Thursday, July 27, 2017

HTML rocks!

I've been involved in an open-source project for the last year or so called Interledger (The Internet of Ledgers).

Keeping up with the project progress is not an easy task since it's in active development and new ideas surge every week, interfaces change and many people work in parallel with different targets and perspectives. To make it more difficult most of the project is developed by the internal staff of Ripple, which I'm not part of, so getting out of sync is even easier. And to scale to new levels of difficulty, the Ripple guys have to keep the pace with all the fast-moving environment around them (block-chains, side-chains, banks, regulations,  ...) and some code like routing payments requires lot of research before getting stable (just notice that routing protocols in the Internet Protocol is still a work in progress decades later). Not happy with that, the time I can dedicate to it is just plain random.

There has been no few efforts to document everything around the project, with great progress to formalize around RFCs, but in such fast-moving development context documentation is always behind the code and still really needed to keep going.

I just noticed that keeping docs up to date with code would be a titans-work so I thought about an alternative. What about trying to group related info as close as possible and let our brain link the info into something that make our neurons work?
I needed something that visually could match related topics close to each other and simultaneously link to external links, as well as providing "goodies" for formatting text, tables and some minimal active tools help navigate more easily.
Since this is a software project I also wanted a clear distinction between the separate the different software cycle scenarios (documentation, development, testing, deployment,...)

I tried with different tools (CMS, Google Drive, ...) until I noticed that the best tool at hand was no other than plain HTML (with some spots of Javascript).

The result is available at: