Please take the survey about OpenStack doc contributions: Documentation Contributions Survey
- 1 OpenStack Documentation
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 Tools and Content Overview
- 1.3 Edit the OpenStack Wiki
- 1.4 Edit OpenStack RST and/or DocBook documentation
- 1.4.1 Set up for First-time Contributors
- 1.4.2 Download the documentation
- 1.4.3 Editor Options
- 1.4.4 Building Output Locally
- 1.4.5 Using Tox to check builds
- 1.4.6 Workflow
- 1.5 Policies and conventions
- 1.6 Working with bugs and reviewing patches
- 1.6.1 Understanding doc bugs
- 1.6.2 Reviewing Documentation
- 1.7 Translation
In many cases, the easiest way to become a contributor to OpenStack is to participate in the documentation efforts. It requires no coding, just a willingness to read and understand the systems that you’re writing about. Because the documentation is treated like code, however, by participating in the documentation you will be learning the mechanics necessary to make contributions to OpenStack itself.
This document explains the tools and processes you will need to participate in OpenStack documentation, either as a writer, a reviewer, or simply a contributor who helps to organize the work that needs to be done. It discusses the following topics:
- Tools and content overview: This section gives you a basic overview of the existing documentation, and tooling. Use this section to find documentation on a particular subject.
- How to edit documentation: This section explains the action process involved in editing the document. Use this section to understand how to get set up to make changes, and how to go ahead and make and commit those changes.
- Policies and conventions: In order to keep all of the different pieces of documentation consistent, OpenStack documentation must follow certain conventions. Use this section to understand the various policies and conventions governing changes you might make.
- Working with bugs and reviewing patches: Like OpenStack code, documentation is tracked using blueprints and bug reports, and changes must be reviewed before they are merged. Use this section to understand how to report, triage, and review patches for bugs.
- Other Documentation resources: Use this section to find more information on the various and sundry other topics that come up in documentation, such as autodoc or translations.
Tools and Content Overview
The tool used for the documentation depends on the audience for the docs.
We use DocBook to create OpenStack's web documentation for deployers, admins, and CLI and API users. We use ReStructured Text (RST) files stored in source code for developer docs.
To work on the RST source files, find the /doc/source/ directory in a given OpenStack project to work on the source .rst files. These are built to http://docs.openstack.org/developer/<project>, for example, http://docs.openstack.org/developer/nova.
To work on the DocBook source files for admin guides, a working project exists in Github in the http://github.com/openstack/openstack-manuals project since DocBook documentation encompasses all OpenStack projects.
All API spec documentation that builds to http://docs.openstack.org/api is housed in image-api, identity-api, compute-api, netconn-api, and object-api repositories. Changes to these are approved by the core development team because they are specifications.
The DocBook builds are listed in the Documentation/Builds page, showing what source files are built from.
For information about DocBook, see DocBook: The Definitive Guide.
Here's a video walk through of the contribution process showing submit a patch for a doc bug:
The OpenStack Documentation program focuses on the documentation for the following primary projects:
- Compute (nova)
- Identity (keystone)
- Image (glance)
- Network (neutron)
- Block storage (cinder)
- Object storage (swift)
These projects have two basic audiences: developers and sysadmins (think operations or dev-ops). The RST-based documentation, because it automatically generates doc from docstrings in the code, is much more for a developer audience.
The developer documentation serves both Python developers who want to work on OpenStack code and web developers who work with the OpenStack API.
What Docs Go Where?
Refer to Documentation/ContentSpecs for a description of many documents. A long listing of which repos house which documents is at Documentation/Builds. Generally this table describes the patterns for what goes where.
|Use for project docs, blueprint specs.||Use for Python developer documentation and quick starts.||Use for more in-depth documentation that provides context and learning opportunities.|
|The audience is any project team member of OpenStack.||The audience is Python developers who want to work on the project.||The audience is typically users of OpenStack, but developers are a secondary audience.|
|Output is per-page at wiki.openstack.org||Output goes to docs.openstack.org/developer/<projectname>.||Output goes to docs.openstack.org|
wiki.openstack.org (wikitext or RST)
The OpenStack wiki contains project docs, specs for blueprints, and meeting information and minutes. If there's a page you want to keep an eye on (like Nova installations for example), add it to your Notifications list (under User > Settings > Notifications in the wiki).
