 * <p>Basic text field.  Can be used as a direct replacement for traditional
 * text inputs, or as the base class for more sophisticated input controls
 * (like {@link Ext.form.TextArea} and {@link Ext.form.ComboBox}).</p>
 * <p><b><u>Validation</u></b></p>
 * <p>The validation procedure is described in the documentation for
 * {@link #validateValue}.</p>
 * <p><b><u>Alter Validation Behavior</u></b></p>
 * <p>Validation behavior for each field can be configured:</p>
 * <div class="mdetail-params"><ul>
 * <li><code>{@link Ext.form.TextField#invalidText invalidText}</code> :
 * the default validation message to show if any validation step above does
 * not provide a message when invalid</li>
 * <li><code>{@link Ext.form.TextField#maskRe maskRe}</code> :
 * filter out keystrokes before any validation occurs</li>
 * <li><code>{@link Ext.form.TextField#stripCharsRe stripCharsRe}</code> :
 * filter characters after being typed in, but before being validated</li>
 * </ul></div>
 * @constructor Creates a new TextField
 * @param {Object} config Configuration options
 * @xtype textfield
Ext.form.TextField = Ext.extend(Ext.form.Field,  {

Not quite so readable is it? The source of ExtJS is filled with comments just like that, and when you use ext-doc, you too are forced to write such comments.

JsDuck does not like it. Although it can handle comments like this, it would like that you wrote comments like that instead:

 * Basic text field.  Can be used as a direct replacement for traditional
 * text inputs, or as the base class for more sophisticated input controls
 * (like Ext.form.TextArea and Ext.form.ComboBox).
 * Validation
 * ----------
 * The validation procedure is described in the documentation for
 * {@link #validateValue}.
 * Alter Validation Behavior
 * -------------------------
 * Validation behavior for each field can be configured:
 * - `{@link Ext.form.TextField#invalidText invalidText}` :
 *   the default validation message to show if any validation step above
 *   does not provide a message when invalid
 * - `{@link Ext.form.TextField#maskRe maskRe}` :
 *   filter out keystrokes before any validation occurs
 * - `{@link Ext.form.TextField#stripCharsRe stripCharsRe}` :
 *   filter characters after being typed in, but before being validated
 * @xtype textfield
Ext.form.TextField = Ext.extend(Ext.form.Field,  {

As you can see, JsDuck supports formatting comments with friendly Markdown syntax. And it can infer several things from the code (like @class and @extends in this case), so you don't have to repeat yourself. Also the constructor documentation is inherited from parent class - so you don't have to restate that it takes a config object again.

That's basically it. Have fun.

Getting it

Standard rubygems install should do:

$ [sudo] gem install jsduck

For hacking fork it from github.

$ git clone git://
$ cd jsduck
$ rake --tasks

JsDuck depends on json, RDiscount, and parallel plus RSpec for tests.


Just call it from command line with output directory and a directory containing your JavaScript files:

$ jsduck --verbose --output some/dir  your/project/js

The --verbose flag creates a lot of output, but at least you will see that something is happening.

You pass in both directories and JavaScript files. For example to generate docs for ExtJS 3, the simplest way is the following:

$ jsduck -v -o output/ ext-3.3.1/src/

But this will give you a bunch of warnings, so you should better create a script that takes just the files really needed and passes them through xargs to jsduck:

$ find ext-3.3.1/src/ -name '*.js' | egrep -v 'locale/|test/|adapter/' | xargs jsduck -v -o output/

Here's how the resulting documentation will look (ExtJS 3.3.1):

Here's the same for ExtJS 4:


Overview of documenting your code with JsDuck:

More details:

Features and differences from ext-doc

JsDuck has some strong opinions, so some things are intentionally missing.

  • Support for Markdown in comments
  • More things inferred from the code
  • No XML configuration file, just command line options
  • Class documentation header doesn't separately list Package and Class - these are IMHO redundant.
  • Class documentation header doesn't duplicate toolbar buttons - another redundancy
  • Ext.Component has a component icon too, not only its descendants

Missing features and TODO

  • Support for custom @tags. Ext-doc supports this, I personally have never used this feature, so I'm thinking it's not really needed.


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

JsDuck was developed by Rene Saarsoo, with contributions from Ondřej Jirman and Nick Poulden.


  • 0.6 - JsDuck is now used for creating the official ExtJS4 documentation.

    • Automatic linking of class names found in comments. Instead of writing {@link Ext.Panel} one can simply write Ext.Panel and link will be automatically created.
    • In generated docs, method return types and parameter types are also automatically linked to classes if such class is included to docs.
    • Support for {@img} tag for including images to documentation. The markup created by {@link} and {@img} tags can now be customized using the --img and --link command line options to supply HTML templates.
    • Links to source code are no more simply links to line numbers. Instead the source code files will contain ID-s like MyClass-cfg-style.
    • New tags: @docauthor, @alternateClassName, @mixins. The latter two Ext4 class properties are both detected from code and can also be defined (or overriden) in doc-comments.
    • Global methods are now placed to separate "global" class. Creation of this can be turned off using --ignore-global.
    • Much improved search feature. Search results are now ordered so that best matches are at the top. No more is there a select-box to match at beginning/middle/end - we automatically search first by exact match, then beginning and finally by middle. Additionally the search no more lists a lot of duplicates - only the class that defines a method is listed, ignoring all the classes that inherit it.
    • Support for doc-comments in SASS .scss files: For now, it's possible to document SASS variables and mixins.
    • Several bug fixes.
  • 0.5 - Search and export

    • Search from the actually generated docs (not through
    • JSON export with --json switch.
    • Listing of mixed into classes.
    • Option to control or disable parallel processing.
    • Accepting directories as input (those are scanned for .js files)
    • Many bug fixes.
  • 0.4 - Ext4 support

    • Support for Ext.define() syntax from ExtJS 4.
    • Showing @xtype and @author information on generated pages.
    • Showing filename and line number in warnings.
    • Fix for event showing the same doc as method with same name.
  • 0.3 - Performance improvements

    • Significant peed improvements - most importantly utilizing multiple CPU-s (if available) to speed things up. On my 4-core box JsDuck is now even faster than ext-doc.
    • Printing of performance info in verbose mode
    • Support for comma-first coding style
    • Few other fixes to JavaScript parsing
  • 0.2 - most features of ext-doc supported.

    • Links from documentation to source code
    • Syntax highlighting of code examples
    • Tree of parent classes
    • List of subclasses
  • 0.1 - initial version.

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