How you can contribute!

It's a tough job writing documentation which covers every use case and scenario - mainly because Juju is so versatile it can be used in so many ways. That is why we hope to get plenty of feedback from users to help extend, amend and improve the documentation. It is really easy and you don't have to be the world's best writer. Our grammar goblins will sort out any problems with the words, but your knowledge is very useful to us.

How to write docs!

Contributing to the docs is really easy because it is all written in GitHub flavored Markdown. You will find most of the source documents are very straightforward and human-readable, if you just want to dip in and change a paragraph or add some extra info. The Juju docs use a modified version of the Github Flavored Markdown to compose the content of the docs. We've retained the majority of GFM, with the exception of "Username linking" and "Emoji", both of which are Github specific.

In addition to the removals, we've also created several new Markdown definitions to implement features required for the docs. These definitions are outlined below.

Grab the docs and get to work

The code is available on github.com/juju/docs. Clone it, edit it, and then submit a pull request.

We enforce 80 columns for every text file to keep it readable. Here are instructions for two editors:

Here is a handy Markdown reference) to get you started, and don't forget to reference the GitHub Flavored Markdown reference.

The individual document pages are in the src directory. From there each language is seperated into it's own directory by language code. So for example English is in src/en.

Sections

All the text is organised into sections. These are autogenerated, there is nothing extra you need to do:

# <h1> equivalent
## <h2> equivalent
### <h3> equivalent

Code Blocks

To code block something indent each line with 4 whitespace characters.

Inline code

Use a backtick to inline commands and other literals.

Notes, Warnings, Callouts, Admonishments

Callouts are used to notify the user of additional information or warn them of potential pitfalls. This will create a notification resembling the following in the docs:

callout

To implement this callout, use the following syntax:

!!! Note: If you want to get more information on what is actually happening, or
to help resolve problems, you can add the `--show-log` switch to the juju
command to get verbose output.

Foldouts

When a page contains a high volume of information that would otherwise require a table of contents, or similar method of quick navigation, a foldout can be used. This will create a collapsed header which, when clicked, will expand to display all the content below it.

^# Header
  Content can be multi-paragraphed and will be sent through the Markdown parser

  As long as content is continually indented under the header

Adding pages

If you find you need to add a page to the documentation, then you will also need to add it to the navigation, which means altering one file, src/navigation.tpl.

Add the page with the following format:

<li class="sub"><a href="charms-scaling.html">Scaling Services</a></li>;

in the appropriate section. Please make sure you submit a merge proposal with a description of the new page and why it is needed!

Adding Screenshots

When adding screenshots place them in htmldocs/media. To reference them in your page use the syntax ![description](/static/img/jujudocs/picture.png)

Testing or Deploying locally

First you need to generate the docs from the Markdown. In the root directory first get the dependencies and make the docs:

make sysdeps
make

Note: You only need to make sysdeps once, after that you'll have all the dependencies you'll need to build the docs going forward.

The documentation makes use of Javascript for some functionality, so in order to test the docs properly or serve them locally, you will need to have an http server set up.

On Ubuntu this is easy. Install (if you need to) and start the apache2 web server, then just copy the htmldocs directory to a convenient location -

sudo cp -R htmldocs /var/www/htmldocs

You can then point your web browser at your local machine (127.0.0.1/htmldocs) to view the files.

Alternatively, you can use Python to start a simple HTTP server on the docs directory. Navigate to the /htmldocs directory of the docs and run the following:

python -m SimpleHTTPServer

Style and Language

We are putting together a more comprehensive style guide, but for the moment the following are good guidelines:

  • Resist being overly formal. The documentation should be like having a conversation with a knowledgeable friend
  • Remember the readers are users not necessarily Juju developers
  • Spell things properly! (see below)
  • If including links or examples, double-check they actually work

Using en-GB for en-US writers

The official language of Canonical documentation is English, or en-GB to be more precise. There are all sorts of minor differences between English and American English, including spelling, verb morphology, transitives, etc.

Many of these differences will thankfully have no impact on writing the documentation for Juju though - it is unlikely you will be talking about "pants" or "hockey" or "tabling motions" for example. The main and most notable difference is in spelling.

Popular belief is that you will merely need to add a few 'u's to words and change -ize to -ise everywhere. It is a bit more complicated than that though. In fact, many -ize endings are acceptable in en-GB, though the -ise endings are generally preferred. The Oxford English Dictionary Style Guide (1998) has this to say:

"The verbal ending -ize has been in general use since the 16th century; it is favoured in American English and in much British writing, and remains the current preferred style of Oxford University Press in academic and general books published in Britain. However, the alternative spelling -ise is now widespread (partly under the influence of French), especially in Britain, and may be adopted provided that its use is consistent. ... A number of verbs always end in -ise in British use, notably advertise, chastise, despise, disguise, franchise, merchandise, surmise, and all verbs ending in -cise, -prise, -vise (including comprise, excise, prise (open), supervise, surprise, televise, etc.), but -ize is always used for prize (=value), capsize, size. ... Spellings with -yze (paralyze, analyze) are only acceptable in American use."

As you can see, it can be rather tricky. And that is only the ize/ize issue. There are many other endings which differ (e.g. -eled/-elled as in "travelled" and "labelled". The best way to ensure that you are using consistent en-GB spelling is to simply enable the en-GB dictionary on whatever software you generally use for writing. For example, in vim you could execute the command:

:setlocal spell spelllang=en_gb 

This will change the spelling highlight options for the local buffer only, so you won't have to worry about whatever language you normally use. Do not worry about your atrocious grammar (in either variant of the language) as the docs monkeys are used to tidying that up!

Submitting your work

We love it when the community contributes to documentation, here's how to contribute:

And that's it! Someone from the Juju team will review your work and merge it in! Please don't forget to review the page before submission.