The RST pages stored with the project code should be written with a developer audience in mind, although many times you'll find there is overlap in what an admin needs to know and what a developer needs to know. High priorities for those sites are wider coverage of doc strings, API doc, i18N methodology, and architecture concepts that'll help developers.
docs.openstack.org (DocBook 5)
As mentioned above, the source for this site is housed in Github in the http://github.com/openstack/openstack-manuals project, the Launchpad page for this project is https://launchpad.net/openstack-manuals. You can either build the output locally if you want, or just submit changes to the source XML through merge proposals. The OpenStack Jenkins build server builds the doc and copies the output to docs.openstack.org/trunk automatically thanks to the pom.xml files included in the source files.
- doc/$BOOK contains the DocBook XML source files and images
When editing DocBook documentation, please adhere to the DocBook 5 syntax. If you've used DocBook version 4 or earlier before, and you're not familiar with the changes that DocBook saw in V5.0, the Transition Guide is a helpful read.
The Cloud Doc Tools Maven plug-in provides a build tool that Jenkins can use to build PDF and HTML from DocBook and WADL source files. It's maintained at https://github.com/stackforge/clouddocs-maven-plugin. We track bugs against the output in the OpenStack Core Infrastructure launchpad project.
The release notes are available on Github.
For the openstack-manuals, a parent pom contains the clouddocs-mvn-plugin version. For information about parent pom files, see https://maven.apache.org/guides/introduction/introduction-to-the-pom.html.
Edit the OpenStack Wiki
Just go ahead and edit it directly.
Edit OpenStack RST and/or DocBook documentation
Editing OpenStack documentation is a straightforward process, once you get the hang of it.
In general, it goes like this:
- Configure your computer to talk to all of the systems involved.
- Download the code from the appropriate repository.
- Make your changes.
- Commit changes to the repository.
- Changes are reviewed and merged.
This diagram shows the basic set up workflow:
Set up for First-time Contributors
Thanks for contributing to docs!
To get started, you must complete the following steps just like any other OpenStack developer. The steps are detailed in Documentation/HowTo/FirstTimers, and here is an overview:
- Create a Launchpad account and
- Join the OpenStack Foundation. Then you can
- Sign the Contributor License Agreement: All these steps are fully documented on the CLA page on this wiki.
- Setup git review and get familiar with the GerritWorkflow
Download the documentation
Use the Clouddocs Maven Plugin and a pom.xml configuration file in combination to build docs to docs.openstack.org and api.openstack.org.
Follow these steps to get started:
1. Install the Apache Maven project, and Git
The installation command depends on your operating system.
On Mac OS X, with Macports:
sudo port install maven3 #Install Git by referring to: https://help.github.com/articles/set-up-git#platform-mac
On Mac OS X, with Homebrew:
brew install maven #Install Git by referring to: https://help.github.com/articles/set-up-git#platform-mac
sudo apt-get install maven git git-review
sudo yum install maven git git-review
2. Get a copy of the docs source files:
git clone https://github.com/openstack/openstack-manuals.git
Each book has its own folder in the openstack-manuals/doc directory.
For example, the root directory of the OpenStack Virtual Image Guide is openstack-manuals/doc/image-guide.
3. Enter your Launchpad account information after testing for ssh key set up with the following command:
git review -s
Note: If you see any "Permission denied" errors at this step, go to review.openstack.org, log in, and check through all the items in your Settings link to ensure that everything matches. You may need to enter your SSH key in the Gerrit site (review.openstack.org).
Note: If you get the error "We don't know where your gerrit is.", you will need to add a new git remote. The url should be in the error message. Copy that and create the new remote with this command:
git remote add gerrit ssh://<username>@review.openstack.org:29418/openstack/openstack-manuals.git
4. Work on the openstack-manuals locally and submit patches. See the GerritWorkflow steps to contribute your changes.
That should get you started contributing to docs just like code. Read more for the details of what types of documentation go where.
