FishEye documentation published on wiki

This week I finished moving the FishEye documentation onto our Confluence wiki. This is interesting for those of you who wonder whether a wiki is suited to technical and user documentation. Up to now, the docs were held in a source control system in XML format. Here’s a link to the new docs on the wiki.

FishEye is one of Atlassian’s more technical products, aimed at software developers. It helps you derive all sorts of interesting information from your source code repositories. FishEye has lots of eye-candy backed by a bunch of very clever algorithms.

The documentation is fairly technical in nature. It’s not quite where we want it yet – we plan to expand the user guide and tighten the installation guides. But the great thing is: now that the docs are on the wiki, it’s so much easier to update and expand them.

The developers and the support team love having the documentation wiki. All Atlassian staff have full access. They can add, edit and delete the documents at any time.

Customers love it too, because they can add comments on the documentation pages. People let us know when a page is not quite right, and suggest information they think we should add.

Hmmm – that sounds like a bit of a nightmare for the technical writers. How do we keep the documents looking anything like what we think they should be?

Firstly, I have an RSS feed on the documentation wiki. So I get notification of anything that happens. Some time later, I wander over to the affected page and do any tweaking I think is necessary.

Secondly, staff members know that the documentation wiki is the domain of the technical writers. So most people will have a chat to us (usually via IM) before doing any major changes.

Also, the wiki tracks all changes. You can even revert to a former version of a page, if need be.

Eat your own dogfood – Atlassian made Confluence, and we use it. There are some challenges to using a wiki for technical documentation. I’ll blog about them some day soon. But all in all, it works šŸ™‚


About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 14 October 2007, in atlassian, Confluence, technical writing, wiki and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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