Contributing Documentation#

Documentation is often more important than code. This page helps you get set up on how to contribute to JupyterHub’s documentation.

Building documentation locally#

We use sphinx to build our documentation. It takes our documentation source files (written in markdown or reStructuredText & stored under the docs/source directory) and converts it into various formats for people to read. To make sure the documentation you write or change renders correctly, it is good practice to test it locally.

  1. Make sure you have successfully completed Setting up a development install.

  2. Install the packages required to build the docs.

    python3 -m pip install -r docs/requirements.txt
  3. Build the html version of the docs. This is the most commonly used output format, so verifying it renders correctly is usually good enough.

    cd docs
    make html

    This step will display any syntax or formatting errors in the documentation, along with the filename / line number in which they occurred. Fix them, and re-run the make html command to re-render the documentation.

  4. View the rendered documentation by opening _build/html/index.html in a web browser.


    On Windows, you can open a file from the terminal with start <path-to-file>.

    On macOS, you can do the same with open <path-to-file>.

    On Linux, you can do the same with xdg-open <path-to-file>.

    After opening index.html in your browser you can just refresh the page whenever you rebuild the docs via make html

Documentation conventions#

This section lists various conventions we use in our documentation. This is a living document that grows over time, so feel free to add to it / change it!

Our entire documentation does not yet fully conform to these conventions yet, so help in making it so would be appreciated!

pip invocation#

There are many ways to invoke a pip command, we recommend the following approach:

python3 -m pip

This invokes pip explicitly using the python3 binary that you are currently using. This is the recommended way to invoke pip in our documentation, since it is least likely to cause problems with python3 and pip being from different environments.

For more information on how to invoke pip commands, see the pip documentation.