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This is a question that have somewhat been asked before (i.e.: How to manage an open source project's documentation). However, my question is a little different because:

  • We're not developing open source software, but proprietary software
  • The documentation has to be hand-written, because we do not want to publish the actual software API documentation, but only the public API documentation
  • I do want developers and project managers to write the documentation collaboratively

Obviously, wikis are a solution, but they're very generic. I'm looking for a more specialized tool for this job. I've looked around and found a few like Adobe Robohelp, SaaS solutions and such, but I'd like to know if any open source software exists for that purpose.

Do you know any Open Source Web-based CMS for writing and managing API and software documentation?

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It would be useful in answering your question if we understood your process better. Do you want everyone to write the documentation collaboratively? –  Robert Harvey Jul 15 '11 at 15:31
@Robert Harvey: Yes good point. I do want developers and project managers to write the documentation collaboratively. –  netcoder Jul 15 '11 at 15:32
It would appear that Robohelp is probably the best tool for this (it supports collaboration and has a web-like interface). It's too bad there doesn't seem to be a free equivalent. –  Robert Harvey Jul 15 '11 at 15:46
Check out this question: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/21380/… –  David d C e Freitas Aug 26 '11 at 11:53
Is Open Source really a clincher in this case? e.g. would a ten user licence for Confluence for $10 really be that bad? –  David d C e Freitas Sep 2 '11 at 14:58

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If the solution not being OS isn't actually a deal breaker, I can very highly recommend Confluence.

We started using it in our team about 6-8 months ago and since then it's had a very high adoption rate. MUCH higher than the 2 or 3 purely OS wiki based systems we trialled before that.

We have found that it's easy to get to grips with, has a great wiki style syntax (or a very solid WYSIWYG editor if your team prefers that approach) and as David Freitas mentioned in the comments on your question, a 10-user license only costs $10 - and that whole $10 goes to charity too so everyone's a winner.

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In the end, with the lack of good open source software to do the job, we went with Confluence. The Confluence API especially is nice. –  netcoder Oct 15 '11 at 16:49

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