Automated HTML documentation for JSON schemas

npm install matic
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Matic Build Status

A Node.js build tool for generating HTML documentation from JSON schemas.

Matic is currently in Alpha state and whilst usable for most use cases still lots of work remain as development continues. You are encouraged to fork the repo should you wish to contribute to the code and bug reports or suggestions will be attended to in the issue queue.

Current development was based on the draft JSON schema 03 specification and support for any follow up specifications will be ported as they become available.


Use NPM to install globally:

$ npm install -g matic

A sure indication that matic is installed and operational, which also retrieves the current version number, is to run the command:

$ matic -v

Building documentation

From the root of your project folder simply run:

$ matic

Example projects

There are three example projects available, which are full project folders not yet built with Matic, to aid as examples of how to structure your project folder to work with Matic:

A typical layout using default settings:

| |____my-awesome-schema.json
| |____default.jade

Essentially you will need

  • a folder with at least one schema document
  • a folder with at least one template file
  • an optional config file for custom settings

The default global configuration looks for a main template with filename default.jade which can be customized with a project level config file, (see below).

By default Matic will use your template(s) and schema(s) to generate a set of HTML files into a folder named web, this can also be modified through the local config file.

Setting config options

Various default settings are configured through Matic's global config file. These settings can be modified on a per project basis by providing a custom config.json file located at the root of the project folder.

The following parameters are configurable, default values in brackets:

Source [./schemas/]

The source folder is where Matic will look for JSON schema documents. These files can have any name with the .json extension.


{"source": "./schemas/"}

Target [./web/]

This is the output folder where Matic will generate the resulting HTML files. This folder will be created automatically, if it does not exist.


{"target": "./web/"}

Suffix [.html]

Suffix to apply to generated files. As an example you might change this to '.md' and generate markdown pages for a github wiki.


{"suffix": ".html"}


This is an object containing details of the templating language which you intend Matic to use to generate the HTML output. Please note only support for Jade has been tested to date, although it should work equally well with other libraries which implement the compile() and render() methods. If you do happen to have the opportunity to test Matic with an alternative provider, please report back with your findings.

The template configuration object has the following settings:

Folder [true]

Boolean flag that indicates whether Matic should map multiple template files to corresponding schemas. Significantly this allows for a greater verbosity when documenting more than one schema as each template can contain any extra explanations or examples specific to the relevant schema.

So for example, when set to true, a folder structure such as:

| |____one.jade
| |____two.jade
| |____one.json
| |____two.json

Will generate an output folder such as:

| |____one.html
| |____two.html

Where both schemas have been rendered through their corresponding templates.

N.B. It is not necessary to specify a file attribute (see below) within the templates object if mapping a folder like this, however, if there are schemas that do not map directly to template files, i.e. have the same name, Matic will attempt to use the file specified by the file attribute as a default template.

Similarly if the folder attribute is set to false Matic will just map all schemas to the file specified by the 'file' attribute, which is 'default' by default. Each generated file will take the name of it's schema so a starting structure such as:

| |____default.jade
| |____one.json
| |____two.json

Will generate the same output web folder as above but both output files will have been passed through default.jade schema.

Path [./templates/]

The path to your template files folder.

File [default]

The name of your primary template file which should be at the top level of the templates folder specified in the 'path' attribute.

Lib [jade]

Name of the template library to use. Note: Matic will assume that the template files have the same extension. i.e. default.jade


"template": {
  "folder": true,
  "path": "./templates/",
  "file": "default",
  "lib": "jade"

In this example Matic will expect to find a file named default.jade located in the templates folder at the root of your project.

Assets [ ]

An array of files or folders to be copied into the target build folder. There are no resources referenced by default, you will need to add your own config.json file to the project root if you want Matic to copy additional files and/or folders during build. The original resources will remain unchanged.


{"assets": ["css", "js"]}

This example instructs Matic to copy two folders named css and js into the target build folder. Copying is done recursively so includes all files and sub folders.



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