A better way to document

Okay, I admit it; I'm not ashamed. I love to write documentation. Most of the time, I would rather write docs than code. That's one of the reasons I was thrilled to discover Read the Docs, a new website that makes it easy for developers to build and publish documentation. You can create quick one-off docs, or link up to existing docs you may have in a public Git, Mercurial, Subversion, or Bazaar repository.

This is one of those rare projects that I instantly liked; the same day I discovered it, I got involved in its development. A small team of very talented guys built most of it in a 48-hour sprint, which is an inspiring example of what can be accomplished in a short time with the right kind of focus, and with the right tools. Documents are marked up in reStructuredText format, and built using Sphinx, both held in high regard among the Python community, as well as being my personal favorites for creating documentation. Django, a powerful and elegant Python web framework, is another favorite of mine and an excellent choice for a site like this.

The docs for our CSVSee and Grinder Webtest projects are now being hosted there, saving us from having to manually build and publish them whenever they are modified. Read the Docs pulls the updates from our public repository on Launchpad, builds the docs, and posts them online with minimal intervention. Automation FTW!


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