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The state of the documentation

by Yanick Witschi – Current issues

Last November we announced the new Contao documentation and it's time to say a few words about it and hopefully get more contributors on board. We haven't spread the word about it in English a lot, because half of it was still in German only. It's high time we changed that for the better!

Folks, the documentation is thriving! It's time to throw your own internal documentations overboard and help us expand on the official manuals!

You don't believe me? Let's see what goodies I can find for you:

User manual in English

At last! The user manual was translated completely into English this week. This was done by machine translation and there is a lot to improve! We are currently in the process of cleaning things up section by section. If you're fluent in English or even English native, please help us polishing all the articles so that the English user manual will appear in its full glory as soon as possible! Spread the word, tell your colleagues and friends who have been longing for more English content! We need all of you now! We're looking forward to the day we also recieve contributions for new chapters in English and have to translate them back to German rather than always the other way around.

New in the user manual

Since the introduction of the documentation, hundreds of bugs have been fixed and also many new chapters have been added. Want a small excerpt?

  • The system requirements have been properly documented.
  • We now have a very detailed performance section where you can learn how to optimize your system for Contao and how to use the clever caching framework of Contao to your advantage.
  • We have new instructions on how to install Contao locally, whether you use the Docker Devilbox or Laragon. You have a different setup and think it might be useful for others? Write it down!
  • Did you know that Contao 4.10 will also bring new insert tags? Everything is already documented!
  • You can customize the WYSIWYG editor TinyMCE to your needs. How to do this is explained in the corresponding manual!
  • Did you know? The two-factor authentication can also be enforced in the back end for all users. The documentation lets you know which configuration is necessary to do so.
  • The use of SASS and CSS grid has been documented. Are your tiles still floating around uncoordinated on the website?
  • and much, much more!

New in the developer documentation

  • Did you know that Contao documented its workflow for issues on GitHub? Or that we have a backwards compatibility promise?
  • All Contao hooks and events are fully documented. Maybe you would like to browse through them and suddenly discover new ways to implement a desired feature?
  • Contao can be controlled by various environment variables. Especially if you are using Contao in the Contao Managed Edition. These environment variables are documented, but do you know why the Contao Managed Edition even exists and how it relates to Symfony and the Contao Core Bundle? The documentation explains this in great deteail and also contains a lot of examples on how you can use the Contao Manager Plugin to configure the Managed Edition!
  • Image editing is a complex topic, especially when it comes to responsive images. Contao has a lot of helpers and Contao 4.10 brings a lot of developer experience with the new Image Studio. You can read all of this today already!
  • Since Contao 4.9 we are equipped with a migration framework. Do you still use the good old runonce.php? Then you should take a look at the documentation!
  • and much, much more!

Did you know? Since a few weeks, we have our own short URL service

Maybe you noticed something in the Contao back end that could be linked to the Contao documentation? Then this would probably be a good choice. By the way, you can see the new service in action further down in the PS.

As you can see, the Contao documentation is growing steadily!

For me personally, it is even more important than almost every feature we have implemented in Contao since November 2019. After all, what's the point of having the greatest feature in the world if no one knows how to use it?

Time to write some docs, folks!

PS: If you have questions about the documentation or how you can help, the fastest way to get support is to visit the Contao Slack Channel #english!

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