Support Read The Docs financially

RESOLVED FIXED

Status

mozilla.org
Miscellaneous
RESOLVED FIXED
2 years ago
a year ago

People

(Reporter: jezdez, Assigned: Mitchell Baker)

Tracking

Details

(Reporter)

Description

2 years ago
Mozilla is using readthedocs heavily for many of its Open Source projects and has historically supported its maker financially as sponsors. Since then we stopped supporting the project though which given the usefulness of automating software documentation we should change. It's in our interest to make sure the platform we use for documenting our software stays sustainable.

There are multiple ways to support RTD:

1. There was a call for help to make the project sustainable financially (https://readthedocs.org/sustainability/) and it seems as if Mozilla hasn't decided to support it with a one time donation.

2. tofumatt and phrawtzy noted in #webdev on IRC that RTD now tests running benign ads from community member organizations (Rackspace and Twilio as of writing this). RTD's sponsorship model can be found here: http://docs.readthedocs.org/en/latest/sponsors.html#sponsorship-information

Part of the feedback on IRC was that it's odd that while other IT companies show up in the sidebar of our rendered documentations (e.g. http://kinto.readthedocs.org/en/latest/) there is no obvious way for us to hide those ads.

Of course we could become a sponsor ourselves again and would probably entail providing own ads. But it's not clear if that would also get rid of ads shown on our projects. Clarification from the RTD team is needed on this one.

3. Additionally and lastly, there is a separate product from the RTD folks that allows hosting private documentation and has other non-org features such as org team permissions: https://readthedocs.com/

That's similar to paying GitHub or Travis CI for an org account, but it's unclear if that would also mean having to port the documentation projects hosted currently on readthedocs.org or not. Again something to ask the RTD team about.

Whichever way we go, I think it's worth exploring supporting RTD in one way as it has served the Mozilla community for a while with automatically built documentation of its software.

What I'm looking for in this ticket is a direction we can take on this and - if we decide to support RTD - act upon it. In that sense this ticket is currently mostly a fact finding ticket.
(Reporter)

Comment 1

2 years ago
Apologies for needinfo'ing so many people, but I'm just not sure who to ask at the moment. Feel free to drop again.
Flags: needinfo?(tofumatt)
Flags: needinfo?(lcrouch)
Flags: needinfo?(laura)
Flags: needinfo?(dmaher)
Flags: needinfo?(chris.lonnen)
Flags: needinfo?(aspivak)

Updated

2 years ago
Flags: needinfo?(tofumatt)
(Reporter)

Comment 2

2 years ago
Oh I should note that tofumatt also wondered whether it would be smarter to use GitHub pages for hosting our documentation per repo as it's free and we trust the service with our code already.

From a practical point of view that would imply using some kind of build tool (either scripted or hosted) that would build the docs and push them to GitHub. Or each project could do that manually or decide an own workflow. While this sounds like more effort there are obvious advantages of just using one service for hosting code and docs.
3. I'm not aware of any private repos that would need RTD.

2. ReadTheDocs ad could be a good way to advertise & promote Mozilla developer offerings? We could try running an MDN ad there for a month, and/or a Firefox Developer Edition ad? or even a WebVR ad for August? (ali? jeff? josh?)
Flags: needinfo?(lcrouch)
Flags: needinfo?(jgriffiths)
Flags: needinfo?(jcarpenter)
Flags: needinfo?(dmaher)

Comment 4

2 years ago
I think it would be a good thing to support them if Mozilla is using. MDN doesn't use RTD, most usage comes from product/platform engineering teams. 

I can bring up this to the marketing team as an opportunity for paid advertising/sponsoring, although we'd need to decide what, exactly, we'd want to promote.
Flags: needinfo?(aspivak)
I don't have much to contribute here. Devtools does not ( afaik ) use RTD.
Flags: needinfo?(jgriffiths)

Updated

2 years ago
Flags: needinfo?(chris.lonnen)
We don't use RTD on the WebVR project, and I'm not familiar with it. I can ask around the team, but given we're a small group and we haven't used it yet, I don't think we'll be much help here.
Flags: needinfo?(jcarpenter)
(Reporter)

Comment 7

2 years ago
The first round of MOSS grants were announced recently, which includes a grant for Read The Docs, so I'm closing this as fixed.

https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2015/12/10/mozilla-open-source-support-first-awards-made/
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 2 years ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED
(Reporter)

Comment 8

a year ago
Clearing needinfo for Laura since it's not needed anymore.
Flags: needinfo?(laura)
You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.