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Contribute to SCN Docs

Looking to help?

If you wanna share resources and help improve our docs, this page will get you started! Our docs are designed so that anyone can contribute. If this page isn’t enough, contact one of us and we’ll be able to help you!

Our documentation uses the Just the Docs Jekyll theme. This theme provides a lot of nice features, so look there for help too!

Editing process

To edit this documentation you should:

  1. Get your own copy of the repo
  2. Modify the documentation in your own repo (for more information see section on Local Development)
  3. Submit a pull request
  4. Wait for someone to review and accept the request

The rest of this page will explain all the details you need to know about the directory structure, markdown, and other quirks for editing this documentation. Make sure to read everything!

PRO TIP If you want to quickly edit a page, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Edit this page on GitHub”. Clicking the pencil button on that page will automatically send you to your own fork, allow you to make edits, and you can make a pull request from there.

Markdown files

All our documentation is stored in ‘Markdown’ files so that they can be easily modified and changed without heavy technical knowledge.

Markdown Editors

  • A nice and simple online editor is StackEdit which will let you type in markdown and see what it would look like in realtime in split-screen.

  • Another option is HackMD which has the same features as StackEdit but it also allows you to connect to your own GitHub repo and pull/push.

    • This is a nice option if you are uncomfortable with using Git from the command line.

Local Development

Using Jekyll

The best workflow for editing our documentation is to get Jekyll installed on your computer so that you can dynamically generate this website and see your changes on your own computer. The only downside is that it requires some set-up, but once everything is setup everything should be smooth!

You must have Jekyll installed (instructions for your respective OS can be found here).

After you have Jekyll installed, you can start up a local web server by running the command bundle exec jekyll serve in the main directory of this repo on your computer. This should spin up a webserver at http://localhost:4000/ and you can make edits to files and refresh your page to see the changes.

Once you’re satisfied with your changes, make sure all your changes are committed to your repo and submit a pull request!

Avoiding Jekyll

If you’re planning on just making small edits to markdown files, then you don’t have to install Jekyll to make changes. You can simply edit markdown files, push it to your repo, and preview your changes in the github page for your respective repo (GitHub should automatically deploy it for you with a personalized link) If you’re satisfied with these changes, go ahead with submitting a pull request!

A Note on GitHub Deployments

The best way to preview what the website will look like is to use Jekyll and see what it looks like on the localhost webserver.

However, if you push changes to your local repo, GitHub will automatically deploy a version of the page and give you apersonalized link. This deployment will not be accurate because you need to change the “url” in _config.yml to reflecet the personalized link for your github repo. If you don’t, all the links and assets will point to stuff from docs.seattlecommunitynetwork.org.

Documentation Directory Structure

Top-level pages

An example of a ‘top-level page’ would be the ‘Get Started’ page. The ‘Get Started’ page is located in the top-level directory inside the markdown file ‘get-started.md’. Note that the file name doesn’t affect anything but the page’s name in the URL (get-started.html). Everything else is controlled by the stuff inside the ‘YAML Front Matter’ of the markdown file.

Here is the YAML front matter for ‘Get Started’:

---
title: Get Started
nav_order: 2
---
  • The title represents the display name of the page and is important for connecting it with other pages.
  • The nav_order dictates that this page is the 2nd from the top in the sidebar.

Parent pages

An example of a ‘parent page’ would be the ‘Learn’ page. The ‘Learn’ page is located in the learn directory as ‘learn/index.md’. Note that the ‘Learn’ page is almost the same as a top-level page, except it has children pages.

Here is the YAML front matter for ‘Learn’

---
title: Learn
nav_order: 4
has_children: true
---
  • The ‘title’ represents the display name of this page and is also what the children pages will use to reference this page as their parent.
  • The ‘has_children’ is what dictates ‘Learn’ to be a parent page.

Children pages

An example of a ‘children page’ would be the ‘Wireless Communication’ page inside the learn directory as ‘learn/wireless-communication.md’.

Here is the YAML front matter for ‘Wireless Communication’:

---
title: Wireless Communication
parent: Learn
nav_order: 1
---
  • The ‘parent’ is used to mark the ‘Learn’ page as a parent, which causes this page to appear underneath ‘Learn’ as a dropdown page.
  • The ‘nav_order’ is used to enforce that this page occurs as the first page underneath ‘Learn’

Static Files

If you need static files for any of your pages, you should put them in the “assets” folder underneath an appropriate folder.

For example, for the cable-crimping page, the images for the tutorial are located in the “assets/cable-crimping” folder. These images can then be referenced with the following standard markdown image syntax:

 ![RJ45 Crimping Tool]({{site.url}}/assets/cable-crimping/kit-crimping-tool.jpg) 

NOTE Notice the use of site.url with the curly braces. This is ‘Liquid’ syntax that is used by Jekyll to dynamically generate the base url. This should be docs.seattlecommunitynetwork.org in production, but will be localhost:4000 when ran locally with bundle exec jekyll serve.