How to write WebRTC documentation


Engineers and tech writers who wants to contribute to WebRTC documentation

Conceptual documentation

Conceptual documentation provides overview of APIs or systems. Examples can be threading model of a particular module or data life cycle. Conceptual documentation can skip some edge cases in favor of clarity. The main point is to impart understanding.

Conceptual documentation often cannot be embedded directly within the source code because it usually describes multiple APIs and entites, so the only logical place to document such complex behavior is through a separate conceptual document.

A concept document needs to be useful to both experts and novices. Moreover, it needs to emphasize clarity, so it often needs to sacrifice completeness and sometimes strict accuracy. That's not to say a conceptual document should intentionally be inaccurate. It just means that is should focus more on common usage and leave rare ones or side effects for class/function level comments.

In the WebRTC repo, conceptual documentation is located in g3doc subfolders of related components. To add a new document for the component Foo find a g3doc subfolder for this component and create a .md file there with desired documentation. If there is no g3doc subfolder, create a new one;

When you want to specify a link from one page to another - use the absolute path:

[My document](/module/g3doc/

If you are a Googler also please specify an owner, who will be responsible for keeping this documentation updated, by adding the next lines at the beginning of your .md file immediately after page title:

<?\% config.freshness.owner = '<user name>' %?>
<?\% config.freshness.reviewed = '<last review date in format yyyy-mm-dd>' %?>

If you want to configure the owner for all pages under a directory, create a g3doc.lua file in that directory with the content:

config = super()
config.freshness.owner = '<user name>'
return config

After the document is ready you should add it into /g3doc/, so it will be discoverable by others.

Documentation format

The documentation is written in GitHub Markdown (spec).

Class/function level comments

Documentation of specific classes and function APIs and their usage, including their purpose, is embedded in the .h files defining that API. See C++ style guide for pointers on how to write API documentatin in .h files.