1. What is Compendium

Compendium is a tool to generate Encyclopedia-type web sites off a MySQL database. Compendium is written in Ruby and can generate either static content, or dynamic content.

Compendium auto-generates a complete site, based on 3 sources of information:

  • a database containing the actual data/information
  • Compendium Features setup information (see below)
  • one of or more HTML model files and CSS stylesheets.

Compendium radically separates content from presentation.

Compendium works hand in hand with Ruby on Rails, in that the front end (interface for filling the database) for the database is expected to run in Ruby on Rails, and the database setup follows Ruby on Rails conventions. Compendium only takes care of the presentation of the data.

Compendium provides a means to link the database to presentation, has a mechanism for defining site-specific tags (like define your own PHP-type things for your application) and combines this with a look at the actual structure of the database provided, as well as HTML/CSS templates (containing perhaps the tags defined), to intelligently auto-generate the content.