Administrators Guide#

This guide is for administrators of Plone Documentation. It covers automated deployments, hosting, automated testing, previewing, and importing external package documentation into Plone Documentation.

Importing external docs and converting to MyST#

This section describes how to import external projects and convert their docs to MyST. We did this for and several other projects.

  1. Create a new branch using the name of the project.

  2. Install rst-to-myst.

    bin/pip install "rst-to-myst[sphinx]"
  3. Clone the project repository to the root of plone/documentation.

  4. Delete any non-documentation files from the clone.

  5. Move the documentation files and subfolders to the root of the clone, retaining the documentation structure.

  6. Convert the reStructuredText documentation files to MyST. The example commands below assume that there are files at the root of the clone and in one sub-level of nested directories. For deeper nesting, insert globbing syntax for each sub-level as **/

    bin/rst2myst convert -R project/*.rst
    bin/rst2myst convert -R project/**/*.rst
  7. Add HTML meta data to the converted files.

    cd project
    ../bin/python ../docs/
  8. Optionally clean up any MyST syntax.

  9. Commit and push your branch to GitHub and create a pull request.

Importing external docs with submodules#

To add an external package to Plone Documentation, we use git submodules. We did this with Volto documentation. Your package must be available under the Plone GitHub organization.

Inside the repository plone/documentation, add a git submodule that points to your project.

git submodule add submodules/my_package

Add a target docs/my_package in Makefile, then add docs/my_package to the deps target, following volto as a pattern. You might need to adjust the paths to your package's documentation after it is cloned.

To complete setup, generate a symlink to your project's docs, and build the docs, use a single command.

make html

To make it easier for other contributors to work with your project, update the following files, using volto as a model.

Commit and push your changes to a remote, and submit a pull request against plone/documentation@6.0.

Pull request preview builds#

To preview pull request builds of documentation or Storybooks on Read the Docs, you need to configure your project's repository and import it into Read the Docs. You also need an account on Read the Docs and have write access to the repository.

Configuration files#

The following are example files that you can use to configure your project for pull request previews on Read the Docs.

Import your project#

After logging in to your Read the Docs account, you can import your project.

  1. Click Add project.

  2. For Repository name, enter the GitHub organization, a forward slash, and the repository to import, for example, plone/volto.

  3. Click Continue.

  4. In the Add project screen, you can configure basic project settings, including its Name, Repository URL, Default branch, and Language. The defaults are usually accurate.

  5. Click Next.

  6. A sample .readthedocs.yaml file is suggested, if you have not already added one.

  7. Click Finish. Read the Docs will redirect you to the project details, and start building the docs.

Search engine indexing#

Many Plone projects currently self-host their official documentation at Plone 6 Documentation. These projects get indexed by search engines.

For pull request previews, unsupported branches or versions, or other situations, you most likely do not want search engines to index your documentation. Your options include the following.

  • Deactivate your build

  • Hide your build

  • Create a custom robots.txt file to discourage, but not absolutely prevent, search engine indexing

For the last option, you can configure Sphinx to copy the robots.txt file. However, if you want to have two versions of a robots.txt file—say one that allows indexing of your official documentation and another that discourages indexing—you can configure your automation to copy it into place with a command such as the following.

cp source-path/block-robots.txt docs-root-path/robots.txt

Cancel builds programmatically#

You might want to cancel a build programmatically when certain conditions are met. You can do this through your .readthedocs.yaml file. Read the Docs covers a few scenarios in its documentation, Cancel build based on a condition.

Build only on changes#

When there are no changes to documentation, it is not necessary to build it. You can save time and energy by programmatically building documentation only when it changes.

In your .readthedocs.yaml file, you could use the following example.

version: 2
  os: "ubuntu-22.04"
    python: "3.12"
      # Cancel building pull requests when there aren't changes in the docs directory or YAML file.
      # You can add any other files or directories that you'd like here as well,
      # like your docs requirements file, or other files that will change your docs build.
      # If there are no changes (git diff exits with 0) we force the command to return with 183.
      # This is a special exit code on Read the Docs that will cancel the build immediately.
      - |
        if [ "$READTHEDOCS_VERSION_TYPE" = "external" ] && git diff --quiet origin/main -- docs/ .readthedocs.yaml requirements-initial.txt requirements.txt;
          exit 183;

Cancel builds on a branch#

If you have pull request preview builds enabled, any pull request to any branch will trigger a build. If you do not want to build documentation on a specific branch, you can cancel a build programmatically through your .readthedocs.yaml file.

version: 2
  os: "ubuntu-22.04"
    python: "3.12"
      # Cancel the Read the Docs build
      - exit 183;