February 2019 Update: One Love

Ah February, a month to celebrate love in all of its meanings: Valentines Day to celebrate love with your significant other, Black History Month to love and celebrate those different from us, and for Orchid, hippie love with new support for the Groovy programming language.

This is the official Orchid newsletter, the newest and best documentation site generator. There is a growing need to keep the community up-to-date on all the happenings around Orchid, and here I will share Orchid's progress, milestones, and future plans! Follow along with this series to stay on top of Orchid's newest features, track adoption on Github, and see who's using Orchid!

On Github

As of the time of writing, Orchid is at 157 stars on Github. This was a really great month, with Orchid's new features and a blog post here garnering quite a bit of attention. Thanks for all the support!

In The Media

After releasing 0.16.0, I published a post here on Dev.to detailing how to use Orchid to document Kotlin projects from beginning-to-end. It got quite a bit of attention and is definitely the best place to start if you're wanting t get started using Orchid for any of your projects. Be sure to check it out if you haven't already!

How to Document a Kotlin Project

What's New?

Orchid is now at version 0.16.1, a bugfix version after 0.16.0, which brought with it a ton of cool new features that I teased with last month's entry. All of these features have been released and are ready for you to use!

New theme: Copper

Copper Theme Example

The theme I built for my own site, now you can use for yours! Based on Bulma, this theme is great for showcasing the best projects for your portfolio, but is equally good for documentation.

For examples of Orchid sites using this new theme, checkout caseyjbrooks.com or the Trellis docs and JSON Documentation Formatters docs.

New bundle: Orchid Docs

After setting up many of my other library projects with Orchid documentation, I've noticed myself adding the same plugins over and over to each project. To make it easier for others to get started with Orchid as a documentation tool, I've created a new Bundle, OrchidDocs, which contains the following plugins:

  • OrchidCore: The core Orchid framework
  • OrchidEditorial: A default theme (subject to change in a later version)
  • OrchidPages: Static pages to hold changelogs, contact forms, project license, etc.
  • OrchidWiki: The full wiki documentation for the site
  • OrchidForms: Easily add contact or bug report forms
  • OrchidChangelog: Manage project versions, and update Github releases automatically on deploy
  • OrchidSearch: Enable full-text search of your docs
  • OrchidDiagrams: Describe your project with diagrams and flow charts
  • OrchidSyntaxHighlighter: Your choice of either server-side or Javascript-based highlighting

New plugin: Groovydoc

Delivered by request, Groovy will be an officially-supported language for Orchid code documentation. The Groovy plugin allows you to easily document your Groovy and Java source code and embed it in any Orchid theme you like.

Coming Soon

Orchid is currently in the aftermath of releasing a major version, which typically means focusing on bugfixes, tests, and documentation. You can expect increasing stability and theme improvements over the next few weeks/months.

In addition, adding the Groovydoc plugin helped me understand better how Orchid should handle code documentation, and work is underway to greatly improve this for all languages. Work is underway that will make it significantly easier to add additional programming languages that Orchid can work with, and also make it easier and more flexible for you to document your projects. You can follow the work toward this goal in the following issue on Github.

Issue #232

Are you interested in getting started with Orchid? There simply is no better way to manage all the documentation for your project, and I'd love to help you get set up!

If you have an open-source project that needs docs, are building a new portfolio, or are building any other kind of static site, I want to work with you to get you set up with Orchid! Comment on this post, send me a PM here on Dev.to, reach out on Gitter, or contact me here and I will be with you every step of the way.

And as always, let me know if you start using Orchid so I can feature you in the next update!

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