Posts by Eric Holscher

MOSS Final Report

Last year, we were given a MOSS Award to work on improving the Python documentation ecosystem. We announced the initial deployment last November, and this is the retrospective post about how the project as a whole went.

This work is live at http://www.pydoc.io/ and on GitHub:

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Ads on the Alabaster Theme on Read the Docs Community Sites

We’ve been running our ethical advertising campaign for over a year now, and it is starting to show success on making Read the Docs more sustainable.

Over this time, we have only been running ads on Read the Docs themed projects. The primary reason for this is making sure that our display of ads is consistent and doesn’t negatively impact the user experience. We’re trying hard to build a sustainability model that respects our users, and making sure things are well designed and unobtrusive is an important part of this.

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Uniregistry sponsors Read the Docs and Open Source

Today we’re excited to announce an important sponsorship partner in our Ethical Advertising campaign: Uniregistry. Our goal with our ethical advertising program is to provide important funding for open source, and show that it can be done ethically – without tracking our users and only offering ads from relevant partners.

Domain registration was identified early as a natural partner to our program, because it sits in the stack of necessary infrastructure for all of us that work on making the internet. We wanted the right partner, because historically we feel that domain registration companies have had awful UX. We’ll cover a few of the criteria we used to reach the conclusion to partner with Uniregistry.

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Read the Docs 2016 Stats

Congrats, you made it through 2016! Read the Docs has been rolling along, and we’ve had another interesting year as well.

For a quick summary:

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Announcing pydoc.io beta

Today we’re excited to announce our latest project: https://pydoc.io. This work was made possible by the MOSS Grant from Mozilla. Thanks to Mozilla for funding our time building this wonderful community resource.

Running Read the Docs, we’ve always been proud of the documentation tooling that the Python community has. We prioritize prose over API documentation listings, and generally have a high standard of documentation in our projects.

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Running ads with Sentry

We’re excited to announce our first partner in our Ethical Advertising campaign: Sentry.

Sentry was a natural first partner, both because they have a long history supporting and contributing to the open source community, and because they also strive to support open source while building a sustainable business around their project.

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Advertising on Read the Docs Community Sites

On Monday, we enabled an ad space on documentation pages hosted on readthedocs.org. We have tested the ad space in the past, and had followed up with a discussion of the implications of advertising. The space was meant to be totally unobtrusive to the browsing and usage of documentation pages, and doesn’t enable third-party tracking of users in any way. This is all in an effort to help raise funds to support continued support and maintenance on the project, and ensure free and open documentation stays available.

Read the Docs is a massive project, and requires a large amount of work to keep running and support. We receive support requests and must tend to the operations of the servers on a daily basis. Neither of these tasks lend to volunteer contributions, they both require dedicated support roles for such a large site. I’ve personally been wearing a pager in support of the project for over 4 years, all on a volunteer basis.

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Read the Docs 2015 Stats

2015 has been another great year for Read the Docs. We’ve addressed some long-standing issues like not having Markdown support, and built a number of wonderful tools for the documentation community.

You can always see our stats for the last 30 days.

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Read the Docs & Sphinx now support Commonmark

Read the Docs is built on top of Sphinx, which has always relied on reStructuredText as an input mechanism. We have long heard from folks that they want to write documentation in Markdown, as well as RST.

Today we are announcing that this is now possible! With the standardization of Markdown into Commonmark, we have the ability to support a markup language with a proper spec. recommonmark is the bridge that allows Commonmark to be used inside Sphinx. This allows you to use both RST and Commonmark inside of your Sphinx project.

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Read the Docs is hiring!

Thanks to our successful fundraiser, we have the ability to pay people to work on Read the Docs.

We have two positions that we are looking for:

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Read the Docs 2014 Stats

2014 has been another banner year for Read the Docs. The project has been steadily growing in the open source ecosystem, expanding a good deal outside of the Python community. We have built a bunch of fantastic new features, and continued improving the documentation experience for the open source world.

You can always see our latest 30 days stats at http://www.seethestats.com/site/readthedocs.org.

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User-defined Redirects

Today we are announcing User-defined Redirects for Read the Docs. This has been a long requested feature that should cut down on 404’s when migrating your documentation.

Read the Docs has long had Redirects, but they are managed automatically for only certain use cases. This change allows users to control a specific set of common redirects.

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Badge Support

Documentation is an often overlooked part of a software project. Today we are releasing badges for your docs, so that people can easily see that your docs are up-to-date.

The main use of badges is to show the status of your project’s build. They will display in green for passing, red for failing, and yellow for unknown states.

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Welcome

Welcome to the Read the Docs blog.

We will be doing regular feature announcements on the blog as we build them. There are also a number of recently released features that we’ll highlight there as well.

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Read the Docs 2013 Stats

2013 has been a big year for Read the Docs. Our mission is to make documentation hosting easier, with the overall goal of increasing the quality of documentation in the programming world. I believe that we have been doing good work towards that goal, and I want to share some numbers to reflect our progress.

Our community has been great this year. I have been really happy to see a few people submit multiple patches and features. This year, we had:

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A New Theme for Read the Docs

We have been hard at work improving Read the Docs over the past month. A large amount of back end work has been going on, and now we have a brand new documentation theme to showcase it.

We have looked at how people use documentation, and built a beautiful and highly functional new interface for browsing documentation. We created a solution that looks great and works well.

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