documentation-framework

"The Grand Unified Theory of Documentation" (David Laing) - a popular and transformative documentation authoring framework (by divio)

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Posts with mentions or reviews of documentation-framework. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2024-03-23.
  • How-To Document: The Documentation System
    2 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 23 Mar 2024
  • Ask HN: How do you organize software documentation at work?
    4 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 14 Feb 2024
    I forget the terminology, but there's a good "grid" breakdown of documentation types (I think this one: https://documentation.divio.com ) that I've simplified a bit for the internal documentation I'm involved with.

    * README, HOWTO, INFO, PROJECT, DESIGN, NOTES, FAQ

    When I pull down a `git` repo, I read the `README.md` (of course). I make my own `NOTES.md` (eg: `.gitignore`'d) of what commands, environment variables, useful blog posts, search results, whatever. Rarely do I share or encourage sharing of `NOTES.md` wholesale, but it's helpful to be able to pull out a few snippets or re-orient myself when coming back to that software/project.

    Then, other documents get prefixed with "HOWTO-Do-Some-Specific-Thing.md", or "INFO-Some-Particular-Component.md".

    "PROJECT-...", and "DESIGN-..." are "dangerous" ones in that they can quickly fall out of date, but they can be very useful while they're being actively managed. I guess personally I've started making sure to include dates or "eras" in the title, eg: "PROJECT-[2024-Feb]-Add-Foo-Support.md" or "DESIGN-[2024-02-14]-...". Stuff that's outlived its usefulness can probably be moved to an `ARCHIVE/...` in case you need it later, but keep it out of the way from confusing newcomers 1-3 years from now.

    "FAQ-..." almost never comes into play (hopefully) b/c it should mostly get absorbed into "HOWTO-..." or product improvements, and few products seem to rise to the level of needing FREQUENTLY asked questions. Ideally FAQ's would "go away" with work on the product or other documentation, but I've had some success with it as like sales-oriented (and ideally: sales-managed) FAQ / Canned Customer Response learnings.

    Putting it all together you get something like:

      * README.md
  • Mastering JavaScript: Essential Topics to Crack Your Frontend Interview
    1 project | dev.to | 22 Jan 2024
    Resource: Documentation Best Practices - GitBook
  • Duty to Document
    2 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 5 Jan 2024
    I would not suggest people to follow this in 2024 if they are building any system of non-trivial scope and expect it to be adopted by others who are not required to adopt it.

    Back in 2017, I compared "code as documentation" to being dropped into on the street of an unfamiliar city, while a good documentation can serve as a map of the city. [1]

    Nearly all recent successful efforts for large new systems understand the value of both high-level overviews and detailed examples / onboarding materials to make adoption easier. When solutions to a certain problem are abundant, people do not need to settle for options that do not have great supporting documentation of the four primary kinds. [2]

    [1] https://speakerdeck.com/maxvt/i-got-a-lot-of-problems-with-i...

    [2] https://documentation.divio.com/

  • Guidance on man pages for the GNU project is wild
    1 project | news.ycombinator.com | 22 Dec 2023
    In the whole spectrum of documentation, man pages were designed to cater for a very specific need: information-oriented reference data. Check https://documentation.divio.com/ for a wonderful classification of documentation into four quadrants: reference, explanations, tutorials, and how-to guides. On the other hand, one can write info files for any of the use cases. That does not make info format inherently better or worse than man pages.

    During the years, there have been many attempts to bridge the format gap, and convert texts from one representation to another. One of the most ambitious ones was in Tkman, a man viewer built on then Tcl/Tk system. Its really interesting part was the inclusion of rman, or RosettaMan, a converter of text to a somewhat abstract representation that could then be viewed via a GUI.

    I personally look for well-crafted man pages as a sign of quality in software and try to provide them in everything I develop. I admit that I don't often find the time or motivation to write non-reference documentation (like tutorials).

  • Who has the best documentation you’ve seen or like in 2023
    12 projects | /r/webdev | 6 Dec 2023
    I ran into the divio documentation guide recently that seems to have some awesome "how to write docs" docs
  • Finally, a guide for Node.js and TypeScript and ESM that works
    18 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 21 Nov 2023
    https://documentation.divio.com/ is a good overview of the "four types of documentation" paradigm: tutorials, how-to guides, explanations, and reference have to all exist.

    One of my major gripes with the JS/TS ecosystem is that "explanations" are sorely lacking. See https://www.typescriptlang.org/tsconfig for the relevant documentation for tsconfig files. Tutorials are on the page, how-to guides abound on the wider internet (like the OP), and the linked TSConfig Reference and JSON Schema (used in code completion in IDEs) are together absolutely massive.

    But an explanation is missing! There is no official documentation about how different options interact to say: as I'm walking a file tree as the Typescript compiler, this is how I will interpret a certain file I encounter, what will be outputted, and how that will be interpreted by bundlers and browsers, especially in an ESM world.

    https://medium.com/extra-credit-by-guild/tsconfig-json-demys... is in the right direction, but outdated as ESM has become much more popular in the past 3 years, and still organized by option (so it's already somewhat in the "reference" world).

    IMO even independent of documentation, the industry's move to ESM is problematic: https://gist.github.com/joepie91/bca2fda868c1e8b2c2caf76af7d... describes many of the issues. But they're certainly exacerbated by good explanation-style documentation that helps people understand how ESM works under the hood!

  • Ask HN: How do you document engineering efforts?
    2 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 2 Nov 2023
    I really like the system detailed here: https://documentation.divio.com/. That's targeted more towards externally visible docs, but IMO adapts pretty well as for internal resources too.
  • YOLO-Driven Development Manifesto
    1 project | news.ycombinator.com | 17 Aug 2023
  • Documentation
    1 project | /r/ProductManagement | 3 Jul 2023
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    www.influxdata.com | 24 Jun 2024
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