As the Rails documentation discourse is really bubbling, our schedule has given us the sweet chance of taking a few steps back and let us concentrate on the first release of APIdock.
APIdock will be deployed today and we’ll import different versions of the included projects slowly for the next couple of days. The app will be completely usable during the version roll-out. Here are some of the most important changes from Rails-Doc.
The most important difference of APIdock in relation to Rails-doc is of course multiple projects. You will be able to surf your way to APIdock.com and search and browse Ruby and RSpec documentation (in addition to Rails) with the same (except for the improvements that we’ve made) interface that you have been able to use in Rails-Doc. To begin with, the newest patch level of Ruby 1.8.6 will be included as we slowly roll older versions in. Ruby 1.9 will follow later if there proves to be a demand for it. Users wont yet be able to add their own projects, but we’ll provide an easy way to suggest new ones to be added.
In this first release, all the included projects will be listed in tabs, but later on when more projects are added, the idea is that users will be able to choose their “favorite” projects that will be shown as tabs. This way the app will be custom-made for each user.
We’ve added some project specific stuff like extensive project details and version history of the added versions. Behind the curtains the importing of new versions is done with a web interface.
Cross-project searchingWhen developing Rails applications, you are often faced with situations where you can’t be completely sure, whether a certain method comes from Ruby or Rails or somewhere else (like RSpec when writing tests). To help with this situation, in APIdock, after you have filled in a search term, you can simply click on another project to get the results for that same search term from that other project.
ModeratorsWe have also made our ACL more complex under the hood. We can now have moderators that have some extra rights like editing other users’ notes. This way we can give moderator rights to other people including some of our most active collaborators. If you’re interested in becoming a moderator, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rails-Doc => APIdock migration
Your Rails-Doc accounts will be preserved in APIdock, the notes will be where you wrote them and the thanks you’ve got won’t disappear either. Any URIs to the rails-doc.org domain will redirect to the correct page under apidock.com. There aren’t any drawbacks to the migration – no functionality is lost. The app was designed to support multiple projects right from the get-go and now that decision is paying off.
APIdock: what’s to come?Rails-doc and APIdock has been our first Summer on Rails project, something we hope to be an annual feat. The general idea behind SOR is to hire young talented developers to develop something cool and not-too-business-critical over the summer under the mentorship of some senior developers. We think APIdock is a pretty awesome result and huge thanks go to our team of emerging Rails superstars:
The summer is starting to be over and that means the super-active development cycle of APIdock will slow down. We will continue to maintain the app, fix any bugs that are found and concentrate only on absolute key features.
Hopefully you’ll enjoy this first installment of APIdock. In any case, let us know what you think.