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#LiveDocs Given a json spec generates a html file which can be used to test calls to an API.


  npm install -g livedocs


To generate Live docs from a spec file just run the livedocs command, the first argument should point to an live docs spec file, the second argument should point to a folder to place the html.

  livedocs ./specs/sample.json ./out

Note that at the moment the ./out folder needs to have a folder containing the major version number of your api.

eg, if you are on version 2.3.99 and that's what it says in your spec, you should ensure there is a folder called v2 in your out directory.

Custom Appearance

Livedocs 2.0.0 accepts 3 new arguments which allow you to customise the presentation and auth method of the generated docs.

livedocs ./livedocs-spec.json ./docs --css custom-docs/style.css --jade ./custom-docs/top.jade --js ./custom-docs/generate-token.js

If you add a js file it should expose two global functions:

window.getQueryHash = function() {};
window.getHeaderHash = function() {};


Livedocs does not support OAuth, it is designed to work with APIs that can serve content to a standalone web page.

We use a key and secret to generate a hash and then send the hashed value along to the server.

##Spec Format The best way to get an idea how the spec should be formed is to look at the examples in the spec directory.

This is an example JSON document taken as input:

And this is the HTML file generated from the html form:

##Format Overview:

  "server": "",
  "title": "My API Page Title",
  "prefix": "/api/v1",
  "version": "3.2.1",
  "endpoints" : [
      "name": "Assets",
      "description": "All the asset methods",
      "methods": [
          "name": "Create an Asset",
          "synopsis": "Create a new asset.",
          "method": "GET",
          "url": "/assets",
          "parameters": [
              "name": "assetId",
              "required": true,
              "type": "string",
              "location": "query",
              "default": "1",
              "description": "The ID of the asset you wish to create."


An endpoint is a collection of methods with at least a name property.

Endpoints consist of a name, description and an array of methods.


Each method can have the following properties:

  "name": "Create an Asset",
  "synopsis": "What the method does, supports  markdown.",
  "uri": "/assets",
  "method": "GET",
  "parameters": []


Note that you can specify middleware here too but it will not appear in the livedocs viewer.


Each method should define the parameters which can be passed to the method.

For each parameter you have the following fields:


The name of the method.


Will not allow the test form to be submitted without this value. If the middleware is used the request can also be rejected serverside if the value is missing.


The description that will appear in the testing harness. This field supports Markdown.


This is used for validation, possible values are:

  • string
  • json
  • number


This defines the HTML input that will be used to collect the data. Supported options include:

  • select
  • textarea
  • checkbox

If no input is specified livedocs will default to an input.

If no input type is specified it will become an input. If location is set to body it will be the only field sent in the body.


If you specify select as the input type you should also add an options array to the parameter object to state which values are allowed for this list.

    "name": "order",
    "location": "query",
    "required": true,
    "default": "ASC",
    "input": "select",
    "type": "string",
    "options": [
    "description": "How to order the fields, ASC or DESC."

Severside middleware can also be used to ensure values are only accepted which exist in the options array.

Here is a description of the parameters you can set:


    "name": "",
    "default": "",
    "location": "query/body/header",
    "hidden": "",
    "type": "number/string/json //html5 input type - text if none provided.",
    "input": "input/checkbox/select - default is input",
    "required": true


##Parameter Examples:

##About Live Docs

Livedocs is inspired by Mashery's IODocs (

The differences between the two are:

1.. Decent support for PUTTING/POSTING JSON bodies. The was actually one of the main reason for writing my own, at the time I started writing there was no support for PUT/POST JSON bodies. I found a pull request from two years previous that had not been responded. I poked mashery about this, but by the time they got back to me (only a day later) I had written most of Livedocs.

2.. No server, livedocs generates a HTML file from your routes, so as long as you have CORS enabled you can post directly to your API from your browser. this can make debugging easier and removes an level of abstraction that was unnecessary. For me at least.

3.. Standalone file, Livedocs works as a standalone file, which means you can just send your consumers a HTML file along with any required auth and they can start using testing your API immediately.

3.. Parameter Validation, Livedocs uses the same data validation types as HTML5 so you get HTML5 validation for free on the front end (assuming your using a reasonably modern browser). I have also written Restify middleware which can automatically validate against the main data types serverside.

eg, if you specified a field as required, if that parameter is no sent to the server the request will be rejected by the middleware just because its in your route spec.

4.. eco system - Livedocs has a number of other plugins that can be used with it to automatically create your routes from folders, auto validate....

5.. In browser crypto, lets users enter their key and secret and it will work out the hash for them.

I did look at making the modifications to IODocs but it felt like IODocs was trying to do more than I needed.


Please report any issue here:

This guide is a work in progress, if you spot any mistakes, please create a github issue.


Please submit pull requests.


This command will watch all the relevant files and regenerate the html file when changed.

  grunt dev

#Additional Components:

In the near future I plan to open source the following components which work with Livedocs:

##Livedocs Router

Store your routes in a logical folder struture and automatically create the spec file and your application from the folder structure

##Livedocs Middleware:

validator - check for required values, type checks and ensure enumerated list values are valid.