We encourage the use of Oxygen XML Author for editing XML - it offers consistency in white space which makes diffs in review.openstack.org easier. If you prefer a text-based editor but with validation, you can use Emacs. Here are some great resources on DocBook and Emacs' NXML mode:
If you prefer vi, there are ways to make DocBook editing easier:
Oxygen XML Acknowledgment
Thanks to the generosity of Oxygen in supporting open source projects, you can edit DocBook XML within the Oxygen Author or Editor by downloading a copy of the software from http://www.oxygenxml.com/. We have been given 10 floating licenses, but they are all claimed. You're encouraged to procure it through other channels if you work for a member OpenStack company.
Oxygen and the Rackbook Framework
Due to Rackspace maintaining Oxygen tools that make authoring DocBook and WADL easier, we can offer a Rackbook framework. You can run directly from http://docs.rackspace.com/oxygen/. You will need to add a valid Oxygen license to use the application.
Alternatively, download the oxygen-frameworks.zip file. Next, download the following file to your system: defaults.xpr. Extract the oxygen-frameworks.zip file to ~/Library/Preferences (i.e. so you end up with /Users/your.username/Library/Preferences/com.oxygenxml.author). In Oxygen, go to Options->Import Global Options. Navigate to the downloaded defaults.xpr file and click Open.You should see a new bar of buttons and a Rackbook menu item.
Building Output Locally
To build a specific guide, look for a pom.xml file within a subdirectory, switch to that directory, then run the mvn command in that directory. For example:
cd openstack-manuals/doc/image-guide mvn clean generate-sources
The generated PDF documentation file is:
The root of the generated HTML documentation is:
For the install guides, there's a section in the pom.xml that tells the build whether to create the Ubuntu version of the guide, the RHEL/CentOS/Fedora version or the openSUSE/SLES version of the guide. Right now, the master branch pom.xml file defaults to Ubuntu with this section:
<!-- This is set by Jenkins according to the branch. --> <release.path.name>local</release.path.name> <comments.enabled>1</comments.enabled> <operating.system>apt</operating.system> <!-- This is set by Jenkins to run twice for each similar operating system group --> <profile.os>ubuntu</profile.os>
If you want to build the RHEL/CentOS/Fedora version of the install guide, change that section to this instead:
<!-- This is set by Jenkins according to the branch. --> <release.path.name>local</release.path.name> <comments.enabled>1</comments.enabled> <operating.system>yum</operating.system> <!-- This is set by Jenkins to run twice for each similar operating system group --> <profile.os>rhel;centos;fedora</profile.os>
And then re-run the mvn clean generate-sources command to get the RHEL output. You can also give these parameters as command to mvn like mvn clean generate-sources -Doperating.system=yum -Dprofile.os="rhel;centos;fedora"
If you want to build the openSUSE/SLES version of the install guide, change that section to this instead:
<!-- This is set by Jenkins according to the branch. --> <release.path.name>local</release.path.name> <comments.enabled>1</comments.enabled> <operating.system>zypper</operating.system> <!-- This is set by Jenkins to run twice for each similar operating system group --> <profile.os>opensuse;sles</profile.os>
And then re-run the mvn clean generate-sources command to get the RHEL output. You can also give these parameters as command to mvn, like so:
mvn clean generate-sources -Doperating.system=zypper -Dprofile.os='opensuse;sles'
The DocBook source is built into html (webhelp) and PDF using XSLT transforms included with the DocBook project.
You can find tips for troubleshooting the build at: Documentation/Troubleshooting
Using Tox to check builds
As part of the review process, Jenkins runs gating scripts to check that the patch is fine. Locally, you can use the Tox tool to run the same checks and ensure that a patch worksː
- Install python-tox (http://testrun.org/tox/latest/):
- # easy_install tox
- From the repository base directory, check all booksː
- $ tox
The following individual checks are also availableː
- 'tox -e checkniceness' - to run the niceness tests (for example, to see extra whitespaces)
- 'tox -e checksyntax' - to run syntax checks
- 'tox -e checkdeletions' - to check that no deleted files are referenced
- 'tox -e checkbuild' - to actually build the manual(s). This will also generate a directory publish-docs that contains the built files for inspection. You can also use doc/local-files.html for looking at the manuals.
- The above checks only test the files of the most recent commit, so first 'git commit' everything, then run 'tox'.
- To check all files, pass '--force' as parameter to the tox command, for example 'tox -e checkniceness -- --force'. The '--' is important, it passes the option down to the validation tool.
