Contributing to DEV's developer documentation

Contributions to the documentation are always appreciated! Thank you for making an effort to improve the developer experience of contributing to the DEV project.

Running the documentation locally

Like DEV, this site is open source and the code is hosted on GitHub. If you find any incorrect information, or a even a typo, we'd love to see a pull request. Follow these steps to get the documentation site running locally.

DEV's documentation is built with GitDocs NodeJS library.

The first step to running the documentations locally is to install the GitDocs package globally.

With npm:

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npm install gitdocs -g

Alternatively, you can use Yarn:

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yarn global add gitdocs

Once installed, you should run gitdocs serve from the root of the dev.to project or from the /docs directory.

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gitdocs serve

This will start a server where you can browse the documentation: http://localhost:8000/

If you add new pages or rename existing pages, you'll need to restart the server for those changes to take effect.

Useful links

The docs are a collection of Markdown files that also utilize FrontMatter.

For more information on how to use GitDocs read the GitDocs guide.

Regarding style

Generally speaking, the documentation hosted on this site is informal. There is no need to make things more complicated by writing these articles like a textbooks.

However, it's expected that contributions to these documents are reasonably structured and mostly free of spelling and grammar errors. For this reason, if you submit a PR you might be asked to make changes before your PR is merged.

Prettier is used to autowrap lines in these files to 80 characters. Using 80 characters per line allows us to retain a more specific git history over time. If lines are not wrapped, changing a comma in a paragraph would attribute the entire paragraph to one commit. By line wrapping we are helping git to correctly attribute smaller changes to their commits. This keeps information from getting lost over time.

For more information on effective technical writing, check out writethedocs.org.