Docs with Maruku, Jekyll and Prawn

If you’ve been reading my blog at all you’ve probably noticed that I am not a lawyer. Sadly when starting your own business, there are legal documents involved.

Now I don’t know about you, but doing find and replace on my agreements for every new client sounded tedious and not fun. So I’m working on a way to make it more programmer-ish. Basically I’m taking the Jekyll approach to legal documentation. Markdown with a YAML header goes in, custom-tailored and nicely formatted PDF comes out.

With just under 130 lines of ruby and some help from Maruku, Jekyll and Prawn, I was able to turn this:

consultant: Mashion, LLC
client:     Awesome Client
date:       September 23, 2010


This Consulting Agreement (this “**Agreement**”) is made and entered into
as of {{ date }} (the “**Effective Date**”) by and between {{ client }}
(the “**Company**”), and {{ consultant }} (“**Consultant**”) (each herein
referred to individually as a “**Party**,” or collectively as the

(legalese continues...)

Into this:

Neat, right?

I’ll definitely be releasing the code properly sometime soon. But in the mean time, here’s a gist to whet your appetite. If you have any ideas, or if you’re a lawyer who might want in on this hotness, please do get in touch. Thanks!