- Ubuntu and Debian require the following additional dependencies: gcc, python-dev, libxml2-dev, libxslt1-dev
- RHEL and variants including Fedora, openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise require the following additional dependencies: gcc, python-devel, libxml2-devel, libxslt-devel
The workflow for documentation matches the workflow for code - you download a branch, work on it locally, then commit the changes and propose a merge. Members of the openstack-doc-core team and others review your changes and after receiving enough +1 votes, an openstack-doc-core member can push +1 Approved. Once approved, your changes are merged into the main, published doc base, and the doc is built to its varying outputs with the Jenkins server.
Detailed Workflow with Github and Gerrit
The page I always refer to for using Git and Gerrit for daily tasks is GerritWorkflow.
The workflow takes some startup work to get the accounts you need. First, you make a Launchpad account, and upload a public key. Then, you identify your Launchpad account to the git command line and away you go. You also need a Github account. The Launchpad account contains the signon and permissions information for the Gerrit workflow that we use for reviews.
Here's a sample for the documentation project specifically, once you get your Launchpad and Github accounts set up.
Create the directory where you want to store the doc source files, then switch to it.
mkdir ~/src/docs cd ~/src/docs
Follow the steps in GerritWorkflow, using a doc repo to get the source:
openstack-manuals api-site compute-api identity-api image-api object-api netconn-api volume-api
As an example, here's how you check out all the files for the admin docs in openstack-manuals:
git clone git://git.openstack.org/openstack/openstack-manuals.git
Set up the Gerrit Change-Id hook, which is used for reviews, and run git review to run a script in the /tools directory which sets up the remote repository correctly:
cd openstack-manuals git review
Now make sure you have the latest from Github (docs move more slowly than code, but this is a good practice).
git checkout master git pull origin master
Lastly, create a branch to do your work in that you'll do commits from:
git checkout -b TOPIC-BRANCH
Edit happily! You can use Oxygen since you're working on an open source project and we acknowledge their support.
When you're done with edits, if you've added any files do this in the working directory:
git add .
Next, you commit your changes with a detailed message that'll be displayed in review.openstack.org, creating a change set,
git commit -a
A VI editor will open were you now can add the reasons for your change and mention any closed bugs. Follow the conventions about git commit messages giving a good patch description, adding a summary line as first line, followed by an empty line, descriptive text, backport lines and bug information:
Nice title Enhance foo to do bar. backport: havana Closes-Bug: #123456
Press Esc :wq to save the message and quit the VI editor.
Next, push your changes for review with:
Go to the review site itself to see the review votes for the openstack-manuals project, at review.openstack.org. One of the core doc team members will review your edits and let you know if any changes are needed prior to merging them in.
How to amend a review-in-progress
Within the repository for which you have a patch, make sure you don't have any work-in-progress changes that you have not committed yet. If needed, commit those changes and then restart your work by working in another branch as shown below.
Then do these steps:
- git checkout master
- git remote update
- git pull origin master
- git review -d 38710
where 38710 is the identifier found in the review.openstack.org URL for the patch set, such as https://review.openstack.org/#/c/38710/.
A new branch is created and checked out that you'll work within.
Then make your edits in the new branch that is created. Once edits are complete, do:
- git commit -a --amend
and in the vi editor update the commit message as needed. Note that comments about the revisions (what has changed in a new change) belong into the gerrit comments and not in the git commit message. So, if you want to tell "Fixed all review comments", please do this in review.openstack.org as review comment. If on the other hand, your new revision does not match anymore the commit message, update it so that a first time reviewer of the change will understand what you do.
Press Esc :wq to save the message and quit the VI editor.
- git review -v
How to a make changes to a stable branch
Let's say you have a docfix specific to the Grizzly documentation, which is closed. You can check out the stable/grizzly branch and make changes. Be very considerate of what you are documenting specifically for the stable release and why. If it applies to the stable release and ongoing releases, you have to make your edits twice.
1. Create a bug if one does not exist. Otherwise, note the bug number for your change.
2. Make sure your repository is up to date:
git fetch origin
3. Create a topic branch by branching from grizzly, where 1234567 is the bug number:
git checkout -b grizzly-bug/1234567 remotes/origin/stable/grizzly
4. Make changes to your documents.
5. Commit your changes:
git add . git commit -a
5. In the commit message, add the bug #, like this:
Updated xxx bug: #1234567 author: diane fleming
6. Submit your commit for review:
git review stable/grizzly
How to a cherry-pick a change to a stable branch
Let's say a docfix was submitted to the master openstack-manuals branch, and you want this change to be reflected in the Havana documentation, which is closed. You can cherry pick the change and submit it.
