Have you ever had to build a documentation website? It’s certainly a pain if you do it from scratch. You could use something like Google Sites, but that’s not so professional besides the Google product graveyard possibility. So what can you do?
There are many static site generators but how well are these particular projects maintained? Also, since they’re generalized tools – a particular generator may not fit the requirements of a documentation website (like the need for translations).
Some fine open source engineers at Facebook have created Docusaurus – a site generation tool that is geared for the creation and maintenance of documentation websites. The motivation for Docusaurus and how the tool can be updated without breaking an already created site can be found in the first blog posting.
With Facebook’s use of Docusaurus for its open source projects this is a tool that is likely to be maintained and enhanced over time.
Lots of web application and website development centers around API development (and this is becoming more of a norm). Content management systems like WordPress are de-coupling the backend (i.e. database) from their frontend using APIs (WordPress’s API info can be found here: https://developer.wordpress.org/rest-api/). This allows web applications/sites to create customized front-ends that are more customized to the application’s purpose and it allows for future expansion of the application’s data (for example a mobile app that needs to use the site’s database). To communicate to API endpoint a particular “language” needs to be spoken by both client (for example web browser) and server. This is where REST and GraphQL come in.
A recent episode of the Syntax.fm podcast explains GraphQL (another Facebook open source effort) and how it’s likely to replace REST. It’s a great episode for both beginners and experts, and the show notes are fantastic.
My recent Holiday Review
If you’re looking for battle-tested products and services/products to avoid (i.e. CrashPlan, Drobo, O’Reilly Media), then check out my 2017 Holiday Review.
Thoughts? Feedback? Let me know: @eli4d on Twitter