The Jenkins Technical Documentation is an important part of our project because it is key to the proper use of Jenkins. Good documentation guides users and encourages good implementation choices. This is a key part of the user experience.

In the recent Jenkins UI/UX Hackfest, documentation was a specific way to improve the Jenkins user experience. We’ve had a lot of progress from experienced Jenkins contributors and newcomers. Contributors from around the world submitted PR for the installation, administration, and manipulation of Jenkins documents.

Migrate documents from the Wiki

Jenkins Wiki pages have gathered 15 years of experience and wisdom for Jenkins users. But this experience and wisdom is mixed with inaccurate, incomplete and outdated information.

The Jenkins Wiki Migration Project identified the 50 most visited pages on Jenkins Wiki and created a Github problem to track the migration of those pages to This is our first large-scale experiment using the GitHub problem as a document. The results were overwhelmingly positive. Hackfest contributors have added new sections to a number of document sections, including:

Jenkins, use

Assembly line,

Jenkins, management

• System management

Hackfest addresses 19 of the Wiki migration issues. Work is underway on the other 25 Wiki migration issues. We have made great progress and look forward to even better results in the future. The new contributors used the “Good First Issues” label very effectively. We started Hackfest with most of the 25 “Good First Issues” that were not allocated, and finished Hackfest with 14 closed projects and another 10 ongoing projects. We will provide more “good first issues” as we welcome new document contributors with the Jenkins Wiki migration.

Migrating plug-in documents

The plug-in documentation is also in transition. Since November 2019, the plug-in has been moving its documentation to the GitHub repository that hosts the plug-in source code. This document-as-code approach allows plug-in maintainers to include documentation improvements in the same PR that implements new functionality. It ensures that document changes are reviewed by the same maintainers who review and approve new functionality.

Hackfest participants submitted a PR to migrate the plug-in documentation to GitHub. Hackfest is doing 10 plugin PR. The five plugin PR from Hackfest have been merged and are awaiting the release of the plugin.

The Chuck Norris document is the code

In the spirit of fun and adventure, Oleg Nenashev migrated the “Chuck Norris Plugin” to code in the GitHub documentation during a live demo at Hackfest on May 26, 2020. You can get the audio, plug-in migration guide, and links to the export tool from the following links: Migrating Plug-ins to Code Documentation.

Document update

Jenkins collaborates with other technologies to solve automation challenges in many different environments. We describe these environments in the Solution page. As part of Hackfest, we have made a number of improvements to the solution page.

Docker solution pages now include updated videos and better page layouts for easy reading and navigation. Other solution pages will receive similar improvements in the future.

Document update

You can modify Jenkins’ global configuration at startup by defining Java properties. System properties can change the system defaults when the new default configuration may not be compatible with the existing installation and can provide compatibility “escape shaded lines”.

As part of Hackfest, Daniel Beck improved the navigation and user experience of the system’s property pages. Now, you can easily read and reference with embeddable links by hovering over the right side of each attribute and the label that categorizes and categorizes each attribute.

Plug-in Site Improvements

During Hackfest, Gavin Mogan continued to work on improving the Jenkins plug-in site so that users could easily access the plug-in change log and reported issues. When combined with this PR, it will greatly improve the experience of Jenkins users who want to update their plug-ins and find documentation about their changes and problems they may encounter.

Example incoming UI of the JIRA plug-in:

Next step

There is still a lot of work to be done in the Jenkins documentation, and we need your help. There are many ways to participate in the Jenkins project, including documentation. See the Contribution Guide for detailed instructions. Join the documentation chat room for personalized help and encouragement.

The Jenkins project was added to Google Docs this year. This open source mentoring program brings together the open source community and the technical writer community for the benefit of both sides. We are looking for technical writers who are interested in contributing to the project from September to December 2020. This is a great opportunity to learn about the tools used to code documents and learn more about contributing to open source projects. You can find the Jenkins project concept and more information here.

Author: Mark Waite Jenkins