Scenario: Let's say we want to cherry-pick bug/ficeth0 (review 52526) into havana.
1. Wait for the change to be merged into the master branch.
2. Make sure your repository is up to date:
git fetch origin
3. Create a topic branch by branching from havana:
git checkout -b havana-bug/ficeth0 remotes/origin/stable/havana
4. On the Gerrit web page that contains the review you want to backport, click "cherry-pick"
It's under Patch Set N, in the Download row.
Copy the text, and then paste it into your terminal.
For example, for review 52526, it looks like this:
- Note: use the -x option with the cherry-pick command to preserve git history metadata in the cherry pick commit message.
git fetch https://review.openstack.org/openstack/openstack-manuals refs/changes/26/52526/1 && git cherry-pick -x FETCH_HEAD
5. Resolve any conflicts, run unit tests and then submit for review:
git commit --amend
6. Remove the Change-Id from the previous commit message; git review will add a new unique id.
Add Cherry-pick from review.openstack.org/URL to the commit message to make it easier for reviewers.
git review stable/havana
Policies and conventions
In order to ensure consistency across documents, the documentation team maintains a Documentation/Checklist you should check before committing your changes. This document explains the various files you will need. At a more granular level, you will also want to check out the Documentation/Conventions to make sure that you’re following all of the various markup conventions.
Git commit messages and backports
Besides the information about GitCommitMessages, patches touching files that might get backported (Install Guides, Configuration Reference and common directory) get annotated with information about backports:
Any patch to the master branch must specify in the commit message whether the patch should be backported. For example:
to backport to a single branch or for backporting to multiple branches:
backport: havana grizzly
or if no backporting is needed:
Always add the
backport line for potential backport patches.
Note: There's a blueprint to automate backporting based on this information. For full details see the Commit log annotation-driven auto-backports blueprint.
Working with bugs and reviewing patches
All documentation work is tracked based on bugs. Some of these bugs are standing bugs, such as those for spelling errors or formatting, others are created automatically (via the DocImpact flag) and still others are created manually. Once the changes are made, they will need to be reviewed and approved, just like other OpenStack code.
Understanding doc bugs
You can pick up a documentation bug or mark a bug as related to the documentation here, on the aggregated list of documentation bugs from all OpenStack projects. Let’s look at these bugs in a little more detail.
When a developer adds code that affects the docs (for example, to add a new parameter), they add a DocImpact flag that automatically adds a bug to the system explaining what needs to be done. For more information, see Documentation/DocImpact.
Doc Bug Triaging Guidelines
Doc bugs are logged and triaged in Launchpad. You can see how well we're doing with bugs at this webnumbr. Here are some definitions for Status and Importance so you can triage incoming doc bugs.
- New - Recently logged by a non-triaging person
- Incomplete - Needs additional information before it can be triaged
- Opinion - (not sure what to do with this one)
- Invalid - Not an issue for docs
- Won't Fix - Doc fixes won't fix the issue
- Confirmed - Acknowledged that it's a doc bug
- Triaged - Comments in the bug indicate its scope and amount of work to be done
- In Progress - Someone is working on it
- Fix Committed - A fix is in the repository; Gerrit sets this automatically. Don't set this manually.
- Fix Released - A fix is published to the site.
Since we release all documentation directly on docs.openstack.org, "Fix Committed" is deprecated. Bugs should have the status "Fix Released". If patches contain the line "Closes-Bug: #12345" (see git commit messages for details), our CI infrastructure will set a bug automatically to "Fix Released" once a bug is merged.
- Critical - data will be lost if this bug stays in; or it's so bad that we're better off fixing it than dealing with all the incoming questions about it. Also items on the website itself that prevent access are Critical doc bugs.
- High - Definitely need docs about this or a fix to current docs; docs are incomplete without this. Work on these first if possible.
- Medium - Need docs about this within a six-month release timeframe.
- Low - Docs are fine without this but could be enhanced by fixing this bug.
