Anyone who followed me closely over the past couple of years would know that I have a passion for writing technical documentation.
A number of projects start by downloading Jekyll or Hugo to convert their markup into functional HTML websites. The markup (markdown) is usually written inside your code editor or IA writer (if you care for editing experience) and then given to static site generators to output a functional website.
This approach gets the result you want but the friction between writing and publishing doesn’t make you feel excited about writing docs.
Even more, tools like Hugo are so generic that you have to fight your way in order to make them work like a documentation generating engine. Check out this tweet from TJ Holowaychuk
Dimer is a genuine attempt to offer a SaaS product, which focuses on hand-written markdown documentation, eliminating the friction by offering a delightful editing experience and beautiful HTML output.
We believe that writing documentation is more than typing some words together.
Previewing the vertical rhythm of the final output as you type
Line spacing, horizontal rules, list items exist for a reason. When users read the documentation, they need clear boundaries between text to focus on a single topic at a time.
While using static site generators, you don’t see the exact preview until you process your docs. Whereas with Dimer, you will see the exact preview as you type.
Choosing the perfect font for documentation
Often mistaken, lots of websites make use of typography and fonts tailored for blog posts. Whereas documentation contains variety of text and is more involved than a regular blog post.
We have cherry-picked font families which works great for technical documentation. Some of that is inspired by this blog post.
Will it be free?
No, I am afraid. I do lots of open source work and in fact, some parts of dimer will be open sourced too. In order to put food on my table, I need to do some real business.
With dimer, I am focused on creating real value for businesses and individuals who care about user-facing documentation.
Why not Gitbook?
Gitbook has become popular lately and in fact, they do the same thing as dimer will be doing in future.
I personally tried Gitbook and left it for many reasons. One of them was shared in the following tweet.