Add New Documentation

To contribute new documentation to Istio, just follow these steps:

  1. Identify the audience and intended use for the information.
  2. Choose the type of content you wish to contribute.
  3. Choose a title.
  4. Write your contribution following our documentation contribution guides.
  5. Submit your contribution to our GitHub repository.
  6. Follow our review process until your contribution is merged.

Identify the audience and intended use

The best documentation starts by knowing the intended readers, their knowledge, and what you expect them to do with the information. Otherwise, you cannot determine the appropriate scope and depth of information to provide, its ideal structure, or the necessary supporting information. The following examples show this principle in action:

  • The reader needs to perform a specific task: Tell them how to recognize when the task is necessary and provide the task itself as a list of numbered steps, don’t simply describe the task in general terms.

  • The reader must understand a concept before they can perform a task: Before the task, tell them about the prerequisite information and provide a link to it.

  • The reader needs to make a decision: Provide the conceptual information necessary to know when to make the decision, the available options, and when to choose one option instead of the other.

  • The reader is an administrator but not a SWE: Provide a script, not a link to a code sample in a developer’s guide.

  • The reader needs to extend the features of the product: Provide an example of how to extend the feature, using a simplified scenario for illustration purposes.

  • The reader needs to understand complex feature relationships: Provide a diagram showing the relationships, rather than writing multiple pages of content that is tedious to read and understand.

The most important thing to avoid is the common mistake of simply giving readers all the information you have, because you are unsure about what information they need.

If you need help identifying the audience for you content, we are happy to help and answer all your questions during the Docs Working Group biweekly meetings.

Content types

When you understand the audience and the intended use for the information you provide, you can choose content type that best addresses their needs. To make it easy for you to choose, the following table shows the supported content types, their intended audiences, and the goals each type strives to achieve:

Content typeGoalsAudiences
ConceptsExplain some significant aspect of Istio. For example, a concept page describes the configuration model of a feature and explains its functionality. Concept pages don't include sequences of steps. Instead, provide links to corresponding tasks.Readers that want to understand how features work with only basic knowledge of the project.
Reference pagesProvide exhaustive and detailed technical information. Common examples include API parameters, command-line options, configuration settings, and advanced procedures. Reference content is generated from the Istio code base and tested for accuracy.Readers with advanced and deep technical knowledge of the project that needs specific bits of information to complete advanced tasks.
ExamplesDescribe a working and stand-alone example that highlights a set of features, an integration of Istio with other projects, or an end-to-end solution for a use case. Examples must use an existing Istio setup as a starting point. Examples must include an automated test since they are maintained for technical accuracy.Readers that want to quickly run the example themselves and experiment. Ideally, readers should be able to easily change the example to produce their own solutions.
TasksShows how to achieve a single goal using Istio features. Tasks contain procedures written as a sequence of steps. Tasks provide minimal explanation of the features, but include links to the concepts that provide the related background and knowledge. Tasks must include automated tests since they are tested and maintained for technical accuracy.Readers that want to use Istio features.
Setup pagesFocus on the installation steps needed to complete an Istio deployment. Setup pages must include automated tests since they are tested and maintained for technical accuracy.New and existing Istio users that want to complete a deployment.
Blog postsFocus on Istio or products and technologies related to it. Blog posts fall in one of the following three categories:
  • Posts detailing the author’s experience using and configuring Istio, especially those that articulate a novel experience or perspective.
  • Posts highlighting Istio features.
  • Posts detailing how to accomplish a task or fulfill a specific use case using Istio. Unlike Tasks and Examples, the technical accuracy of blog posts is not maintained and tested after publication.
Readers with a basic understanding of the project who want to learn about it in an anecdotal, experiential, and more informal way.
News entriesFocus on timely information about Istio and related events. News entries typically announce new releases or upcoming events.Readers that want to quickly learn what's new and what's happening in the Istio community.
FAQ entriesProvide quick answers to common questions. Answers don't introduce any concepts. Instead, they provide practical advice or insights. Answers must link to tasks, concepts, or examples in the documentation for readers to learn more.Readers with specific questions who are looking for brief answers and resources to learn more.
Operation guidesFocus on practical solutions that address specific problems encountered while running Istio in a real-world setting.Service mesh operators that want to fix problems or implement solutions for running Istio deployments.

Choosing a title

Choose a title for your topic that has the keywords you want search engines to find. All content files in Istio are named, but each content file is within a folder that uses the keywords in the topic’s title, separated by hyphens, all in lowercase. Keep folder names as short as possible to make cross-references easier to create and maintain.

Submit your contribution to GitHub

If you are not familiar with GitHub, see our working with GitHub guide to learn how to submit documentation changes.

If you want to learn more about how and when your contributions are published, see the section on branching to understand how we use branches and cherry picking to publish our content.

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