- Wishlist - Would like this doc task done "some day" Would prefer to use this for "tasks" instead of "bugs" - mark a bug as low rather than putting it on the wishlist. When something is wrong with the doc, mark it as Low rather than Wishlist.
- Undecided - Recently logged by a non-triaging person or requires more research before deciding its importance.
The Documentation Comments should also be read for potential bug reports.
Launchpad projects and repositories
The Documentation team uses two projects for tracking of bugs:
- Launchpad bug area openstack-manuals is the default and used especially for these repositories:
- Launchpad bug area openstack-api-site is used for all the API repositories:
Doc Bug Categories
If you want to help with bug fixing, here are some quick ways to select a certain subset of them:
- list of all documentation bugs
- list of all API site bugs
- nova related documentation bugs
- keystone related documentation bugs
- neutron related documentation bugs
- swift related documentation bugs
- glance related documentation bugs
- cinder related documentation bugs
- xen related documentation bugs
- low hanging fruit documentation bugs
Who can Review Documentation?
All community members can review doc patches and give them +1 or -1. Documentation Core members can give +2 or -2 votes and also click Approve so that the doc goes live, published to docs.openstack.org or api.openstack.org, based on the branch the patch is applied to. Docs core members should only click Approve if they've given a +2, otherwise the Jenkins build jobs are not triggered.
Because the Docs team is small, core members have the choice when reviewing and must use best judgement before publishing. Generally speaking, core members will wait for one other core member to +2 a doc patch. However if the change is small and the build works, a doc core member can +2 and Approve a change without waiting for another reviewer. This is a judgement call so docs core people should exercise caution when using this option.
There is a core training team being established, and they can +2 and Approve content in the openstack-manuals repo in the openstack-training folder only.
Once two community members approve a doc patch, a doc core member can also review it and push it through without waiting for a second core member.
How to Review a Documentation Patch
- Click a patch set.
- Click a file that has changed to view the changes side by side.
- Click on the Jenkins gate that is called "checkbuild" (for the manuals it is "gate-openstack-manuals-tox-doc-publish-checkbuild") and review the built manuals to see how the change will look on the web page and as PDF.
- Click the Review button and vote, then enter any comments about your review.
Usually small changes are easy to review online. For larger changes, you want to bring the changes locally to ensure they build correctly and to review the output as well as the source. Here's how:
git review -d <nnnnn>
Where the value of nnnnn comes from the review.openstack.org URL, such as 11215 from the URL https://review.openstack.org/#/c/11215/.
The git review tool creates a new branch locally with the patch set. Change directories to the one containing the pom.xml for the deliverable you want to build and run:
mvn clean generate-sources
Alternatively, you can use tox to. build all the books which are affected by changes in the patch set. The program will output which books have been build since their content was changed.
tox -e check-build
To review the locally built documenation open the file
doc/local-files.html in your browser and click on the guides you want to review or open the file
publish-docs/index.html. See also using Tox to check builds.
Review the source and the output, and feel free to edit and patch it as well. Ensure that the patch adheres to the Documentation/Conventions for OpenStack documentation and uses standard English. When you're sure the build and output are good and have changed the patch, run:
git commit -a --amend
When the editor opens, write a new line telling the reason for the patch set.
Enter colon + w + q to save and exit the editor with the amended commit message. You can change the commit message to be more descriptive or to match the guidelines in GitCommitMessages, but you do should not to add what your specific patchset changes. A reviewer can use the Gerrit interface to see the difference between patches.
To send your patch to patch the existing review.
Set WorkInProgress (WIP) tag during review
The WIP tag tells anyone looking at a change that more updates are still needed. Both the change's owner and any core reviewer can set the WIP statusː
- A change owner can set this tag on their own review to mark that additional changes are still being made, and to avoid unnecessary reviews while that happens.
- A core reviewer can set the WIP tag to acknowledge that a contributor will definitely need to do more work on a change rather than merely expressing an opinion on its readiness. This can be a great convenience to fellow reviewers. It allows the core reviewer to politely send the message that the change needs additional work while simultaneously removing it from the list of ready changes until that happens.
To add the WIP tag:
- Click a patch set.
- Click a file that has changed to view the changes side by side.
- Click on the Work In Progress button, and enter your comments for adding the tag.
Translation efforts occur in the Transifex web site. Review the Documentation translation page for all the technical details.