Vision, tips and conventions about documentation content and workflows.


This is a proposal.

Although applied on private or small projects, this documentation howto should be considered as a proposal. It is not industry standard and have not been supported by some “big” projects.

However, give it a try! and give feedback [1].



In software development, when developers contribute to projects, they read and write documentation. Most people agree documentation matters. But everybody has its own culture, habits and vision about documentation. Thus it appears quite difficult to share vision about documentation and then create efficient documentation.


Feature: shared vision and best practices about documentation

  In order to share vision about documentation and create efficient
  documentation material
  As member of a development team
  I want to share best practices about documentation.

  Scenario: Adopt documentation-related vision and practices
    Given a project
    And a team
    When the team documents the project
    Then team members follow guidelines provided at
    And reference it in the project's documentation.


This project mainly deals with documentation you write within a dedicated tool, i.e. not docstrings (documentation within code).



Create tickets

Please use the bugtracker [1] before starting some work:

  • check if the bug or feature request has already been filed. It may have been answered too!
  • else create a new ticket.
  • if you plan to contribute, tell us, but don’t wait for us! So that we are given an opportunity to discuss, join forces or give feedback as soon as possible.

Fork and branch

  • Work in forks and branches.
  • Prefix your branch with the ticket ID corresponding to the issue. As an example, if you are working on ticket #23 which is about headings convention, name your branch like 23-headings.

Download and install

System requirements:

  • Python [4] version 2.6 or 2.7.


    The provided Makefile uses python command. So you may use Virtualenv [5] to make sure the active python is the adequate one.

  • Access to the Internet.


git clone
cd docness/
make install

If you cannot execute the Makefile, read it and adapt the few commands it contains in the install section to your needs.


They said “Eat your own dog food”, so follow:

In your commit messages, reference the ticket with some refs #TICKET-ID syntax.

Test and build

Build the documentation and review your work before commit.

make build-documentation


  • Push your code
  • Submit a pull request

Indices and tables