How to Work with Different Markup Styles

The generateSite task is often used to convert AsciiDoc to HTML. AsciiDoc is the default (and preferred) markup language for documentation written in docToolchain.

But because docToolchain is designed to be used by larger teams and organisations, it also leverages jBake, which is capable of rendering AsciiDoc, Markdown, and plain HTML.

Meta-Data Header

In AsciiDoc, metadata is defined as attributes beginning with jbake-, such as :jbake-header:. For other markup languages, the metadata is defined in a block at the beginning of the document, delimited by ~~ [footnote: this can be configured in the file of the theme, and will be available in docToolchainConfig.groovy in the next version]. Refer to the Metadata Header section in the jBake documentation for more information.



Since jBake directly supports Markdown, you can use it without any additional configuration. As illustrated by this sample repository, docToolchain utilises the convention-over-configuration principle to determine the menu (jbake-menu), the location within the menu (jbake-order), and the title entry of the menu (jbake-title) from the folder structure and the document’s first headline.

If you wish to override these defaults, you can use a metadata header.


Here, the Markdown standard is relatively limited. For extended features, you’ll need to specify the flavour you want to use. jBake employs flexmark to render Markdown, and flexmark supports various flavours. These can be configured within the file within the theme. The default is markdown.extensions=GITHUB,EXTRA,TABLES,TOC,FENCED_CODE_BLOCKS.


Plain HTML is supported in the same way as Markdown. The HTML body will be displayed in the content area of the microsite. Refer to src/docs/Demo/html.html in the sample repository.

restructuredText (.rst)

Since jBake doesn’t support restructuredText, docToolchain uses a different mechanism:


if you need support for additional markup converters, you can configure them here
you have three different types of script you can define:

- groovy: just groovy code as string
- groovyFile: path to a groovy script
- bash: a bash command. It will receive the name of the file to be converted as first argument

`groovy` and `groovyFile` will have access to the file and config object

`` is an internal script to convert restructuredText.
Needs `python3` and `docutils` installed.

    additionalConverters = [
        //'.one': [command: 'println "test"+file.canonicalPath', type: 'groovy'],
        //'.two': [command: 'scripts/convert-md.groovy', type: 'groovyFile'],
        //'.rst': [command: '', type: 'bash'],

Once an additional converter is configured, docToolchain will traverse all doc-files, check the extension, and invoke the configured script if the extension matches.

The script’s task is to convert the file to a markup format recognised by jBake (AsciiDoc, Markdown, or HTML). Afterwards, jBake will process everything as usual.

In this case, the Python docutils will convert restructuredText to HTML.

Additional Markup Languages

You can integrate additional markup languages in the same way as you added restructuredText. The only difference is that you will configure the script to render your files as a reference to your converter script, rather than using the internal script.

You can find an example of the internal script for restructured text here:

Special Cases

This mechanism also enables you to add new features to existing markup languages. For instance, you can use a script to replace all plantUML references in a Markdown file with a reference to a server to render the file.

    additionalConverters = [
            '.md': [
                    type: 'groovyFile',
                    command: 'scripts/markdown-kroki.groovy'
import java.util.Base64;

public static byte[] encode(String decoded) throws IOException {
    return Base64.getUrlEncoder().encode(compress(decoded.getBytes()));

private static byte[] compress(byte[] source) throws IOException {
    Deflater deflater = new Deflater(Deflater.BEST_COMPRESSION);

    byte[] buffer = new byte[2048];
    int compressedLength = deflater.deflate(buffer);
    byte[] result = new byte[compressedLength];
    System.arraycopy(buffer, 0, result, 0, compressedLength);
    return result;

def source = file.text
def krokiServer = ""

def newSource = source.replaceAll(/(?s)```(plantuml|mermaid)([^`]*)```/){all, type, diagramSource ->
    System.out.println file.canonicalPath
    System.out.println type
    System.out.println diagramSource
    imageUrl = krokiServer+type+'/png/'+new String(encode(diagramSource))
    System.out.println imageUrl
    return "![$type diagram]($imageUrl \"Image Title\")"