Building a readme service that makes your documentation look beautiful — fastdocs.io

FastDocs project logo
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Inspirations:

A big shout out to existing tools like documentup.com and nicedoc.io that renders README markdown files into a full fledged website with a neat UI. I personally have used both of these before and they have shown me the need for a readme service to exist.

Execution:

The first step was research. Fortunately, documentup & nicedoc were both open source, so I was able to take a look into their source code and see how they have architected their code. It didn’t take me long to realize most of their code was how they parsed the markdown files and generated HTML and CSS. Since I was using Docsify, I was able to speed up the development process.

Early architecture of the project, before development
Early architecture of the project, before development

Challenges:

During my research and pre-development phase I always assumed this was going to be a straight forward project. I mean, how hard could it have been? I just call the GitHub API to get the README from the repository, and I pass that to a Docsify enabled HTML file to render the webpage right?

Branding:

I wanted this project to look professional. A project that could become something in the future and not just die in the list of repositories on my GitHub account. So, I went on a really insightful journey to brand my project so it can be marketable and used by people other than just my friends.

The Future:

With everything said, there is still a long way to go. There is still so much that could be done to further improve this project and make it really useful. Some things that I can think of on the top of my head are:

  • AWS S3 Integration (I made so much progress configuring this, might as well)
  • Docsify theme support (Add docsify supported themes)
  • Custom path to get documentation from (Ex: docs/ , for people that have documentation not in their README)
  • Multi-file support (For people who’s documentation is split into multiple .md files instead of one big README)

Credits:

This entire project would obviously not have been possible without Docsify! It’s plays the most important role of parsing and rendering the README data really quickly.

Reach Me:

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Anirudh Emmadi

Anirudh Emmadi

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Building the future, one commit at a time | Software Engineer | Tech Enthusiast