Read the Docs: A huge thanks!

When a free service or module proves to be invaluable to yourproject(s), it’s only right to thank the authors for their excellent work. I thought I’d take a brief moment to thank all of the contributors behind Read the Docs for this simple but wonderful site. I have found it to be extremely useful for my hobby and real-world projects.

For those who have yet to see the light

If you have Sphinx-based documentation and haven’t played with Read the Docs yet, I can’t recommend it enough. Not only do you not have to hassle with hosting your compiled HTML documentation yourself (or on a specially named branch in VC), you can point many software forges’ post-commit hooks at a specific URL to enable automatic doc updating with each commit/push.

I no longer have to manually udpate the docs with each change, or juggle the annoying gh-pages branch on GitHub. Each commit posts to a project-specific URL on Read the Docs, and RTD pulls the latest source, runs Sphinx, and posts the result up within a minute or two.

Small victories in efficiency

If all of this doesn’t seem like a big deal, that’s because it isn’t. This is a small, incremental improvement to my development process that leads to less context switching, less manual labor, and less stuff to worry about. This is not the cure for cancer and it won’t win a Nobel Peace Prize.

However, it is just the very small, simple improvement that makes a noticeable impact. Low-hanging fruit. The tastiest kind.