Posts by Daniel Woste

Manager POV: What’s the benefit of docs-as-code?

In the last 2-3 years one of my main tasks was to convince people to use a docs-as-code approach for their SW project. The hard part is not to convince SW developers to use it, as they are often already doing it. But team leaders and managers, as their concerns are often not related to single features, but more about process and toolchain compliance and integration. And for sure the question of all questions: What’s the monetary benefit?

So if you are a CEO, a manager, a team leader or just want to understand the big picture, grab a coffee/tea, sit back and let me explain: How docs-as-code will save you money and still increase the product quality.


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New years cleaning

During the Christmas holidays, I had some time to think about new topics for the blog.

So I checked out the latest version, installed the requirements and tried to build the documentation. But Bang! Dozens of warnings and error messages flew over my terminal. The reason was mainly updated libraries like Sphinx and related extensions. Not a big problem, but for sure my fault, as I haven’t pinned the versions in the requirements file.


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Process documents with Sphinx-Needs

Documenting processes is often a separate task in companies. Done by an extra department/team for processes, workflows and tools (PMT). And published in specific formats, which are not reusable or referencable by project specific documentations. But being able to link project requirements to process steps would help developers to understand the need for such requirements.

This post explains how the docs-as-code approach can be used to document processes and workflows.


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Open-Needs-DB gets funded

The Prototype Fund supports and finances Open-Needs-DB from March to September 2022.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research created this program to support developers in Germany during the creation of digital prototypes for topics in the area of Civic Tech, Data Literacy, IT Security and Software Infrastructure.


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Sphinx Extension Development: Tips & Tricks

In the last year I have written some Sphinx extensions and figured out some stuff, which I want to share here.

First of all, the documentation for Sphinx extension development is not so detailed. There is a tutorial available by the Sphinx team, but the used example project is quite simple.


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Docs-as-Code Enhanced

For most of us “Docs-as-Code” mostly means to store the documentation files beside the project sources in git. Also editing the sources in an already used IDE and using the CI system to build it, are 2 important use cases why docs-as-code is chosen to create documentation.

But these features have nothing to do with the documentation content itself. What if the content itself can be treated as code? What if the content / documentation language provides features, which we already know from our programming languages?


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Page meta data in Sphinx

In bigger Sphinx projects, written by hundreds of authors, you often need to store additional data to somehow have the overall page creation and update process under control.

This data can be stored and maintained as meta-data on top of each rst file.


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String2Link transformation with Sphinx-Needs

Sphinx-Needs got a new cool feature to easily create links of a given string for options. The string-links feature.

This allows to just set e.g. a github issue id and get a link to exactly this issue in the final docs.

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PyCharm File Watchers for Sphinx projects

I often have the case that I want to see my documentation as fast as possible.

And I know there are “Preview” IDE-Extensions available, which want to solve this problem.


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Page reactivation

For a long, long time I had no private representation on the internet, as most of my work was done for open-source projects, so that I added my thoughts to their websites and documentation pages.

Now, I’m planing something big ;)

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Job advertisement for Sphinx-Needs

I just have detected the first job advertisement, which asks for Sphinx-Needsas skill. Yeah 🥳

The job is for a Docs-As-Code Development engineer at Bosch in Leonberg, Germany.


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