Tips for Doc Writers (and Developers, too!)

Here are some useful tips about questions that come up a lot but aren’t always easy to find answers to.

  • Make example URLs consistent

    For consistency, example URLs for openstack components are in the form:

    So, for example, an example image-list call to Glance would use a URL written like this:
  • URLs for OpenStack project documentation

    Each project’s documentation is published to the following URLs:

    •$project-name/latest - built from master
    •$project-name/$series - built from stable

    For example, the Glance documentation is published to:

    • - built from master
    • - built from stable/ocata
  • URLs for OpenStack API Reference Guides

    Each project’s API Reference Guide is published to:


    For example, the Glance Image Service API Reference guide is published to:


Where to Contribute

There are a few different kinds of documentation associated with Glance to which you may want to contribute:

  • Configuration

    As you read through the sample configuration files in the etc directory in the source tree, you may find typographical errors, or grammatical problems, or text that could use clarification. The Glance team welcomes your contributions, but please note that the sample configuration files are generated, not static text. Thus you must modify the source code where the particular option you’re correcting is defined and then re-generate the conf file using tox -e genconfig.

  • Glance’s Documentation

    The Glance Documentation (what you’re reading right now) lives in the source code tree under doc/source. It consists of information for developers working on Glance, information for consumers of the OpenStack Images APIs implemented by Glance, and information for operators deploying Glance. Thus there’s a wide range of documents to which you could contribute.

    Small improvements can simply be addressed by a patch, but it’s probably a good idea to first file a bug for larger changes so they can be tracked more easily (especially if you plan to submit several different patches to address the shortcoming).

  • User Guides

    There are several user guides published by the OpenStack Documentation Team. Please see the README in their code repository for more information:

  • OpenStack API Reference

    There’s a “quick reference” guide to the APIs implemented by Glance:

    The guide is generated from source files in the source code tree under api-ref/source. Corrections in spelling or typographical errors may be addressed directly by a patch. If you note a divergence between the API reference and the actual behavior of Glance, please file a bug before submitting a patch.

    Additionally, now that the quick reference guides are being maintained by each project (rather than a central team), you may note divergences in format between the Glance guides and those of other teams. For example, some projects may have adopted an informative new way to display error codes. If you notice structural improvements that our API reference is missing, please file a bug. And, of course, we would also welcome your patch implementing the improvement!

Release Notes

Release notes are notes available for operators to get an idea what each project has included and changed during a cycle. They may also include various warnings and notices.

Generating release notes is done with Reno.

$ tox -e venv -- reno new <bug-,bp-,whatever>

This will generate a yaml file in releasenotes/notes that will contain instructions about how to fill in (or remove) the various sections of the document. Modify the yaml file as appropriate and include it as part of your commit.

Commit your note to git (required for reno to pick it up):

$ git add releasenotes/notes/<note>; git commit

Once the release notes have been committed you can build them by using:

$ tox -e releasenotes

This will create the HTML files under releasenotes/build/html/.

NOTE: The prelude section in the release notes is to highlight only the important changes of the release. Please word your note accordingly and be judicious when adding content there. We don’t encourage extraneous notes and at the same time we don’t want to miss out on important ones. In short, not every release note will need content in the prelude section. If what you’re working on required a spec, then a prelude is appropriate. If you’re submitting a bugfix, most likely not; a spec-lite is a judgement call.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Except where otherwise noted, this document is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. See all OpenStack Legal Documents.