What's New in 0.6.x?

  1. Local documentation server for RubyGems or projects (yard server) (0.6.0)
  2. Groups support for method listing (0.6.0)
  3. Single file template (--one-file) support (0.6.0)
  4. yard CLI executable with pluggable commands (0.6.0)
  5. yard diff command to object-diff two versions of a project (0.6.0)
  6. Added --asset option to yardoc (0.6.0)
  7. New template API (0.6.0)
  8. HTML template now adds inline Table of Contents for extra files pages (0.6.0)
  9. Removed --incremental in favour of --use-cache (0.6.0)
  10. Ad-hoc tag registration via yardoc CLI (--tag, etc.) (0.6.0)
  11. Added --transitive-tags to register transitive tags (0.6.0)
  12. yardoc now displays RDoc-like statistics (--no-stats to hide) (0.6.0)
  13. yri now works on constants (0.6.0)
  14. Plugins are no longer auto-loaded (added --plugin switch) (0.6.2)
  15. Added YARD::Config API and ~/.yard/config configuration file (0.6.2)
  16. Added yard config command to view/edit configuration (0.6.2)
  17. Added yard server -t template path switch (0.6.2)
  18. Added YARD::Server.register_static_path for static server assets (0.6.2)
  19. YARD::Registry is now thread local (0.6.5)
  20. Support for ripper gem in Ruby 1.8.7 (0.6.5)

Local documentation server for RubyGems or projects (yard server) (0.6.0)

The new yard server command spawns a documentation server that can serve either documentation for a local project or installed RubyGems. The server will host (by default) on http://localhost:8808.

To serve documentation for the active project (in the current directory):

$ yard server

The server can also run in "incremental" mode for local projects. In this situation, any modified sources will immediately be updated at each request, ensuring that the server always serve the code exactly as it is on disk. Documenting your code in this fashion essentially gives you an efficient a live preview without running a separate command everytime you make a change. To serve documentation for the active project in incremental mode:

$ yard server --reload

Note that in incremental mode, objects or method groupings cannot be removed. If you have removed objects or modified groupings, you will need to flush the cache by deleting .yardoc and (optionally) restarting the server.

The documentation server can also serve documentation for all installed gems on your system, similar to gem server, but using YARD's functionality and templates. To serve documentation for installed gems:

$ yard server --gems

Documentation for the gem need not be previously generated at install-time. If documentation for the gem has not been generated, YARD will do this for you on-the-fly. It is therefore possible to speed up your gem installs by using gem install GEMNAME --no-rdoc without repercussion. You can also add this switch to your ~/.gemrc file so that you don't need to re-type it each time. See this link for exact instructions.

Groups support for method listing (0.6.0)

You can now organize methods in a class/module into logical separated groups. These groups apply lexically and are listed in the order they are defined. For instance, to define a group:

# @group Rendering an Object

# Documentation here
def foo; end

# Extra documentation...
def bar; end

# @group Another Group

def aaa; end

Note that these @group and @endgroup declarations are not "tags" and should always be separated with at least 1 line of whitespace from any other documentation or code.

In the above example, "Rendering an Object" will be listed with "foo" and "bar" above "Another Group", even though "aaa" comes before the two other methods, alphabetically. To end a group, use @endgroup. It is not necessary to end a group to start a new one, only if there is an object following the group that should not belong in any group.

# @group Group 1

def foo; end

# @endgroup

# This method should not be listed in any group
def bar; end

Single file template (--one-file) support (0.6.0)

yardoc now has the --one-file option to generate a single-file template for small scripts and libraries. In this case, any comments at the top of the script file will be recognized as a README.

yard CLI executable with pluggable commands (0.6.0)

The yardoc and yri commands are not deprecated and can continue to be used. They are shortcuts for yard doc and yard ri respectively. However, yard-graph has been removed.

YARD now has a yard executable which combines all pre-existing and new commands into a single pluggable command that is both easier to remember and access. To get a list of commands, type yard --help.

If you are a plugin developer, you can create your own yard command by first subclassing the YARD::CLI::Command class and then registering this class with the YARD::CLI::CommandParser.commands list. For instance:

YARD::CLI::CommandParser.commands[:my_command] = MyCommandClass

The above line will enable the user to execute yard my_command [options].

yard diff command to object-diff two versions of a project (0.6.0)

One of the built-in commands that comes with the new yard executable is the ability to do object-oriented diffing across multiple versions of the same project, either by 2 versions of a gem, or 2 working copies. Just like regular diffing tells you which lines have been added/removed in a file, object diffing allows you to see what classes/methods/modules have been added/removed between versions of a codebase.

