About the devdocs

Feel free to provide feedback or ask questions at the #foodsharing-dev Slack channel at any time.

General information

The developer documentation (devdocs) contains general information about the foodsharing website project, step-by-step instructions, and references.

Target groups of the devdocs

The devdocs should offer everything newcomers need to start participating in the foodsharing website project.

The devdocs should also be of help to anyone that got stuck while working on the foodsharing website project and is in need of help.

Contributing to the devdocs

Anyone can contribute to the devdocs. The git project directory is called docs.

The devdocs are based on the following principles:

  • Information should be correct and current
  • Information should be consistent (language, formatting,...)
  • Information should be concise (but some repetition is necessary)
  • Information should be complete (probably an infeasible ideal)

But don't worry too much about the last three principles.

What in, what out?

How do I decide if a specific information should be in the devdocs? Here are some principles:

  • Is the information specific to foodsharing? -> Yes
  • Were you surprised about it? -> Yes
  • Is the information general enough to be explained in a foodsharing-independent tutorial or documentation? -> No, include a link
  • Is the information specificly about one piece of code and only interesting during reading this code (and not for finding this piece of code)? -> No, explain the code with comments in the code.


The devdocs are written in Markdown (md). Additionally we use the plugin richquotes.

Setting things up

The devdocs are built at every change on the master branch and published here. To see your changes, you can build the devdocs locally. You need to have nodejs and yarn installed on your system. On Windows: After every install you might have to close and reopen the powershell so yarn is recognized as a command. Then go to the main directory / and run the following

# this makes sure you will not commit the created files:
echo "package.json\nyarn.lock" >> ../.git/info/exclude
yarn add gitbook-cli
# only the following is necessary for later runs:
yarn run gitbook install docs && yarn run gitbook serve docs -- port 4001

This makes the current devdocs available via localhost:4001 in your browser.

It is updated at every change of the files. You do not need to send the gitbook serve docs --port 4001 again when you save a changed file

It would be nice to have a docker setup (to avoid the local yarn dependency). Please document it here if you set it up.

The gitlab ci is not triggered if you push with the option git push -o ci.skip. This is useful if you work on the devdocs since they are only built on master anyway.

You can check for broken links with the node tool broken-link-checker. You can install it with yarn: (and ignore created files)

yarn add broken-link-checker
echo "package.json\nyarn.lock" >> ../.git/info/exclude

and use it while gitbook is serving it:

yarn run blc --recursive --exclude-external http://localhost:4001

(Of course you can remove --exclude-external but I got a lot of false negatives. See for yourself.)


The devdocs are built with GitBook.

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