Read the Docs Awarded Mozilla Open Source Support Grant

Several months back, Mozilla launched a new initiative – the MOSS program – to provide financial support to the open source software projects it relies on. Mozilla allocated $1 million to the MOSS fund to provide grants for up to 10 projects matching the program’s criteria.

Read the Docs is among the first round of awards made for the MOSS program. Our proposed grant, for $48,000, is to build a separate instance that integrates with the Python Package Index’s upcoming website, Warehouse. This integration will provide automatic API reference documentation upon package release, with authentication tied to PyPI and simple configuration inside the distribution. API reference documentation on every release will be the starting point of this work, prose documentation generation will be more difficult here, as not all packages use Sphinx or rST for documentation.

Having consistent API reference documentation across all released distributions will be an enormous benefit to the Python ecosystem. API reference documentation will be found in a single space, with version specificity, and will be able to be tightly inter-linked across projects. This is hopefully the start of work that could benefit other communities as well, by putting more emphasis on usable documentation and best documentation practices.

We are currently just into the planning stage for this work. We hope to have an official roadmap planned out, and a detailed breakdown of the work involved, in the coming weeks. This post will be followed up with a more detailed look at our plan and the work required. Work on this grant will hopefully begin early in the new year and will be spaced out throughout the year.

Funding open source software communities is still a difficult proposition for most companies. We appreciate Mozilla’s stance and commitment to open source and can only hope more companies take note and learn how to put value on the health of the communities they rely on.