Tools for a handbook

Here we assemble information and assess documentation tools that are suited for a handbook.

@wouter wrote (in matrix):

Resonate forum . . has a nice Handbook inside. We might want to study this: Docs - Resonate Community Forum
It is a Discourse forum with the Handbook a particular subcategory of the Helpdesk category. And they have worked on nice iconography and tweaked the way categories are presented.

If we would do sth similar, the advantage would be to have one less platform environment to maintain and our users to learn and keep track of.
But it isn’t really the book-like presentation we have with gitbook

Thanks for highlighting Resonate’s use of Discourse.

Plus side: familiar tools, self-hosted, libre; simple-seeming; keeps our media together in a single tools frame, simplified UI for our users.

Minus side: more limited layout and navigation options than gitBook (not sure about nesting of content for example, the gitBook does a lot of that sections/main topics/subtopics); lack of book-like UI.

Worth an experiment. I might try it with our current strategy documentation?

Resonate have put a nice ‘skin’ for their Discourse instance. Would be good to do that too.

In social.coop Agaric posted about Drupal/Drutopia. So I asked if that tool is good for building a handbook rather than just ’ a website’.

I suspect the shortcoming will be navigation options. Which matter a lot I feel, for a systematic reference/FAQ document collection. Basically, requires a nested sidebar, showing sections, subsections, chapters, maybe sub-chapters. Very few platforms seem to offer this, and typically, not website templates. But gitBook does. The ‘booklike’ format matters?

Agaric mentioned ReadtheDocs, used for the Dutopia handbook.

@wouter responded:

About ReadtheDocs, I think it’s a clean tool, looks good for documentation used by so many, though not with a book structure, still a decent ToC. Now Read the Docs has variants, that I recall from our previous exploration, like MkDocs, see here its docu: Getting Started with MkDocs — Read the Docs user documentation 7.1.0 documentation