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Apache Royale user documentation notes

Audience

We have three main audiences:

  1. Folks who have previously developed applications using Apache Flex{:target=‘_blank’}, and who want to learn whether and how to migrate their apps to Apache Royale.
  2. People who are new to AS3 and MXML, and possibly new to developing applications altogether, and want to know how to get started.
  3. Experienced developers who want to see if Royale will give a better experience both in code development and through the application's lifecycle than what they have been using.

We can't assume that everybody understands the conversational shorthand Flex veterans use. Write for a person of good will who is reading to find out, and who wants to get to the next needed nugget of knowledge soon so they can go and make progress on the app they are working on.

Documentation types

We produce four flavors of documentation:

  1. Tutorials to show how to do a complete thing, with source code a reader can copy and learn from. These generally appear on the website blog at the moment.
  2. How-to guides that explain how to achieve something in Royale that is either of a general nature (“How to find the bead you need”) or does not merit a full tutorial (“How to disable an input field”). This material should be in the user documentation.
  3. Explanations that explain the “why” of Royale features--why we do it this way, or avoid doing it that way. This appears in the High Level View{:target=‘_blank’} pages of the user documentation.
  4. Technical references are all the gritty details of what each Royale component, bead, and feature requires, produces, and can do. This material would normally be in the ASDoc reference{:target=‘_blank’}, the framework wiki{:target=‘_blank’}, or the compiler wiki{:target=‘_blank’}.

No one flavor is better in all circumstances than the others. All contributions strengthen Royale by expanding the number of people who can find the answers they need to create applications.

Page structure

Each .md page starts with “front matter” structured like this:

---
# Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one or more contributor license agreements.  See the NOTICE file distributed with this work for additional information regarding copyright ownership. The ASF licenses this file to You under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.  You may obtain a copy of the License at
# 
# http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
# 
# Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.
layout: docpage
title: README
description: short description of the page that will help social networks to show appropiate info
premalink: /friendly-url
---

Use HTML comments at the top of the document for any explanatory notes for the doc team (<!-- Not finished yet - Andrew -->) and for provenance when adapting existing material for Royale purposes (<!-- Created by Peter Ent, modified by Tom Chiverton, as part of FlexJS documentation-->).

File names and titles

  • File names do not have to be the same as the titles that display at the top of the file.
  • For file names, use all lower-case, join words with - and not _ or %20 statements, and add the markdown specification. The file name should be another-important-thing.md, not Another%20Important%20Thing.md, AnotherImportantThing.md, or Another_important_thing.md. This is important for SEO, human readability, and readability by assistive devices.
  • Remember to add a permalink. For the latest example it should be: permalink: /another-important-thing, if is nested the permalink will be prefixed with the required folder estrucrure.
  • File titles should be in sentence case: “Another important Royale thing”, not “Another Important Royale Thing”. The point here is that the more capitals involved, the harder it is to read the statement.

Documentation conventions

  1. Address the reader directly, and in active voice, so “To do X, follow these steps...” rather than “When a developer wishes to do X, these steps would be followed...”
  2. Instead of “he or she” use “they” when the pronoun is for an indefinite singular actor: “When someone has an existing application to migrate, they should start by...”. This offends my grammarian soul, but is becoming standard English.
  3. Link generously to other content in the help docs that may throw light on the current subject.
  4. When writing how-to material, provide the what, the so what, and the now what: what a widget is, why widgets can be important in your code, and here's how to find, adapt, or create the widget of your dreams.

Links

In the .md files, links have to be full paths without the leading slash. The link to the published HTML version of features/as3.md, is [AS3](features/as3.html), but we want to use permalinks so the link to use should be:

[AS3](features/as3)

and the permalink on that page will be, permalink: /features/as3

without the leading “/”. Links are case-sensitive, and you need to insert %20 for any space that appears in the target file's name. Check the guidance about file names, above.

When linking to locations not in the help-docs stack, including other pages in the Royale website, clicking the link should open a new browser window or tab so the reader does not lose their place in the help docs:

[Apache Flex](https://flex.apache.org){:target='_blank'}

About Search

Search is done thanks to Algolia DocSearch{:target=‘_blank’}.

* [Algolia DocSearch Docs](https://community.algolia.com/docsearch/what-is-docsearch.html){:target='_blank'}

Build Locally

  1. Install Ruby+Devkit{:target=‘_blank’}. Ruby is required to run Jekyll.

  2. Install Jekyll{:target=‘_blank’}.

  3. If you want to provide a local configuration, copy _config.yml to local_config.yml.

  4. To build the docs, run the following command:

    jekyll build --config local_config.yml
    

    The website will be rendered inside the _site folder.

  5. To browse the docs using built-in Jekyll server, run the following command:

    jekyll serve
    

    The website will be available at http://127.0.0.1:4000/royale-docs/.