Report - June 2015

With the Write the Docs conference wrapped up in May, we shifted our focus back to Read the Docs for the remainder of May and June. Following our post on contract positions available with Read the Docs, we hired two contractors to work with us and focus on support and stability for readthedocs.org. Gregor Müllegger will be working on support and development, and Andrew Kreps has helped us on building and improving our operations infrastructure.

Updates

Read the Docs had the following major updates in June:

Ops

  • Elastic Search support was upgraded and our search cluster is now hosted on Found.
  • We greatly improved the Read the Docs infrastructure, including monitoring and alerting, as well as server environment consistency. Using Nagios and Graphite, as well as Salt, for this task.
  • Static assets were migrated to use a CDN, provided by MaxCDN.
  • We did a fresh provision of our build cluster using Salt. Previously, there were slight disparities between the servers, which surfaced some issues during builds.
  • Fixed Python 3 build environments with new virtualenv and pip.
  • Changed our queueing stragedy to not be tied to a single specific build machine.

Dev

  • Output formats such as PDF and ePub are now configurable, but continue to default to on.
  • Added the ability to wipe the Build environment to the Verions page.
  • We started to address issues with stable version detection
  • Fixed issues related to version name slugging.
  • In order to move away from third party analytics, we have spun up an instance of Piwik. We plan on testing this with our production traffic in the coming months.
  • Fixed “Edit on GitHub” links for stable verisons
  • General refactoring and cleanup of the codebase, and added test coverage.

For more information on our development orchestration, visit or subscribe to our public Trello board.

Issues

We have started to formalize on a ticket triage process and have more focus on performing project management in the open. This is a very welcome change to our existing workflow and hope to continue improving on it.

In the month of June:

Next Month

Once work is wrapped up on version detection cleanup, we hope to start improving our Github/Bitbucket integration and user experience issues around deleting old projects and versions from Read the Docs.

We will also be testing internal analytics in the coming months. Our stance is that user data, for both our users and for readers of hosted documentation, should not be handed over to third party services like Google Analytics. We hope to replace external analytics with an internally hosted service, so that your data remains with us.

Feel free to raise any questions you have about any of these changes on our issue tracker, or on our Freenode IRC channel, #readthedocs.