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Ruby on Rails Guides Guidelines

This guide documents guidelines for writing Ruby on Rails Guides. This guide follows itself in a graceful loop, serving itself as an example.

After reading this guide, you will know:

1 Markdown

Guides are written in GitHub Flavored Markdown. There is comprehensive documentation for Markdown, a cheatsheet, and additional documentation on the differences from traditional Markdown.

2 Prologue

Each guide should start with motivational text at the top (that's the little introduction in the blue area). The prologue should tell the reader what the guide is about, and what they will learn. See for example the Routing Guide.

3 Titles

The title of every guide uses h1; guide sections use h2; subsections h3; etc. However, the generated HTML output will have the heading tag starting from <h2>.

Guide Title


### Sub Section

Capitalize all words except for internal articles, prepositions, conjunctions, and forms of the verb to be:

#### Middleware Stack is an Array
#### When are Objects Saved?

Use the same typography as in regular text:

##### The `:content_type` Option

4 API Documentation Guidelines

The guides and the API should be coherent and consistent where appropriate. Please have a look at these particular sections of the API Documentation Guidelines

Those guidelines apply also to guides.

5 HTML Guides

Before generating the guides, make sure that you have the latest version of Bundler installed on your system. As of this writing, you must install Bundler 1.3.5 on your device.

To install the latest version of Bundler, simply run the gem install bundler command

5.1 Generation

To generate all the guides, just cd into the guides directory, run bundle install and execute:

bundle exec rake guides:generate


bundle exec rake guides:generate:html

To process and nothing else use the ONLY environment variable:

bundle exec rake guides:generate ONLY=my_guide

By default, guides that have not been modified are not processed, so ONLY is rarely needed in practice.

To force processing all the guides, pass ALL=1.

It is also recommended that you work with WARNINGS=1. This detects duplicate IDs and warns about broken internal links.

If you want to generate guides in a language other than English, you can keep them in a separate directory under source (eg. source/es) and use the GUIDES_LANGUAGE environment variable:

bundle exec rake guides:generate GUIDES_LANGUAGE=es

If you want to see all the environment variables you can use to configure the generation script just run:


5.2 Validation

Please validate the generated HTML with:

bundle exec rake guides:validate

Particularly, titles get an ID generated from their content and this often leads to duplicates. Please set WARNINGS=1 when generating guides to detect them. The warning messages suggest a solution.

6 Kindle Guides

6.1 Generation

To generate guides for the Kindle, use the following rake task:

bundle exec rake guides:generate:kindle


You're encouraged to help improve the quality of this guide.

Please contribute if you see any typos or factual errors. To get started, you can read our documentation contributions section.

You may also find incomplete content, or stuff that is not up to date. Please do add any missing documentation for master. Make sure to check Edge Guides first to verify if the issues are already fixed or not on the master branch. Check the Ruby on Rails Guides Guidelines for style and conventions.

If for whatever reason you spot something to fix but cannot patch it yourself, please open an issue.

And last but not least, any kind of discussion regarding Ruby on Rails documentation is very welcome in the rubyonrails-docs mailing list.