There are lots of new things coming out of the Aion Network right now. Unity is everyone's favorite word of 2019, the kernel team is busier than ever, and we have a new documentation site!
The new Docs Homepage.
The hosting provider that Aion currently uses, Readme.io, is a great platform to get started and it helped us provide informative and accurate documentation quickly. However, there are three main reasons why we chose to make the move and set up a system:
Throughout the web, you'll encounter sites that take quite a while to fully load. The average webpage is now the size of the original Doom. This isn't something we want to emulate. We want developers to be able to jump on the site, find what they need, and start building, all as fast as possible.
Static site generators are one method for vastly reducing load times. In frameworks like WordPress and Laravel, sites are generated and rendered on page load, which increase the file size and load times of each page. Static site generators run all the processing and rendering before the site is published, so when a user wants to view a page online, all the server has to serve is a static HTML file, with some CSS and JS thrown in for good measure. No more run-time compilations.
Page Speed and Performance Loadtimes
There are a bunch of static site generators out there in the wild, and we settled with Hugo. It has great documentation on how to get it set up, along with a massive amount of example projects to help us get started.
Content management systems are excellent tools, but they often trade flexibility for simplicity. They're designed to be as approachable as possible so that pretty much anyone can use them. The Developer Relations team at Aion decided that we needed a method of creating and hosting documentation that gave us room to explore new ideas and invent new methods of educating developers.
The new Developers quickstart guide!
By using Hugo to generate our site, we can create a middle ground where it's incredibly easy to create documentation in markdown, but also gives us room to build immersive web apps when we need to.
As with any open-source project, community is key. We can't build the Aion Network without the vibrant group of supporters and contributors that surround us. With this in mind, creating a simple way for developers to contribute docs was incredibly important. While Readme.io does have a contribution system in place, it requires users to create an account with Readme.io, which puts a bit of a halt on the contribution flow. So instead, we migrated all our documentation over to GitHub, made the repository public, and started inviting developers to make their contributions and pull requests there! You'd be hard-pressed to find an open-source developer without a GitHub account.
As with other betas, there are still some kinks to work out and we're improving the site every day. There's a substantial to-do list for the new docs, including:
- Improving the current performance.
- Redirecting links to the current docs currently out in the wild.
- Incorporating Elastic Search.
Want to help out? Head on over to the Docs repository to suggest documentation changes. If you've got some web development chops and want to contribute to the site itself, head on over to the Docs Site repository.