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Sylwia Vargas for StackBlitz

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Hacktoberfest: docs updates in three steps

Hacktoberfest is a celebration of Open Source contributions and new developers are eagerly encouraged to join in. However, many projects require so much setup, which not only stressed me out but also discouraged me from considering contributing.

Of course, there is the Markdown Preview on GitHub - however, it only changes Markdown to HTML and doesn't render the whole page. You can't see how the changes you're introducing will look on the page unless you close, install dependencies, start the dev server.

But what if updating docs wasn't this complicated? Well, good news is that it doesn't have to be!

Below, I'm offering a workflow that helps you focus on the content update or creation, without the hassle of the setup. If you prefer to watch a video instead, I got you covered as well - check the end of the post!

Content editing hack

Follow these three steps for a productivity hack:

  1. In the docs repository, find the file you want to edit - can be markdown, can be anything, really. Click "edit" icon.

Opening a file in GitHub and entering an edit view

  1. In the browser's address tab, add "pr.new" to the beginning of the URL address, press enter, and enjoy updating the content.

Adding "pr.new" to the beginning of the URL address

  1. Once you're happy with the result, propose the changes and submit a PR!

Proposing changes and submitting a PR

What is this tool?

What you see above is a tool called Web Publisher. It is - and will remain - free for Open Source projects and for public repositories.

Web Publisher allows you to edit any file and see the changes rendered on the live preview. You don't have to do any special setup - you can even use it on your phone (on Chrome or Firefox). Now even the new developers can contribute their talents to Open Source by proofreading, translating, editing the text without the stress of the environment setup.

I have been using Web Publisher for weeks now and it really helped me a lot in my daily workflow. The other day I corrected a dead link on our page while waiting in line for an appointment šŸ˜‚

Wanna try it out?

You can either edit a page of any of the public repos or... Add your name to this page!

See it in action

In case you'd like to see how I use the tool, see this video:


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Top comments (3)

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maksim36ua profile image
Max • Edited on

Yeah, documentation is a great way to contribute. Unfortunately, it's often forgotten. We've specifically mentioned the documentation as a separate way to contribute for our low-code Hacktoberfest participants .

BTW if you'd like to contribute to a simple language for developing full-stack React + Node web apps with less code -- join us!

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gulyapulya profile image
Gulnur Baimukhambetova

Such a nice hack! Very useful for beginners!

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sylwiavargas profile image
Sylwia Vargas

For beginners, non-technical folks, but also in day-to-day work. I literally got two PRs with it today from our community!

Regex for lazy developers

regex for lazy devs

You know who you are. Sorry for the callout šŸ˜†