Reorganizing the documentation

Posted by

Those of you that know the documentation well will be aware of the old page we used to have for the MySQL documentation. It was huge, and over the years we’d done a number of things to try and improve the layout and make it easier to find what you wanted. We had in-age links to jump to the different documentation types, and the old topic table that allowed you to jump to specific parts of the documentation. The problem was that the more documentation that we produced (and there are over a thousand docs in various formats now), the bigger the page got. When we added the individual topic guides, for example, we trebled the size of the page by adding the links for each individual topic guide. Ultimately that makes it increasingly difficult for you guys to find what you are looking for, despite the quick links and other elements. We’ve now changed all this and split the single, big, monolithic page of *every* piece of documentation that we create, and instead spread the documentation out over a number of pages. The actual documentation itself remains the same, and we still have the same range of documentation (in fact, it’s increased slightly as I’ve been able to squeeze in a few more formats and topic guide docs), but everything is still there. The key is the new sub-navigation bar that the Web team have provided us with:

Media_httpcoalfacemcs_iskfc

The pages have been split out as follows:

  • MySQL Manual — the full, complete reference manuals
  • Workbench — the Workbench manuals
  • Expert Guides — the standalone guides for some of our more detailed products and system such as the Falcon storage engine and the MySQL Test Framework
  • Topic Guides — the topic reference, with the topic table at the top providing direct links into the 5.1 manual or standalone guides, and the full list of downloadable standalone guides.
  • MySQL Cluster — the full cluster manuals, including the guide to the MySQL Cluster API (NDBAPI)
  • Other docs — other documentation, not already mentioned, including the sample databases (Sakila, World, Employee), the help tables you can import into MySQL, and printed material and links elsewhere.
  • MySQL Uni — a page about the MySQL University, which is run by the documentation team, and which provides links to the MySQL Uni pages on Forge
  • About — information about the documentation team, who we are, and some statistics on the documentation we produce
  • Archives — archives of older manuals

We are aware of a few issues with some of the links to some documentation, and I’m working right now to address those problems, but all the documentation should be there and available. If it isn’t, please report a Bug.