For many years, I've been finding it so hard to keep documentation up-to-date and have been rethinking a better way to do it.
Using a Wiki is the traditional way to manage documentation. However, it normally takes us too much time to set up a Wiki server.
You have to find a machine in your network first, choose available ports, then set up databases, configure authentication, schedule backups, and do regular upgrades and maintenance.
Worst of all, Wiki systems provide very limited writing experience, and they also don’t encourage big refactoring on document structure.
For example, when you want to move a document to a different parent page or to another space, you need to click 5-10 times to get it done. Often, you don’t even know where to start. The same thing also happens when you just want to reorder a few document pages.
IDEs like IntelliJ IDEA or VS Code etc can help with refactoring if you write documents in Markdown or similar format.
But again, it's not IDEs' job to provide a professional level of writing experience.
Another big question is, how to display your documents in a nice and clean format, so that others can easily search, view and share?
As you may have already thought of, tons of open source projects emerge, to help generate static websites based on Markdown files.
They are all great tools, but only resolve part of the problems too. Furthermore, it's very time-consuming to figure out the right configuration for your use case.
You have too many options on how to install these tools. You may need to install a specific version of Python in order to make it work.
Especially, you have to follow a special directory structure and check dozens of configuration items.
With existing discrete writing tools, people cannot enjoy distraction-free and pleasant writing experience. They don't want to but have to write.
Writing is very important and should be joyful. Highly effective people deserve a high-quality, easy-to-use and all-in-one writing tool.
This is the mission of Document Node, to maximize your writing productivity and create the future of pleasant writing.
Document Node provides a truly native and lightweight desktop application written in C++, for Mac, Windows, and Linux.
The DMG file size for Mac edition is as small as 12.9 MB.
Document Node offers a professional grade of writing experience.
In the editor-only typewriter mode, you can fully concentrate on your writing, no one can interrupt your current thinking.
You can preview your writing in real-time side by side. By pressing the “Run” button, your Markdown project will instantly be run as a beautiful, fully functional documentation site, with live-reload.
From zero configuration to 100% control, Document Node will present documentation websites to you in the simplest way.
No special folder structure needs to follow in Document Node. You are free to arrange your Markdown files in the most appropriate way as you like.
You can refactor almost anything in Document Node, namely moving files and folders around and reordering them, via a simple drag-and-drop. It's also easy to move sections around within one document by drag-and-drop on its headings outline.
Most importantly, all changes will be updated on your local documentation website in milliseconds automatically, thanks to the live-reload feature.
When you want to make your documentation public, just click the “Publish” button and your masterpiece will be available at https://[your_site].documentnode.io in seconds.
In future versions, your public documentation can also be automatically updated if you tell Document Node the location of your Markdown files, for example, in GitHub, Dropbox or Google Drive.
After months of hard work, as you can see from the video and screenshots, we have a real working application already, with roughly 70% of the functionality of the first version done.
We are launching a KickStarter campaign. With your support, we can continue our hard-work and release the first stable version of Document Node quicker. Your backing will help fund:
Any questions? Please feel free to drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org