manpages from header comments
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README.markdown

binman - manpages from header comments

binman generates manual pages from header comments in your scripts so that you can keep your documentation and implementation together, in the same file, for easy maintenance. But keeping them apart, in separate files, is supported too.

screenshot

Features

  • Direct support for any scripting language that has multi-line comments or uses # for single-line comments such as Ruby, Perl, PHP, Python, R, Tcl, Node.js, Elixir, make, AWK, sed, UNIX shells, Windows PowerShell and more!

  • Individual commands for manual page extraction, conversion, and display.

  • Accessible from the command line and also as a library in [Ruby] scripts.

  • Implemented in roughly 165 statement lines (SLOC) of pure [Ruby] code! :-)

Examples

Here are some examples of HTML manual page sets generated by binman-rake(1):

For examples of input and output files, see "From the command line" below.

Installation

Requirements

  • Ruby 1.8.7 or newer

For users

If you only want to view pre-built manual pages:

gem install binman

If you also want to build your own manual pages:

gem install md2man -v '~> 5.1'

For developers

git clone https://github.com/sunaku/binman
cd binman
bundle install
bundle exec rake --tasks       # packaging tasks
bundle exec binman-text --help # run it directly
bundle exec binman-roff --help # run it directly
bundle exec binman-html --help # run it directly
bundle exec binman-show --help # run it directly
bundle exec binman-help --help # run it directly
bundle exec binman-rake --help # run it directly

Usage

First, write md2man(5) text for your script: either in a comment at the top of your script file, described as "Embedded manpage sources" in binman-text(1), or in a separate Markdown file located at man/man?/*.?.{markdown,mkd,md}.

  • For real examples of what to write, see "From the command line" below.
  • For the detailed syntax and semantics of what to write, see md2man(5).

Next, you have two ways of generating manual pages from what you've written:

  1. Generate manual pages at "compile time" and ship them with your scripts.
  2. Generate manual pages at "run time" so that your scripts are standalone.

At compile time

Run binman-rake(1) to generate manual pages for all of your ./bin/* scripts.

Alternatively, to have more control over the generation of your manual pages:

  • Run binman-text(1) to extract manual page text from a specified script.
  • Run binman-roff(1) to generate a UNIX manual page from a specified script.
  • Run binman-html(1) to generate a HTML manual page from a specified script.

From the command line

Below are some real examples of generating manual pages from the command line. Note that binman-rake(1) abstracts away all of the complexity you see below!

dasht(1):

dasht-docsets(1):

dasht-docsets-install(1):

dasht-docsets-remove(1):

dasht-docsets-update(1):

dasht-query-exec(1):

dasht-query-html(1):

dasht-query-line(1):

dasht-server(1):

dasht-server-http(1):

tork(1):

tork-runner(1):

tork-herald(1):

tork-driver(1):

tork-engine(1):

tork-master(1):

tork-remote(1):

tork-notify(1):

binman(1):

binman-text(1):

binman-roff(1):

binman-html(1):

binman-show(1):

binman-help(1):

binman-rake(1):

md2man-roff(1):

md2man-html(1):

md2man-rake(1):

For a Ruby package

Add this snippet to your gemspec file:

s.files += Dir['man/man?/*.?']         # UNIX manpages
s.files += Dir['man/**/*.{html,css}']  # HTML webpages
s.add_development_dependency 'md2man', '~> 5.1'

Add the following line to your Rakefile:

require 'binman/rakefile'

You now have a rake binman task that pre-builds UNIX manual page files for your bin/ scripts into a man/ directory so that your end-users do not need md2man installed in order to view the manual pages you've embedded therein! There are also sub-tasks to build manual pages individually as roff or HTML.

If you're using Bundler, this task also hooks into its gem packaging tasks and ensures that your UNIX manual pages are pre-built and packaged into your gem:

bundle exec rake build
gem spec pkg/*.gem | fgrep man/man

At run time

Run binman-show(1) to display the manual page (which may have been pre-generated at "compile time") for a specified script.

