The Good Docs Project

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Best practice templates and writing instructions for documenting open source software.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash


We want to help open source projects be more effective by helping them lift the quality of their documentation.


We are creating processes, templates, and guides covering the numerous aspects of writing good documentation. We describe our reasoning, referencing research where available, to help writers decide when they should deviate from suggestions.


Every project deserves a minimum level of Good Docs, but it can be really hard to know where to start or what to write. Our open source suite of templates will help you create a baseline set of documentation.


Our key target audiences are:

  • Software developers who want to use guides and templates to create documentation for their project.
  • Technical writers setting up a documentation framework, who want to make use of established templates and processes, customizing where appropriate to align with the project’s goals.
  • Project owners who need to balance project priorities, and want to understand the return-on-effort associated with different documentation strategies.


2021 Initiatives

The following initiatives are being worked on in 2021:

  • Templates
  • Cross-domain management of glossaries
  • How-to for style guides
  • Base template (template for templates)

And possibly:

  • Docs audit framework
  • Implementing a style guide in tools
  • Integrate doc tool chains
  • Doc format conversion tools
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