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a fledgling `perldoc` for node.js
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A fledgling perldoc for node.js.

nodedoc screenshot

To be clear, by "perldoc for node.js" I'm talking about a tool to view node.js docs on the command-line. I am not suggesting POD (embedded or otherwise) or other similar doc format for node.js code.


  1. Get node.

  2. npm install -g nodedoc

You should now have "nodedoc" on your PATH:

$ nodedoc --version
nodedoc 1.0.0


I think this is currently pretty useful. However, it is a quick hack (Markdown -> HTML -> ANSI escape-colored text, regex for parsing) so there are some less-than-rigorous limitations. Among them:

  • nested lists aren't handled properly
  • <ol> aren't handled properly

Usage Examples

List all nodedoc sections:

$ nodedoc -l
addons           Addons
appendix_1       Appendix 1 - Third Party Modules
assert           Assert
buffer           Buffer
child_process    Child Process

This will render and color the "fs.markdown" core document and page through it (using your PAGER environment setting, if any, else less -R):

$ nodedoc fs
... open 'fs' section in PAGER ...

If the given argument is not a section name, it will search all doc headers (in the node.js docs the headers are typically API names). Here we use '-l' to explicitly request a list of hits:

$ nodedoc -l stat
SECTION          API
fs               fs.stat(path, [callback])
fs               fs.lstat(path, [callback])
fs               fs.fstat(fd, [callback])
fs               fs.statSync(path)
fs               fs.lstatSync(path)
fs               fs.fstatSync(fd)
fs               Class: fs.Stats
http             response.writeHead(statusCode, [reasonPhrase], [headers])
http             response.statusCode
http             response.statusCode

You can limit the search to a specific section:

$ nodedoc -l http stat
http             response.writeHead(statusCode, [reasonPhrase], [headers])
http             response.statusCode
http             response.statusCode

If there is a single "exact" match (e.g. here "stat" matches the "fs.stat" method), then it will automatically open that document to the appropriate line:

$ nodedoc stat
... open 'fs.stat' section in PAGER ...
$ nodedoc spawn
... open 'child_process.spawn' section in PAGER ...


  • Find the terminal height in lines and if the list output will exceed that then page (a la git output).
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