Alternatively, an easy way to add support for -h and --help options in a specified script is to run binman-help(1) with its file path and command line arguments. This displays its manual page (which may have been pre-generated at "compile time") only when those help options are found in its arguments.

From a shell script

#!/usr/bin/sh
# your program's manual page goes here

# OPTION 1: show manual and exit if ARGV has -h or --help except after --
binman-help "$0" "$@" && exit

# OPTION 2: show manual unconditionally
binman-show "$0"

From a Ruby script

#!/usr/bin/env ruby
# your program's manual page goes here

require 'binman'

# OPTION 1: show manual and exit if ARGV has -h or --help except after --
BinMan.help

# OPTION 2: show manual unconditionally
BinMan.show

You can also specify your program's source file encoding above the manual:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
# your program's manual page goes here

You can also write the manual as a multi-line Ruby comment:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby
=begin
your program's manual page goes here
=end

You can also specify your program's source file encoding above the manual:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
=begin
your program's manual page goes here
=end

See the API documentation for even more possibilities!

From a Perl script

#!/usr/bin/env perl
# your program's manual page goes here

# OPTION 1: show manual and exit if ARGV has -h or --help except after --
system('binman-help', __FILE__, @ARGV) == 0 and exit;

# OPTION 2: show manual unconditionally
system('binman-show', __FILE__);

You can also write the manual as a multi-line Ruby comment after __END__:

#!/usr/bin/env perl
print "your program's code goes here";
__END__
=begin
your program's manual page goes here
=end

From a Python script

#!/usr/bin/env python
# your program's manual page goes here

import sys, subprocess

# OPTION 1: show manual and exit if ARGV has -h or --help except after --
subprocess.call(['binman-help', __file__] + sys.argv) == 0 and sys.exit()

# OPTION 2: show manual unconditionally
subprocess.call(['binman-show', __file__])

You can also specify your program's source file encoding above the manual:

#!/usr/bin/env python
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
# your program's manual page goes here

You can also write the manual as a multi-line Ruby comment inside a docstring:

#!/usr/bin/env python
"""
=begin
your program's manual page goes here
=end
"""

You can also specify your program's source file encoding above the manual:

#!/usr/bin/env python
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
"""
=begin
your program's manual page goes here
=end
"""

From an AWK script

The technique for determining current AWK script file name comes from here.

#!/usr/bin/awk -f
# your program's manual page goes here

# OPTION 1: show manual and exit if ARGV has -h or --help except after --
BEGIN {getline c <"/proc/self/cmdline"; sub(".*-f\0"," ",c); gsub("\0"," ",c);
       if(system("binman-help" c) == 0){ exit }}

# OPTION 2: show manual unconditionally
BEGIN {getline c <"/proc/self/cmdline"; sub(".*-f\0"," ",c); sub("\0.*","",c);
       system("binman-show" c)}

From a Tcl script

#!/usr/bin/env tclsh
# your program's manual page goes here

# OPTION 1: show manual and exit if ARGV has -h or --help except after --
if {![catch {exec -- >/dev/tty binman-help $argv0 {*}$argv}]} {exit}

# OPTION 2: show manual unconditionally
exec >/dev/tty binman-show $argv0

You can also write the manual as a multi-line Ruby comment inside an if 0:

#!/usr/bin/env tclsh
if 0 {
=begin
your program's manual page goes here
=end
}

From a Node.js script

/*
=begin
your program's manual page goes here
=end
*/

var exec = require('child_process').exec;

// OPTION 1: show manual and exit if ARGV has -h or --help except after --
exec(['>/dev/tty', 'binman-help', __filename].concat(process.argv).
join(' '), function(error){ if (error === null){ process.exit(); } });

// OPTION 2: show manual unconditionally
exec(['>/dev/tty', 'binman-show', __filename].join(' '));

License

Like my work? ๐Ÿ‘ Please spare a life today as thanks! ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿท๐Ÿ”๐ŸŸ๐Ÿ™ŠโœŒ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ž

Copyright 2011 Suraj N. Kurapati https://github.com/sunaku

Released under the ISC license. See the LICENSE file for details.