module RDoc

RDoc is a Ruby documentation system which contains RDoc::RDoc for generating documentation, RDoc::RI for interactive documentation and RDoc::Markup for text markup.

RDoc::RDoc produces documentation for Ruby source files. It works similarly to JavaDoc, parsing the source and extracting the definition for classes, modules, methods, includes and requires. It associates these with optional documentation contained in an immediately preceding comment block then renders the result using an output formatter.

RDoc::Markup that converts plain text into various output formats. The markup library is used to interpret the comment blocks that RDoc uses to document methods, classes, and so on.

RDoc::RI implements the ri command-line tool which displays on-line documentation for ruby classes, methods, etc. ri features several output formats and an interactive mode (ri -i). See ri --help for further details.



Once installed, you can create documentation using the rdoc command

% rdoc [options] [names...]

For an up-to-date option summary, type

% rdoc --help

A typical use might be to generate documentation for a package of Ruby source (such as RDoc itself).

% rdoc

This command generates documentation for all the Ruby and C source files in and below the current directory. These will be stored in a documentation tree starting in the subdirectory doc.

You can make this slightly more useful for your readers by having the index page contain the documentation for the primary file. In our case, we could type

% rdoc --main README.txt

You’ll find information on the various formatting tricks you can use in comment blocks in the documentation this generates.

RDoc uses file extensions to determine how to process each file. File names ending .rb and .rbw are assumed to be Ruby source. Files ending .c are parsed as C files. All other files are assumed to contain just Markup-style markup (with or without leading '#' comment markers). If directory names are passed to RDoc, they are scanned recursively for C and Ruby source files only.

Other stuff

RDoc is currently being maintained by Eric Hodel <>.

Dave Thomas <> is the original author of RDoc.




RDoc modifiers for attributes


RDoc modifiers for classes


RDoc modifiers for constants


Name of the dotfile that contains the description of files to be processed in the current directory


General RDoc modifiers


RDoc modifiers for methods


RDoc version you are using


Method visibilities