For an overview of how to use yard diff, see YARD Object Oriented Diffing.

yard stats to display statistics and undocumented objects (0.6.0)

YARD now outputs the following statistics when yard stats is run:

Files:         125
Modules:        35 (    4 undocumented)
Classes:       139 (   29 undocumented)
Constants:      53 (   20 undocumented)
Methods:       602 (   70 undocumented)
 85.16% documented

Note that these statistics are based on what you have set to show in your documentation. If you use @private tags and/or do not display private/protected methods in your documentation, these will not show up as undocumented. Therefore this metric is contextual.

You can also specifically list all undocumented objects (and their file locations) with the --list-undoc option.

Added --asset option to yardoc (0.6.0)

The yardoc command can now take the --asset option to copy over files/directories (recursively) to the output path after generating documentation. The format of the argument is "from:to" where from is the source path and to is the destination. For instance, YARD uses the following syntax in the .yardopts file to copy over image assets from the 'docs/images' directory into the 'images' directory after generating HTML:

--asset docs/images:images

New template API (0.6.0)

The new template API allows for easier insertion of sections within an inherited template. You should no longer need to insert by index, an error-prone process that could break when a template is updated. Instead of:




You can see more in the Templates document.

HTML template now adds inline Table of Contents for extra files pages (0.6.0)

A table of contents is now generated dynamically using JavaScript for extra file pages (such as README's, or this document). It is generated based off the headers (h1,h2,... tags) used in the document, and can be floated to the right or listed inline on the page.

Ad-hoc tag registration via yardoc CLI (--tag, etc.) (0.6.0)

Simple meta-data tags can now be added at the command-line and registered to display in templates in a number of pre-defined ways. For instance, to create a freeform text tag, use the following:

--tag my_tag_name:"My Tag Title"

You can also create a "typed" tag (similar to @return), a typed named tag (similar to @param) as well as various combinations. The full list of options are listed in yardoc --help under the "Tag Options" section.

If you wish to create a tag to store data but do not wish to show this data in the templates, use the --hide-tag option to hide it from generated output:

--hide-tag my_tag_name

Added --transitive-tags to register transitive tags (0.6.0)

Transitive tags are tags that apply to all descendants of a namespace (class or module) when documented on that namespace. For instance, the @since tag is a transitive tag. Applying @since to a class will automatically apply @since to all methods in the class. Creating a @since tag directly on a method will override the inherited value.

You can specify transitive tags on the command-line by using this option. Note that the tags must already exist (built-in or created with the --tag option) to be specified as transitive. If you wish to do this programmatically, see the YARD::Tags::Library.transitive_tags attribute.

yardoc now displays RDoc-like statistics (--no-stats to hide) (0.6.0)

As seen in the yard stats feature overview, yardoc displays RDoc-like statistics when it is run. The output is equivalent to typing yard stats. To hide this output when yardoc is run, use --no-stats.

yri now works on constants (0.6.0)

Templates have now been added for text view of constants, which displays any documentation and the constant value.

Plugins are no longer auto-loaded (added --plugin switch) (0.6.2)

This is a backwards-incompatible change that disables plugins from automatically loading when YARD starts up. From now on, you should manually declare which plugins your project is using by adding --plugin PLUGINNAME to a .yardopts file in the root of your project. You can also re-enable autoloaded plugins by setting load_plugins to true in your configuration file (yard config load_plugins true, see next item). You can also set autoload_plugins to a list of plugins to be automatically loaded on start.

If you are a YARD plugin author, please make sure to inform your users of these changes.

Note that --plugin switches passed on the commandline (not via .yardopts) are parsed before commands are loaded, and therefore can add in new CLI commands.

Added YARD::Config API and ~/.yard/config configuration file (0.6.2)

There is a new global configuration API that can be accessed programmatically and set via the ~/.yard/config file. The file is encoded as a YAML file, and looks like:

:load_plugins: false
  - my_plugin
  - my_other_plugin
  - my_autoload_plugin
:safe_mode: false

You can also set configuration options via the command-line (see next item).

