Dear developers, technical writers, and documentation gurus,
I am proud to announce a new project of mine named “Gerbil”
which is beautifully short (176 lines of code) and powerful!
Personally, I am baffled at the amount of documentation I wrote
(and felt was necessary) to explain the plethora of things this
tiny little utility does. About 70% of the development time
was consumed by documentation alone! I’m glad that’s over.
The release notes are shown at the bottom of this message.
What is Gerbil?
Gerbil is an extensible document generator based on eRuby
that outputs to any format you want: plain text, HTML,
LaTeX, UNIX man page, your own custom format, and so on.
Gerbil is lighter and more flexible than DocBook, Deplate,
and SiSU because it is small, fast, and lets you define
your own custom format. Furthermore, Gerbil is scriptable
unlike raw text generators such as AsciiDoc, txt2tags, and
Grutatxt because it lets you inject Ruby code directly into
your documents for advanced data processing and dynamic
Gerbil is open-source software (see Section 1.2: License)
so feel free to contribute your improvements and discuss
your ideas in the project mailing list.
â€¢ Composed of less than 200 lines of code!
â€¢ Lets you define your own document format.
â€¢ Supports any text-based output format.
â€¢ Generates a table of contents automatically.
Copyright 2006 Suraj N. Kurapati
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person
obtaining a copy of this software and associated
documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the
Software without restriction, including without limitation
the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish,
distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software,
and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to
do so, subject to the following conditions:
â€¢ All copies and substantial portions of the Software
(the “Derivatives”) and their corresponding
machine-readable source code (the “Code”) must include
the above copyright notice and this permission notice.
â€¢ Upon distribution, the Derivatives must be accompanied
either by the Code orâ€”provided that the Code is
obtainable for no more than the cost of distribution
plus a nominal feeâ€”by information on how to obtain the
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY
KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS
OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR
OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR
OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE
SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
This is the first release of the Gerbil project. Happy
Please note that although the user guide says you can
install Gerbil via RubyGems, currently there is a bug in
RubyGems 0.9.5 that prevents me from creating generating an
installable gem without strictly adhering to RubyGems
convention of putting executable programs inside a bin/
Until this issue is resolved, please download the regular
tarball/zip packages instead.