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 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.