Added yard config command to view/edit configuration (0.6.2)

A new yard config command was created to view or edit the configuration file via the commandline.

  • To view the current configuration use yard config --list.
  • To view a specific item use yard config ITEMNAME
  • To modify an item value use yard config ITEMNAME VALUE

Added yard server -t template path switch (0.6.2)

The yard server command now accepts -t or --template-path to register a new template path for template customization.

Added YARD::Server.register_static_path for static server assets (0.6.2)

The server now supports a command to register static asset paths. If you are extending the YARD::Server modules, make sure to register your asset paths through this method.

YARD::Registry is now thread local (0.6.5)

Creating a new thread will now implicitly load a new Registry that can be used to parse and process new code objects independently of the other threads. Note that this means you can no longer use the Registry across threads; you must either access the threadlocal object directly, or synchronize threads to do the processing in the initial registry's thread.

Support for ripper gem in Ruby 1.8.7 (0.6.5)

YARD now supports the Ruby 1.8.7 port of the ripper gem to improve parsing of source, both in terms of performance and functionality. When the ripper gem is available, YARD will use the "new-style" handlers. You can take advantage of this functionality by performing a gem install ripper.

What's New in 0.5.x?

  1. Support for documenting native Ruby C code (0.5.0)
  2. Incremental parsing and output generation with yardoc -c (0.5.0, 0.5.3)
  3. Improved yri support to perform lookups on installed Gems (0.5.0)
  4. Added yardoc --default-return and yardoc --hide-void-return (0.5.0)
  5. Multiple syntax highlighting language support (0.5.0)
  6. New .yardoc format (0.5.0)
  7. Support for yard-doc-* gem packages as hosted .yardoc dbs (0.5.1)
  8. Support for extra search paths in yri (0.5.1)
  9. Generating HTML docs now adds frames view (0.5.3)
  10. Tree view for class list (0.5.3)
  11. Ability to specify markup format of extra files (0.5.3)
  12. Keyboard shortcuts for default HTML template (0.5.4)

Support for documenting native Ruby C code (0.5.0)

It is now possible to document native Ruby extensions with YARD with a new C parser mostly borrowed from RDoc. This enables the ability to document Ruby's core and stdlibs which will be hosted on http://yardoc.org/docs. In addition, the .yardoc dump for the Ruby-core classes will become available as an installable gem for yri support (see #3).

Incremental parsing and output generation with yardoc -c (0.5.0, 0.5.3)

Note: in 0.5.3 and above you must use --incremental to incrementally generate HTML, otherwise only parsing will be done incrementally but HTML will be generated with all objects. --incremental implies -c, so no need to specify them both.

YARD now compares file checksums before parsing when using yardoc -c (aka yardoc --use-cache) to do incremental parsing of only the files that have changed. HTML (or other output format) generation will also only be done on the objects that were parsed from changed files (*). This makes doing a documentation development cycle much faster for quick HTML previews. Just remember that when using incremental output generation, the index will not be rebuilt and inter-file links might not hook up right, so it is best to perform a full rebuild at the end of such previews.

(*) Only for versions prior to 0.5.3. For 0.5.3+, use --incremental for incremental HTML output.

Improved yri support to perform lookups on installed Gems (0.5.0)

The yri executable can now perform lookups on gems that have been parsed by yard. Therefore, to use this command you must first parse all gems with YARD. To parse all gems, use the following command:

$ sudo yardoc --build-gems

The above command builds a .yardoc file for all installed gems in the respective gem directory. If you do not have write access to the gem path, YARD will write the yardoc file to ~/.yard/gem_index/NAME-VERSION.yardoc.

Note: you can also use --re-build-gems to force re-parsing of all gems.

You can now do lookups with yri:

$ yri JSON

All lookups are cached to ~/.yard/yri_cache for quicker lookups the second time onward.

Added yardoc --default-return and yardoc --hide-void-return (0.5.0)

YARD defaults to displaying (Object) as the default return type of any method that has not declared a @return tag. To customize the default return type, you can specify:

$ yardoc --default-return 'MyDefaultType'

You can also use the empty string to list no return type.

