Sunday, October 16, 2011

WSO2 ESB Documentation Revamped

Written by Hiranya Jayathilaka

No software application is complete without documentation. According to Ian Sommerville (author of the well known textbook on Software Engineering), software is not just the computer programs, but also all associated documentation and configuration data that is needed to make the programs operate correctly. According to this definition documentation is not only a key component of software, but it is one of the factors which differentiates software from computer programs. But unfortunately many open source projects are getting hammered for their poorly structured and less comprehensive documentation. WSO2 ESB documentation also used to suffer from a number of such strictures which made it look slightly obfuscated and disorganized to the reader. While the samples and other configuration related documentation was fairly well organized, the overall documentation offering had several gaps in terms of content, user friendliness and ability to search.
However I'm pleased to announce that those days are now behind us. WSO2 ESB now has a brand new documentation package with a whole lot of new content, an exquisite look and feel and a ton of new features. You will find that almost all the old content has been rewritten, reformatted and reshaped to make it more comprehensive and easier to follow. In contrast to the old documentation, the new offering contains many diagrams, sample configurations and much easier navigation capabilities between different sections. Samples are no longer a separate section in the documentation but they are baked into the relative explanatory sections in the documentation. This way the reader can seamlessly move between content and relevant samples.
Perhaps the most significant feature in the new documentation package is its ability to search for content. All the content items have been properly labeled and indexed so the reader can find out what he's looking for by doing a search on the documentation site. Try out following search links to see for yourself.
As of now you will find documentation related to WSO2 ESB 3.0.1 and WSO2 ESB 4.0.0 in the new documentation site. Please note that this is still very much an ongoing effort. We are continuously working on making our documentation even more comprehensive and easier to follow. Feel free to help us out by pointing out mistakes, limitations and better yet providing new content that we can include in our documentation offering.

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