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Chapter 4: OpenAPI spec and generated reference docs

Last updated: May 28, 2023

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The OpenAPI specification provides a standard way to describe REST APIs, and includes elements such as paths, operations, parameters, and schemas. Tools like Stoplight, Swagger UI, SwaggerHub, and Redocly can generate interactive API reference documentation from the OpenAPI spec. In this chapter, you follow a tutorial for using Stoplight, a visual editor, to create an OpenAPI specification file and publish the documentation. As you work with the OpenAPI spec, you learn about “spec-first development,” a philosophy of creating the spec before developers write API code, as well as other challenges, such as integrating the reference output and conceptual documentation in a seamless experience.

About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation if you're looking for more info about that. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates below. You can also learn more about me or contact me. Finally, note that the opinions I express on my blog are my own points of view, not that of my employer.

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