We (like almost all open source software providers) have a documentation dilemma… We tend to focus on the code features and functionality before working on documentation. And there is very good reason for this, we want to share the love so nobody feels left out!

The following documentation page assumes one is running on OS X, but if you are not, you should be able to easily transpose the necessary commands to your operating system of choice.

Setting Up Your Development Environment

Installing Dependencies

Initially (on OS X), you will need to setup Brew which is a package manager for OS X and Git. To install Brew and Git, run the following commands:

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
brew install git

If you are on Debian/Ubuntu, then you can easily install git with apt-get

apt-get update && apt-get install -y git

Fork the repo

To contribute to the web based documentation, you should obtain a GitHub account and fork the Singularity GitHub Pages repository by clicking the fork button on the top right of the page. Once forked, you will want to clone the fork of the repo to your computer. Let’s say my GitHub username is user99:

git clone https://github.com/user99/singularityware.github.io.git
cd singularityware.github.io/

Install a local Jekyll server

This step is required if you want to render your work locally before committing the changes. This is highly recommended to ensure that your changes will render properly and will be accepted.

brew install ruby
gem install jekyll
gem install bundler
bundle install

Now you can see the site locally by running the server with jekyll:

bundle exec jekyll serve

This will make the site viewable at http://localhost:4005/.

Contributing a News Item

Each news item that is rendered automatically in the site feed and the news page is done very simply - you just add a new markdown file to the folder _posts/news. There are a few rules you must follow:

Naming Convention

The name of the markdown file must be in the format YYYY-MM-DD-meaningful-name.md For example, 2016-09-23-first-post.md

Front End Matter

Jekyll has this thing they call front matter which is basically a header in your markdown file. For our news feed, the header should look something like this:

  title:  "Welcome to Singularity"
  category: news
  permalink: first-post

and then write your post after it in Markdown Syntax. All and any HTML tags are fair game as well! Once you add the post, if you have set the category correctly to “news” it should show up in the site feed. It’s that easy!

Contributing to a Page

All of the pages are in the pages folder, organized in a somewhat logical manner. If you want to edit content for a page, just edit the corresponding file. If you need to do something more advanced like edit a sidebar, you should look at the sidebar data yml documents, which render into the navigation.

Adding gists

You can embed a GitHub Gist directly in the page, and we encourage you to keep it under your username to maintain credit for the work. To reduce the additional gem dependencies, instead of using the official gist include we have our own wrapper for it that will turn this:

{% include gist.html username='l1ll1' id='89b3f067d5b790ace6e6767be5ea2851' file='hostlibs.def'%}

into this:

We start with a url that looks like https://gist.github.com/vsoch/49709c8ed549155d0a15bde48e893588, under which there is a file called Singularity, and the variables are mapped as follows:

  • username: vsoch
  • id: 49709c8ed549155d0a15bde48e893588
  • file: Singularity

You can put this single line anywhere on the site, and it will render the gist automatically.

Recording demos

If you think something could be better explained with a demo, record and embed one! Here’s how:

# To Install
pip install asciinema

# To record
asciinema rec -w 1 demo-asciicast.js
# type exit when done

# To play
asciinema play demo-asciicast.js

Make sure to resize your terminal to 25 rows x 115 columns or less before you begin your recording. Otherwise it will not display properly on the webpage. To get the size of your current terminal (in lines and columns) you can use tput:

echo -e "lines\ncols"|tput -S

Once you’ve generated an asciicast, you should drop the file (e.g., demo-asciicast.js) into the assets/asciicast folder. Since we will have many asciicasts here, please name it meaningfully. Then include the following in the page or post:

{% include asciicast.html source='demo-asciicast.js' uid='how-to-make-demos' title='How to make demos' author='email@domain.com'%}

The fields are important!

  • source is the name of the file. It’s expected to be in the assets/asciicast folder, you just need to put the filename here (or the subfolder, if you created one).
  • uid is the name for the id of the div for the asciicast. It should generally be lowercase, no spaces, and long enough to be unique for the page. It will automatically have asciicast- added as a prefix, to put the ids for asciicasts in the same namespace in the DOM.
  • title is what the user will see before clicking it. This can be a question (“How do I bootstrap a container?”) or a statement (“How to bootstrap a container”).
  • author is your contact email.

Adding a Release

The releases, akin to the news, are done via a feed. The only difference is that they are rendered on the site in the releases section. It is also done very simply - you just add a new markdown file to the folder _posts/releases. The same naming convention follows, however the title of the post should correspond to the release, e.g.:

Naming Convention

The name of the markdown file must be in the format YYYY-MM-DD-release-x-x-x.md For example, 2016-09-23-release-2-2-1.md

Front End Matter

The header in your markdown file should look something like this:

  title:  "Singularity 2.1.2 release"
  category: releases
  permalink: release-2-1-2
  targz: "2.1.2.tar.gz"

The targz is the name of the file in the “archive” section of the repository defined in the _config.yml file’s “repo” variable. This link will be rendered automatically on the site. The category is also very important, and must be “releases” otherwise it won’t show up.

In the markdown file above, after the front end matter you can again use Markdown and HTML to write about the release, make lists of features, and go to town.