Documenting your work

As with most OpenStack services and libraries, manila suffers from appearing very complicated to understand, develop, deploy, administer and use. As OpenStack developers working on manila, our responsibility goes beyond introducing new features and maintaining existing features. We ought to provide adequate documentation for the benefit of all kinds of audiences. The guidelines below will explain how you can document (or maintain documentation for) new (or existing) features and bug fixes in the core manila project and other projects that are part of the manila suite.

Where to add documentation?

OpenStack User Guide

  • Any documentation targeted at end users of manila in OpenStack needs to go here. This contains high level information about any feature as long as it is available on python-manilaclient and/or manila-ui.

  • If you develop an end user facing feature, you need to provide an overview, use cases and example work-flows as part of this documentation.

  • The source files for the user guide live in manila’s code tree.

  • Link: User guide

OpenStack Administrator Guide

  • Documentation for administrators of manila deployments in OpenStack clouds needs to go here.

  • Document instructions for administrators to perform necessary set up for utilizing a feature, along with managing and troubleshooting manila when the feature is used.

  • Relevant configuration options may be mentioned here briefly.

  • The source files for the administrator guide live in manila’s code tree.

  • Link: Administrator guide

OpenStack Configuration Reference

  • Instructions regarding configuration of different manila back ends need to be added in this document.

  • The configuration reference also contains sections where manila’s configuration options are auto-documented.

  • It contains sample configuration files for using manila with various configuration options.

  • If you are a driver maintainer, please ensure that your driver and all of its relevant configuration is documented here.

  • The source files for the configuration guide live in manila’s code tree.

  • Link: Manila release configuration reference

OpenStack Installation Tutorial

  • Instructions regarding setting up manila on OpenStack need to be documented here.

  • This tutorial covers step-by-step deployment of OpenStack services using a functional example architecture suitable for new users of OpenStack with sufficient Linux experience.

  • The instructions are written with reference to different distributions.

  • The source files for this tutorial live in manila’s code tree.

  • Link: Draft installation tutorial

OpenStack API Reference

Manila Developer Reference

  • When working on a feature in manila, provide judicious inline documentation in the form of comments and docstrings. Code is our best developer reference.

  • Driver entry-points must be documented with docstrings explaining the expected behavior from a driver routine.

  • Apart from inline documentation, further developer facing documentation will be necessary when you are introducing changes that will affect vendor drivers, consumers of the manila database and when building a utility in manila that can be consumed by other developers.

  • The developer reference for manila is maintained in-tree.

  • Feel free to use it as a sandbox for other documentation that does not live in manila’s code-tree.

  • Link: Manila developer reference

OpenStack Security Guide

  • Any feature that has a security impact needs to be documented here.

  • In general, administrators will follow the guidelines regarding best practices of setting up their manila deployments with this guide.

  • Any changes to policy.yaml based authorization, share network related security, access to manila resources, tenant and user related information needs to be documented here.

  • Link: Security guide

  • Repository: The security guide is maintained within the OpenStack Security-doc project

OpenStack Command Line Reference

  • Help text provided in the python-manilaclient is extracted into this document automatically.

  • No manual corrections are allowed on this repository; make necessary corrections in the python-manilaclient repository.”

  • Link: Manila CLI reference.

Important things to note

  • When implementing a new feature, use appropriate Commit Message Tags (Using Commit Message Tags in Manila).

  • Using the DocImpact flag in particular will create a [doc] bug under the manila project in launchpad. When your code patch merges, assign this bug to yourself and track your documentation changes with it.

  • When writing documentation outside of manila, use either a commit message header that includes the word Manila or set the topic of the change-set to manila-docs. This will make it easy for manila reviewers to find your patches to aid with a technical content review.

  • When writing documentation in user/admin/config/api/install guides, always refer to the project with its service name: Shared File Systems service and not the service type (share) or the project name (manila).

  • Follow documentation styles prescribed in the OpenStack Documentation Contributor Guide. Pay heed to the RST formatting conventions and Writing style.

  • Use CamelCase to spell out OpenStack and sentence casing to spell out service types, ex: Shared File Systems service and lower case to spell out project names, ex: manila (except when the project name is in the beginning of a sentence or a title).

  • ALWAYS use a first party driver when documenting a feature in the user or administrator guides. Provide cross-references to configuration reference sections to lead readers to detailed setup instructions for these drivers.

  • The manila developer reference, the OpenStack user guide, administrator reference, API reference and security guide are always current, i.e, get built with every commit in the respective codebase. Therefore, documentation added here need not be backported to previous releases.

  • You may backport changes to some documentation such as the configuration reference and the installation guide.

  • Important “documentation” that isn’t really documentation - specs and release notes are NOT documentation. A specification document is written to initiate a dialogue and gather feedback regarding the design of a feature. Neither developers nor users will regard a specification document as official documentation after a feature has been implemented. Release notes (Release Notes) allow for gathering release summaries and they are not used to understand, configure, use or troubleshoot any manila feature.

  • Less is not more, more is more - Always add detail when possible. The health and maturity of our community is reflected in our documentation.