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Gatsby Days Video: Distributed Documentation Sites with Gatsby Themes

Kat Huang
July 9th, 2020

After much thought and discussion, the Gatsby team has decided not to hold Virtual Gatsby Days in the way we originally planned. While we were very much looking forward to our first digital community gathering, we feel now is not the time to take attention and space away from the Black Lives Matter movement.

Transforming Gatsby Days from a live event into a content series keeps the focus on more important events while sharing the amazing speakers and learning opportunities in a way the community can access when the time is right for each of us. All of the product and program announcements planned for Gatsby Days have been rolled up into an initial blog post, and now we are following with a video series to present the speakers who had been scheduled to share their knowledge during the event. We hope you enjoy. 💜

We look forward to seeing you at our next Gatsby Days, planned for October, though it’s difficult to say right now exactly what form that will take. Follow Gatsby on Twitter to keep up with announcements around our fall Gatsby Days planning, calls for proposals, when registration starts, and other developments.

Gatsby Themes are like Gatsby sites for separate functionalities that can be joined together to create a fully featured website. As an intern on GitHub’s design systems team, Cole Bemis — a Design Systems Engineer at GitHub and recent graduate of Cal Poly — helped build a Gatsby Theme with out-of-the-box support for every feature the documentation sites needed. By simply installing the package and setting a basic configuration, Cole’s new Doctocat theme spun up a fully-functional documentation site complete with responsive navigation, support for MDX, live code examples, search, automatically-generated table of contents, and more.

In his Gatsby Days presentation Cole demonstrates how Doctocat, the Gatsby theme he developed and named after GitHub’s Octocat mascot, spins up consistent, maintainable documentation sites for different parts of GitHub’s design system. Previously, repeated code from their documentation sites was distributed across multiple repositories, making them hard to create, contribute to, and update. Even after refactoring components into a shared library, there was still a fair amount of similar code to wire up data for the components and render them. Now, Doctocat integrates all this repetitive work into a single seamless workflow.

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Product Marketing Intern @ Gatsby. I like puns, drawing, squats, and digital sociology. Learned to code on Tumblr and once taught myself Latin.

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