Presented by

  • Nathan Willis

    Nathan Willis
    @n8willis
    https://freesoftwhere.org

    Nathan Willis is a type designer, FOSS journalist, and free-software advocate. He spent more than a decade writing about free-software issues as a reporter and editor before shifting gears into open typeface design. He is also a longtime free-software contributor, documentation and specification writer, and conference planner. He is currently a PhD student studying in England.

Abstract

This session is a guide to developing and deploying technical documentation for a mature codebase in minimal time. It details practical advice and lessons learned from the speaker's personal experience taking the HarfBuzz library from a starting point with virtually no documentation to a full-fledged set of internal and external references, plus code-integration and end-user guides. The topics covered will include designing documentation from the top down as an "alternative API" to the code itself, strategies for staging a large documentation project is discrete parts that can be deployed successively, building documentation in a continuous-integration environment, and practical tips for documentation teams. The presentation will also showcase the benefits of rolling out documentation in parallel to development, including insights on system architecture and improved community involvement.