In addition, you can use --hide-void-return to ignore any method that defines itself as a void type by: @return [void]

Multiple syntax highlighting language support (0.5.0)

YARD now supports the ability to specify a language type for code blocks in docstrings. Although no actual highlighting support is added for any language but Ruby, you can add your own support by writing your own helper method:

# Where LANGNAME is the language:
def html_syntax_highlight_LANGNAME(source)
  # return highlighted HTML

To use this language in code blocks, prefix the block with !!!LANGNAME:

def python_code(self):
  return self

By the same token. you can now use !!!plain to ignore highlighting for a specific code block.

New .yardoc format (0.5.0)

To make the above yri support possible, the .yardoc format was redesigned to be a directory instead of a file. YARD can still load old .yardoc files, but they will be automatically upgraded if re-saved. The new .yardoc format does have a larger memory footprint, but this will hopefully be optimized downward.

Support for yard-doc-* gem packages as hosted .yardoc dbs (0.5.1)

You can now install special YARD plugin gems titled yard-doc-NAME to get packaged a .yardoc database. This will enable yri lookups or building docs for the gem without the code.

One main use for this is the yard-doc-core package, which enabled yri support for Ruby core classes (stdlib coming soon as yard-doc-stdlib). To install it, simply:

$ sudo gem install yard-doc-core
# now you can use:
$ yri String

This will by default install the 1.9.1 core library. To install a library for a specific version of Ruby, use the --version switch on gem:

$ sudo gem install --version '= 1.8.6' yard-doc-core

Support for extra search paths in yri (0.5.1)

You can now add custom paths to non-gem .yardoc files by adding them as newline separated paths in ~/.yard/yri_search_paths.

Generating HTML docs now adds frames view (0.5.3)

yardoc will now create a frames.html file when generating HTML documents which allows the user to view documentation inside frames, for those users who still find frames beneficial.

Tree view for class list (0.5.3)

The class list now displays as an expandable tree view to better organized an otherwise cluttered namespace. If you properly namespace your less important classes (like Rails timezone classes), they will not take up space in the class list unless the user looks for them.

Ability to specify markup format of extra files (0.5.3)

You can now specify the markup format of an extra file (like README) at the top of the file with a shebang-like line:

contents here

The above file contents will be rendered with a textile markup engine (eg. RedCloth).

Keyboard shortcuts for default HTML template (0.5.4)

You can now access the "Class List", "Method List" and "File List" with the 'c', 'm' and 'f' keyboard shortcuts in the default HTML template, allowing for keyboard-only navigation around YARD documentation.

API for registering custom parsers (0.5.6)

You can now register parsers for custom source languages by calling the following method:

SourceParser.register_parser_type(:java, MyJavaParser, 'java')

The parser class MyJavaParser should be a subclass of YARD::Parser::Base, and the last argument is a set of extensions (string, array or regexp). You can read more about registering parsers at the YARD::Parser::SourceParser class documentation.

What's New in 0.4.x?

  1. New templating engine and templates
  2. yardoc --query argument
  3. Greatly expanded API documentation
  4. New plugin support
  5. New tags (@abstract, @private)
  6. Default rake task is now rake yard

New templating engine and templates

The templates were redesigned, most notably removing the ugly frameset, adding search to the class/method lists, simplifying the layout and making things generally prettier. You should also notice that more tags are now visible in the templates such as @todo, the new @abstract and @note tags and some others that existed but were previously omitted from the generated documentation.

There is also a new templating engine (based on the tadpole templating library) to allow for much more user customization. You can read about it in Templates.

yardoc --query argument

The yardoc command-line tool now supports queries to select which classes, modules or methods to include in documentation based on their data or meta-data. For instance, you can now generate documentation for your "public" API only by adding "@api public" to each of your public API methods/classes and using the following argument:

--query '@api.text == "public"'

More information on queries is in the README.

Greatly expanded API documentation

Last release focused on many how-to and architecture documents to explain the design of YARD, but many of the actual API classes/methods were still left undocumented. This release marks a focus on getting YARD's own documentation up to par so that it can serve as an official reference on the recommended conventions to use when documenting code.

New plugin support

YARD now supports loading of plugins via RubyGems. Any gem named yard-* or yard_* will now be loaded when YARD starts up. Note that the '-' separator is the recommended naming scheme.

To ignore plugins, add the gem names to ~/.yard/ignored_plugins on separate lines (or separated by whitespace).

