Pointers to useful, well-written, and otherwise beautiful documentation.



Beautiful Docs

I love documentation. If you work with/are writing code intended for usage and consumption by more than one person, you should love it, too. Documentation and other resources will make or break the success of your project. And the more open and collaborative you want development to be, the more crucial docs become.

With that in mind, here's a list of docs and other developer resources that myself and others find particularly useful, well-written, and otherwise "beautiful." May they serve to inspire you when writing and designing yours. Thanks to various contributors, we now also have sections dedicated to Writing about Documentation and Tools for Generating Docs.

This should be updated fairly regularly. As usual, pull requests are encouraged.

  • If you're contributing a link, be sure to include a few words on why you're adding it and some sort of self-attribution so that people can know from whom it came.
  • All docs are listed in the order they were added. Keep this order when submitting your PR.


And Now For The Docs

Writing about Docs

Generating Docs

  • docco - Pretty docs from source code comments with ports for many languages. (contributed by @kylewest)
  • DocumentUp - Instantly beautify your Github repositories' README.md. (contributed by @kylewest)
  • Sphinx - Comprehensive documentation tool using restructuredText with beautiful HTML and PDF output. (contributed by @nikhilcutshort)
  • MkDocs - Documentation with Markdown, written in Python. (contributed by ericbn)
  • Read the Docs - Hosted docs using Sphinx or MkDocs, supports translations and finding docs for specific software versions. Used by the Django Docs. (contributed by Stephen Paulger)
  • dr.js - Tiny JavaScript documentation generator from the author of RaphaëlJS. (contributed by @nikhilcutshort)
  • Markdoc - Lightweight documentation/wiki generator in Python, released in the public domain. (contributed by Neelfyn)
  • ApiGen - Creates clean API documentation from PHP source code (contributed by bryceadams)
  • docgenerator - Organize your documentation in Markdown files. (contributed by Florian Margaine)
  • dexy - Extensible documentation/report generator supporting multiple programming languages and serveral input and output formats. (contributed by troytop)
  • Slate - Static API documentation creation tool from the team at Tripit.
  • MireDot - REST API documentation generator for Java. Plugs into your build process and generates a searchable html page. (contributed by bertvh)
  • codo - CoffeeScript API documentation generator, similar to YARD. (contributed by Logan Koester)
  • Flatdoc - Create well designed open source documentation from Github repository README files or simple Markdown files. (contributed by @moore)
  • GitBook - Utility for generating documentation, books and exercises using GitHub/Git and Markdown. (contributed by Samy Pessé)
  • Daux - A documentation generator that uses a simple folder structure and Markdown files to create custom documentation on the fly. It helps you create great looking documentation in a developer friendly way. (contributed by veshinak)
  • comment.js - Simple API documentation generator. (contributed by @dciccale)
  • phpDocumentor - phpDocumentor enables you to generate documentation from your PHP source code. (contributed by shivamdixit)
  • Hologram - Hologram is a Ruby gem that parses comments in your CSS and helps you turn them into a beautiful style guide. (contributed by @jchild3rs)
  • Middleman - Static site generator using all the shortcuts and tools in modern web development. (contributed by Sota Yamashtia)
  • documentation.js - Generates documentation from JavaScript source code. (contributed by tmcw)
  • SassDoc - A Sass documentation generator that utilizes inline comments to make pretty and powerful docs. (contributed by Hugo Giraudel)
  • Pickles - Pickles is an open source living documentation generator that works on feature files written in the Gherkin language.
  • ApiDoc RESTful web API Documentation Generator that creates documentation from API descriptions in your source code. (contributed by Trenton Broughton)
  • Documentation theme for Jekyll - Documentation theme built on Jekyll. Includes detailed notes on how to tackle nearly every technical documentation scenario, from single sourcing to conditional filtering, PDF output, relative links, and more.
  • JSDoc - Generate JavaScript API documentation directly from source code comments. Also useful as a style guide for JS commenting, in general. Google uses a version of JSDoc tags for its Closure compiler.
  • Asciidoctor - Asciidoctor is a fast text processor and publishing toolchain for converting AsciiDoc content to HTML5, DocBook 5 (or 4.5) and other formats. (contributed by ThomasG77)
  • Bookdown - A open-source (GPL-3) R package to facilitate writing books and long-form articles/reports with R Markdown. Support for languages other than R, including C/C++, Python, and SQL, etc. (contributed by ThomasG77)
  • Pandoc If you need to convert files from one markup format into another, pandoc is your swiss-army knife. Can generate documentation from most common markup languages. (contributed by ThomasG77)
  • Any recommendations about live demos or sandbox examples

    Any recommendations about live demos or sandbox examples

    I'm mostly looking for tools/libraries that help projects build documentation that showcases their javascript. Sites like http://github.hubspot.com/executr/ or http://requirebin.com/ come to mind as starters.

    opened by kentmw 5
  • Add Markdoc to the generators list

    Add Markdoc to the generators list

    It would be great to include Markdoc too. It's a very nice small Python generator, you can use it with version control systems, it's public domain software... everything you could ever dream of, basically.

    opened by Neelfyn 3
  • added pickles, Gentoo Docs and 13-point listicle

    added pickles, Gentoo Docs and 13-point listicle

    Although Arch Linux Wiki is awesome, I can't say it's beautiful. So adding the following

    Gentoo Handbook and Documentation: Documentation for the popularly most difficult (relatively) mainstream Linux operating system. These documents do an awesome job of instructing users in any level on how to install, configure and maintain Gentoo.

    13 things people hate about your opensource docs: Nice article on things to focus on when dealing with open source documentation

    Pickles: From their site """Pickles is an open source living documentation generator that works on feature files written in the Gherkin language, popularized in tools like Cucumber and SpecFlow. Pickles can be incorporated into your build process to produce living documenation in a format that is more accessible to your clients. Gherkin language files are written in plain text and stored in your source folder. This can make them inaccessible to clients who may not know how to work with source control or who are not interested in seeing all of the source code, just the features. """

    opened by eternaltyro 2
  • Do you want to go on the awesome list?

    Do you want to go on the awesome list?

    @PharkMillups love this list! Enough that I made a PR to get it onto the official awesome list:


    To get on there, the page needs a few changes. I can make these changes for you, I just want to check with you first if you care. If not, I can just close that PR.

    Happy documenting!

    opened by dthree 2
  • Adding Flatdoc to the Generating Docs

    Adding Flatdoc to the Generating Docs

    I think that Flatdoc would make a great addition to the generating docs list - http://ricostacruz.com/flatdoc/. It's a simple Javascript file that fetches Markdown files from your Github repo and generates easy to follow docs.

    opened by jonathanmoore 2
  • Added MireDot

    Added MireDot

    We're working on MireDot, a REST API documentation generator for Java (as an alternative to Swagger and Enunciate. I think if fits well in the list of the documentation generators.

    opened by bertvh 2
Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
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