Read the Docs newsletter - April 2021

This is the first of our monthly newsletters, in which we would like to openly share with you the most relevant updates of Read the Docs, offer a summary of what new features we shipped to our users during the previous month, and share what things we will be focusing on in the near future.

Company highlights

  • We have a new colleague! Juan Luis will be working with us as Developer Advocate, with a focus on fulfilling the goals of the CZI grant we were awarded, improve our public facing documentation, and spread the word about our service.

  • The average daily pageviews went up by 9.4 % from the previous month.

  • We have a new status page so you can see the availability history and current status of our infrastructure.

New features

You can always see the latest changes to our platforms in our Read the Docs Changelog and Ethical Ad Server Changelog.

Current focus & known issues

  • We have had some availability issues with our commercial hosting for the past few weeks. This was caused by massive I/O load spikes on our web servers, causing increased CPU contention and slower web requests. We tracked the issue down to a background process that was doing a lot of reads from our cloud storage. We have changed our infrastructure so background tasks and web requests are processed by different servers, which has addressed the stability issues.

  • We were made aware of an open redirect on documentation pages via a report to our security address. This was present in our codebase for the last 2 releases, and was fixed in a deployment on Thursday April 1. We’d like to thank Splunk and the Cryptography project for reporting this issue through proper channels. Please always follow our security reporting guide to report potential security issues.

Upcoming features

  • Anthony will work on releasing version 1.0 of sphinx_rtd_theme with some changes and deprecations, and outline a plan for future releases. He will also be working on our dashboard redesign, which we hope to launch in public beta soon.

  • On the EthicalAds side, David will focus on improving our contextual ad targeting and improvements for the reporting interface.

  • Eric will be split between hiring a frontend developer, doing project management on the CZI grant, and improving ad performance for our EthicalAds publishers.

  • Our new hire, Juan Luis, will work with scientific projects to improve their documentation and migrate it to Read the Docs, and start drafting a Sphinx tutorial for newcomers.

  • Manuel, on the other hand, will focus on Single Sign-On Authentication for our commercial site, and improving the stability of our deploy process.

  • Installing custom system packages is a very common request, so Santos will be working on improving the build configuration, as well as formalizing a v3 of our Embed API.

  • And finally, on the commercial side, we’ll work on allowing more fine-tuned privacy controls on builds created from pull requests.

Considering using Read the Docs for your next Sphinx or MkDocs project? Check out our documentation to get started!