Post 0.1 release thoughts

May 01, 2015 · by Jerzy Kozera

It’s been over 2 years now since I’ve started developing the Zeal documentation browser. It’s still maintained thanks to lots of hard effort from Oleg Shparber (@trollixx) which resulted in the recent 0.1 release. Thank you!

I thought writing down some of my thoughts on this project could be beneficial for our developers and users community, and maybe even encourage more contributions.

I’ve instantly fell in love in Dash’s quick search functionality which allows easier offline access to docs, and being a fan of open source I couldn’t resist porting it to Linux. Zeal is now used by thousands of Linux and Windows users which says a lot about the need for having such tool.

While I don’t really spend much time on developing Zeal nowadays, all the hard work is mostly done by @trollixx, but I try to support him when I can, and we talk a lot about potential long term goals for Zeal. Some of possibilities from the top of my head:

  • Tons of new features to implement, like full text search, docsets versioning, autogenerated docs, support for Dash’s user contributed docs, and more.
  • Spend more time on community, which could involve Twitter posts, writing blog with status updates and release plans, improving the website, etc.
  • Possibly derive some business model which would allow funding Zeal’s development - note there was no money involved in Zeal’s development yet! The ideas include supporting software businesses’ documentation needs, or selling books from Zeal’s UI… However, the plan is to always keep Zeal an open source project.
  • Build a backend servers infrastructure for things like cross-device settings synchronization, crash reporting, history, statistics.
  • Create a community of developers where everyone can contribute to documentation and help others, a bit like StackExchange, but more centered on documentation.

This is all obviously very far-fetched, and requires lots of effort to implement even part of the ideas, but I think it’s a very exciting project to take part in!

If that sparked any interest, any comments are welcome! Feel free to post on social media, or contact us directly as described in the README.


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