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Templates created by The Good Docs Project - for all your tech writing needs.
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discussion Created descriptors and moved directories Nov 3, 2019
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adoc-parameters.txt - Initial contribution of templates in Asciidoc format. Oct 17, 2019

About the Templates Repo

This repository contains best-practice templates to help build documentation for open-source software, which incidentally is directly applicable to other domains too.

Here we provide tips for using these templates.

Core documentation types

The templates are categorised in line with standard DITA documentation types:

Concept: Describes how and why things work. Concepts are normally written to help the reader with understanding a technology, prior to using it.

Task: Gives specific instructions about how to get something done. In practice, Tasks tend to have a specific goal and usually consist of a set of numbered steps that the reader can follow to achieve the goal.

Reference: Contains structured information or specifications that users need to make a product work. Reference sections should comprehensively catalog data such as functions and their parameters, return codes and error messages.

Our templates follow these documentation types, and you should find that your information naturally fits into them as you write.

How to use these templates

We like to compare documentation types to aisles in a grocery store. Each aisle includes related templates, which you can think of as ingredients. Use these ingredients in documentation cookbooks to whip up docs that are hot and ready to eat for your readers.

When writing your documentation, it helps to think about the following:

  • Who are you writing for?
  • What will they be trying to accomplish when they read the documentation?
  • The information type. Is it a concept, a task or reference?

The templates

Templates we currently offer:

Template name Documentation type
API Project overview Concept
API Quickstart Concept, Task
API Reference Reference
Discussion Concept
How-to Task
Tutorial Concept, Task
General reference entry Reference
Logging reference Reference

The cookbook

Recipe name Description Constituent templates
API reference One chapter in your full API documentation Reference entries (multiple reference) + error information (reference) + throttling (concept) + authentication (task)
API guide: good The starter set for API docs API project overview + setup instructions (task) + Reference section (see recipe above) + Quickstart
API guide: better Improved API docs, after learning about users API project overview + setup instructions (task) + Reference(s) + Quickstart + How-to(s)
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