Read the Docs vs Slate: What are the differences?
What is Read the Docs? Create, host, and browse documentation. Read the Docs hosts documentation, making it fully searchable and easy to find. You can import your docs using any major version control system, including Mercurial, Git, Subversion, and Bazaar. We support webhooks so your docs get built when you commit code. There's also support for versioning so you can build docs from tags and branches of your code in your repository.
What is Slate? Beautiful static documentation for your API, inspired by Stripe's and Paypal's API docs. Slate helps you create beautiful API documentation. Think of it as an intelligent, responsive documentation template for your API.
Read the Docs and Slate can be categorized as "Documentation as a Service &" tools.
Some of the features offered by Read the Docs are:
- Github and Bitbucket Integration
On the other hand, Slate provides the following key features:
- Clean, intuitive design — with Slate, the description of your API is on the left side of your documentation, and all the code examples are on the right side. Inspired by Stripe's and Paypal's API docs. Slate is responsive, so it looks great on tablets, phones, and even print.
- Everything on a single page — gone are the days where your users had to search through a million pages to find what they wanted. Slate puts the entire documentation on a single page. We haven't sacrificed linkability, though. As you scroll, your browser's hash will update to the nearest header, so linking to a particular point in the documentation is still natural and easy.
- Slate is just Markdown — when you write docs with Slate, you're just writing Markdown, which makes it simple to edit and understand. Everything is written in Markdown — even the code samples are just Markdown code blocks!
"GitHub integration" is the primary reason why developers consider Read the Docs over the competitors, whereas "Easy setup" was stated as the key factor in picking Slate.
Read the Docs and Slate are both open source tools. It seems that Slate with 27.2K GitHub stars and 16.9K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Read the Docs with 5.21K GitHub stars and 2.84K GitHub forks.
What is Read the Docs?
What is Slate?
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What are the cons of using Read the Docs?
What are the cons of using Slate?
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What tools integrate with Slate?
We recently needed to rebuild our documentation site, currently built using Jekyll hosted on GitHub Pages. We wanted to update the content and refresh the style to make it easier to find answers.
We considered hosted services that could accept our markdown content, like ReadMe.io and Read the Docs, however both seemed expensive for essentially hosting the same platform we already had for free.
I also looked at the Gatsby Static Site generator to modernize Jekyll. I don't think this is a fit, as our documentation is relatively simple and relies heavily on Markdown. Jekyll excels at Markdown, while Gatsby seemed to struggle with it.
Two weeks ago we released the public API for Checkly. We already had an API that was serving our frontend Vue.js app. We decided to create an new set of API endpoints and not reuse the already existing one. The blog post linked below details what parts we needed to refactor, what parts we added and how we handled generating API documentation. More specifically, the post dives into:
- Refactoring the existing Hapi.js based API
- API key based authentication
- Refactoring models with Objection.js
- Validating plan limits
- Generating Swagger & Slate based documentation