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Revision as of 15:08, 20 June 2013 by Dfleming (talk | contribs) (Complete OpenStack API Reference (web page))


The OpenStack documentation library was designed a few years ago.

Since then, the library has grown without a specific organization. Also, doc contributors have learned how users interact with it.

This blueprint describes a plan to restructure the OpenStack documentation to:

  • Provide a clear roadmap through the documentation library for different audiences: Deployers, users, and developers.
  • Reduce redundancy.
  • Increase usability, clarity, and consistency.


The restructure enables these audiences to complete tasks by using the following docs:

Audience Tasks Docs
OpenStack deployers Install, configure, and run OpenStack clusters.
  • OpenStack Installation Guide
  • OpenStack Operations Guide
  • OpenStack Configuration Reference
OpenStack users Perform tasks in an OpenStack cloud through:
  • The Horizon dashboard
  • The OpenStack command-line clients
  • Directly through the OpenStack APIs
  • OpenStack User Guide
  • OpenStack Command Reference
OpenStack developers Extend the OpenStack APIs.

Write applications that run on top of an OpenStack cloud.

  • OpenStack Developer Guide
  • OpenStack <project> API Specification/s
  • OpenStack API Reference web page

Deliverables - Deployers

Audience: Deployers who want to install, configure, and run OpenStack clusters.
Product info: Havana, 2013.1
Include common glossary? Yes

OpenStack Installation Guide



  • Provide step-by-step instructions for deployers about how to install, configure, and run OpenStack clusters.
  • Include easy-to-follow, lightweight, command-by-command steps for installing an OpenStack cluster of defined architecture.
  • Include basic explanatory text for command steps, enabling first time users to understand why they are performing them.
  • Introduce the OpenStack community, including how to get help.
  • Exclude unusual deployment scenarios.

Source material

  • OpenStack Basic Install Guide - Ubuntu 12.04
  • OpenStack Basic Install Guide - Fedora 18
  • OpenStack Install and Deploy Manual - Ubuntu
  • OpenStack Install and Deploy Manual - Red Hat
  • OpenStack <project> Administration Guide/s
  • project devref/s

OpenStack Operations Guide


  • Provide opinionated direction for deployers about how to design, set up, and run OpenStack clusters.
  • Include information currently in the OpenStack High Availability Guide.
  • Exclude installation instructions and configuration reference information.

Source material

  • OpenStack Operations Guide
  • OpenStack High Availability Guide?? Or does this stay in its own book?
  • OpenStack project Administration Guide/s
  • project devref/s

OpenStack Configuration Reference


  • List configuration options available with OpenStack. Use auto-generation to generate options from the code.
  • Include configuration files, configuration options in each file, configuration extensions, and use cases for each configuration feature.
  • Exclude API parameters.

Source material

  • OpenStack project Administration Guide/s
  • project devref/s

Deliverables - Admin and End Users


  • Users of OpenStack clouds who perform tasks through the Horizon dashboard or the OpenStack command-line clients.
  • Beginning developers who want to develop applications on top of OpenStack by using the OpenStack APIs.


  • Users ramp up on cloud computing by using the Horizon dashboard and the OpenStack command-line clients.
  • Then, they use the OpenStack APIs to create scalable applications.

Product info: Havana, 2013.1

Include common glossary? Yes

Blueprint: Blueprint - OpenStack User Documentation

OpenStack End User Guide


  • Explain OpenStack cloud concepts and describe how to use an OpenStack cloud.
  • Include command-line tools and credentials, and how to use Horizon dashboard.
  • Include OpenStack clients command reference as an appendix (or appendices).
  • Describe command-line clients and their subcommands and required and optional parameters.
  • Write scripts to auto-generate command and command parameters from the code.
  • Use conditional tags to generate two versions of this book: One with admin commands, and one without.
  • Exclude concepts (these go in the OpenStack User Guide) or installation instructions (these go in the OpenStack Installation Guide).
  • Exclude Cloud application architecture.

Source material

OpenStack Admin User Guide


  • Same format as End User Guide except focus on admin user tasks:
  • Manage users and projects
  • Create and manage images
  • Create and manage flavors
  • Migrate servers
  • And so on

Source material

Deliverables - Application Developers

Audience: Developers who want to extend the OpenStack APIs or write applications by using the OpenStack APIs.

Release info: API vn

Include common glossary? Yes

Strategy: For the API Reference and the API Specifications, the plan is to use a common set of WADL files to generate the docs. Currently, the API reference page is generated from WADL files, but the API Specifications are not. Then, both sets of docs will be generated from a single set of WADLs, and contributors must update only one set of files.

OpenStack Developer Guide


  • Explain API concepts and provide guidance for developers who want to extend the OpenStack APIs or write applications that run on an OpenStack cloud.

Source material

  • Python Developer Documentation
  • Language Bindings Documentation
  • Continuous Integration (CI) Developer Documentation
  • Programming OpenStack Compute API with Shell and Python

OpenStack project API Reference/s


  • Provide one reference per project: Compute, Image Service, Identity Service, Object Storage, and Block Storage Service.
  • Explain API concepts and describe API methods and parameters, with examples for each.
  • Source reference information from WADL files that are shared with the API Reference web page.
  • Include advanced guidance information.

Source material

  • OpenStack project API Reference/s

Complete OpenStack API Reference (web page)


  • Provide developers with a searchable and comprehensive Web page that lists API methods and parameters, with examples for each.
  • Exclude advanced guidance information (this goes in the OpenStack project API Reference/s), installation instructions, or feature descriptions that are longer than one sentence.

Source material

  • API Reference - sourced from WADL files


  • Lack of people to implement.