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Tools FAQ for API doc site

by Tom Johnson on Feb 13, 2020
categories: api-doc

I've started adding responses to API doc questions to a FAQ page in my API doc course. I added three of the latest responses so far to questions. Since I anticipate a lot of questions around tools, I dedicated this page as the Tools FAQ.

Here are the initial questions I included:

  • Is it possible to author API documentation using DITA/XML or an XML editor (like Oxygen)? I saw your recommended list of tools in the Publishing API docs section, but it would be great if we could leverage existing tools.

  • We use Madcap Flare but document our APIs in Swagger. We’re considering dropping Flare and using instead, which can import Swagger, but should we be looking at other tools? We also don’t document just APIs, but have protocols we document outside of the APIs too.

  • We’re considering using GitHub as our documentation CMS, but we’re unsure what it can support. Does it provide a documentation portal? HTML generation? An editor to add/update content? Themes? bi-directional sync with Git? Overall, what is the process flow if it allows documentation?

You can read my responses in the Tools FAQ.

By the way, I’m never quite sure what to call FAQ pages. They tend to be a catch-all for every question not answered elsewhere, not necessarily frequently asked questions. Some people despise FAQs, while others like them. However, I do think they are useful pages to hang a lot of questions not covered elsewhere.

About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm an API technical writer based in the Seattle area. On this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, AI, information architecture, content strategy, writing processes, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation course if you're looking for more info about documenting APIs. Or see my posts on AI and AI course section for more on the latest in AI and tech comm.

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