JetBrains Launches Writerside Documentation Tool
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Monday, 16 October 2023

JetBrains has released an early access version of a tool to help developers and technical writers create technical documentation. Writerside is based on JetBrains' own internal tool for creating documentation for its programming products.

JetBrains says that Writerside allows developers and writers to collaborate on the production of product docs, API references, tutorials, developer guides, and how-tos directly inside their favorite JetBrains IDE or with a standalone tool built on the same platform.

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The tool has been in use for over 10 years within JetBrains and the team says JetBrains products, from the Kotlin programming language to IntelliJ Platform SDK, are using Writerside to create their documentation.

Anna Gasparyan, Writerside Product Lead at JetBrains, said:

"If tech writers use the same tools as developers, such as Git, automated check, and build pipelines, it not only ensures the quality of the final output, but it should also make it easier for the entire team to contribute to docs, review them, and track changes."

Writerside supports both Markdown and its own semantic XML-based markup, as well as their combined use. Users can inject semantic attributes or entire semantic elements, and can convert Markdown fragments sent in by other contributors into XML on the fly.

The tool automatically tests for broken links, missing resources, incorrect attribute values, and non-unique IDs. It has on-the-fly code highlighting and validation with built-in inspections. You can also automate checks for your in-house spelling and style conventions.

Once a document has been created, there's a live preview option that shows how the doc will appear, with any errors highlighted. JetBrains says this directly addresses the challenges of limited CI/CD access or time-consuming builds for small updates.

Writerside uses an AI-based spellchecker and a grammar error correction tool built by JetBrains that supports 25+ languages, including English, German, Spanish, and Chinese.

Writerside is available as a plugin for JetBrains IDEs and as a stand-alone application.

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More Information

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 October 2023 )