A Guide To Our New Docs

With the release of v0.11.0, you may have noticed some recent updates to Reaction’s documentation page. First and foremost, we’ve moved our entire docs section to its own subdomain at docs.reactioncommerce.com. We’ve also added more content, as well as a search bar, so you can find what you’re looking for much more efficiently.

Building our docs page, which is dynamically driven entirely by Meteor, was a unique experience in its own right. Let’s look underneath the hood and learn more about how we created docs.

Introduction to Docs

Our documentation provides you with all the information you need to get started with Reaction. Browse our in-depth list of features, or search for frequently asked questions from other shop owners. Developers or designers looking to launch the platform locally may refer to the doc’s Developer sections, where they may also contribute changes to the project, fork it, or modify the code to suit any custom requirements over on their end.

An Overview of Our Open-Source Doc Tool

Our documentation section is powered by redoc, our very own self-developed open source Meteor application, which you may learn more about at reactioncommerce/redoc. Redoc fetches raw markdown from multiple remote sources, such as the reaction-docs Github repository. Then, it takes the markdown content from GitHub and transforms it and applies styles to all of the content. The end result? A clean and intuitive table of contents that can then be skinned with a variety of theme packages.

So, you may be wondering why we decided to build our own tool for our docs? The short answer is that we looked high and low at everything that's out there, and we didn't find something that fit all of our core needs. Sure, we found some things that were close, but we just couldn't find the ideal solution. And, to be truly honest, we like to build things! Our docs are critically important to our project. On any given month, they receive about 30% of our overall traffic. We know that our docs need to be great, and we know that this is just the starting point. From here, we imagine creating an entire portal of information that will be helpful for using Reaction and for interacting with the core team and with other community members.

Building redoc was also an experiment that included features from the next release of Meteor 1.3. For instance, redoc uses react and react-router to render search engine-friendly HTML server-side for the docs.

Since we use this project to generate docs for Reaction Commerce, we’ve included example configuration files in the redoc project. The config files delineate how we built our own docs, but redoc can be easily reused and reconfigured for any documentation site project.

Additional features of our doc page include:

  • Search documentation
  • SSR / SEO-friendly functionality
  • Page aliasing and friendly URLs
  • Gitter Sidecar chat integration
  • Customizable themes
  • Caching with adjustable refresh schedule
  • Integration with Google Analytics

Conclusion

Our docs provide you with everything you need to install, configure, and develop your very own Reaction-powered ecommerce shop. To review the documentation source, check out the reaction-docs repository. To learn more about redoc and other info, be sure to check it out on GitHub.

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