New tags (@abstract, @private)

Two new tags were added to the list of builtin meta-tags in YARD. @abstract marks a class/module/method as abstract while @private marks an object as "private". The latter tag is unsed in situations where an object is public due to Ruby's own visibility limitations (constants, classes and modules can never be private) but not actually part of your public API. You should use this tag sparingly, as it is not meant to be an equivalent to RDoc's :nodoc: tag. Remember, YARD recommends documenting private objects too. This tag exists so that you can create a query (--query !@private) to ignore all of these private objects in your documentation. You can also use the new --no-private switch, which is a shortcut to the afformentioned query. You can read more about the new tags in the GettingStarted guide.

Default rake task is now rake yard

Not a big change, but anyone using the default "rake yardoc" task should update their scripts:


What's New in 0.2.3.x?

  1. Full Ruby 1.9 support
  2. New parser code and handler API for 1.9
  3. A new @overload tag
  4. Better documentation
  5. Template changes and bug fixes

Full Ruby 1.9 support

YARD's development actually focuses primarily on 1.9 from the get-go, so it is not an afterthought. All features are first implemented for compatibility with 1.9, but of course all functionality is also tested in 1.8.x. YARD 0.2.2 was mostly compatible with 1.9, but the new release improves and extends in certain areas where compatibility was lacking. The new release should be fully functional in Ruby 1.9.

New parser code and handler API for 1.9

Using Ruby 1.9 also gives YARD the advantage of using the new ripper library which was added to stdlib. The ripper parser is Ruby's official answer to projects like ParseTree and ruby2ruby. Ripper allows access to the AST as it is parsed by the Ruby compiler. This has some large benefits over alternative projects:

  1. It is officially supported and maintained by the Ruby core team.
  2. The AST is generated directly from the exact same code that drives the compiler, meaning anything that compiles is guaranteed to generate the equivalent AST.
  3. It needs no hacks, gems or extra libs and works out of the box in 1.9.
  4. It's fast.

Having the AST means that developers looking to extend YARD have much better access to the parsed code than in previous versions. The only caveat is that this library is not back-compatible to 1.8.x. Because of this, there are subtle changes to the handler extension API that developers use to extend YARD. Namely, there is now a standard API for 1.9 and a "legacy" API that can run in both 1.8.x and 1.9 if needed. A developer can still use the legacy API to write handlers that are compatible for both 1.8.x and 1.9 in one shot, or decide to implement the handler using both APIs. Realize that the benefit of using the new API means 1.9 users will get a 2.5x parsing speed increase over running the legacy handlers (this is in addition to the ~1.8x speed increase of using YARV over MRI).

A new @overload tag

The new @overload tag enables users to document methods that take multiple parameters depending on context. This is basically equivalent to RDoc's call-seq, but with a name that is more akin to the OOP concept of method overloading that is actually being employed. Here's an example:

  # @overload def to_html(html, autolink = true)
  #   This docstring describes the specific overload only.
  #   @param [String] html the HTML
  #   @param [Boolean] autolink whether or not to atuomatically link
  #     URL references
  # @overload def to_html(html, opts = {})
  #   @param [String] html the HTML
  #   @param [Hash] opts any attributes to add to the root HTML node
  def to_html(*args)
    # split args depending on context

As you can see each overload takes its own nested tags (including a docstring) as if it were its own method. This allows "virtual" overloading behaviour at the API level to make Ruby look like overload-aware languages without caring about the implementation details required to add the behaviour.

It is still recommended practice, however, to stay away from overloading when possible and document the types of each method's real parameters. This allows toolkits making use of YARD to get accurate type information for your methods, for instance, allowing IDE autocompletion. There are, of course, situations where overload just makes more sense.

Better documentation

The first few iterations of YARD were very much a proof of concept. Few people were paying attention and it was really just pieced together to see what was feasible. Now that YARD is gaining interest, there are many developers that want to take advantage of its extensibility support to do some really cool stuff. Considerable time was spent for this release documenting, at a high level, what YARD can do and how it can be done. Expect this documentation to be extended and improved in future releases.

Template changes and bug fixes

Of course no new release would be complete without fixing the old broken code. Some tags existed but were not present in generated documentation. The templates were mostly fixed to add the major omitted tags. In addition to template adjustments, many parsing bugs were ironed out to make YARD much more stable with existing projects (Rails, HAML, Sinatra, Ramaze, etc.).