Chapter 16. Documenting Modules

In this chapter, we’re going to discuss how to document your manifests well. Good documentation ensures that others can use your module. It also enables people to build modules that depend on yours in a manner that you can support.

Don’t skimp on documentation if it’s an internal module that will never be published. Your own users in the company are far more important than random people on the Internet. Give your own users the very best.

Don’t forget that you are creating this module based on active needs you understand today. Make notes to remind yourself of the requirements you are trying to solve, so that you can recall what you were thinking when you come back to refactor the class a year later. You’ll have a whole new set of requirements in your head, and what you did last year won’t make any sense. Trust me, this happens.

Learning Markdown

Puppet is moving away from RDoc format to the widely used Markdown format. Markdown is much easier to learn than RDoc, and is utilized today by the Puppet Forge, GitHub, Sourceforge, Stack Exchange, and many other code repositories and forums.

While you should absolutely read the Markdown documentation, it is entirely possible to build a valid and working README document with just the following simple rules:

  • Paragraphs should be typed as-is with no special formatting.
  • Code blocks should be indented four spaces or surrounded by ```.
  • Headers start with one # sign for each level: #heading1 ##heading2.
  • Bullet ...

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