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Code the Docs: Interactive Document Environments

Project: IPython, Swift Playgrounds, and Jupyer, primarily.

Distributing example code and applications with documentation is now easy. There are a million different ways to get code to people: from zips, to GitHub, to gists, and beyond. Code is easy to distribute. But how do we create a better link between example code, and written documentation?
Luckily, clever boffins have come up with some solutions: interactive document environments. These let the live code and the documentation sit side-by-side with one another, the distributed example code is the documentation.

This talk will take a brief look at some of the different interactive document environments out there – mainly Jupyter, IPython Notebooks, and Swift Playgrounds – and the various strengths, weaknesses, and caveats of these tools. We’ll also explore the future, and discuss where these tools are going, as well as the implications for technical documentation. Learn how to add interactivity to your documentation, and why this might be a good idea!

Paris Buttfield-Addison

Dr Paris Buttfield-Addison is a producer and co-founder at Secret Lab, a mobile development studio based in beautiful Hobart, Australia. Secret Lab builds games for mobile devices, and primarily for children, such as the AIMIA winning (2014) ABC Play School apps, and the Qantas Joey Playbox.

Paris formerly worked with Meebo (which was acquired by Google) as mobile product manager. He has a BA in History, and a PhD in Computing/HCI, and has written nearly a dozen technical, game design, and mobile software development books, mostly for O’Reilly Media. He writes a lot of documentation, and extensively uses Swift, Go, and Python.

Paris can be found on Twitter @parisba. He still thinks digital watches are a pretty neat idea.