Slightly Sharpe
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Theming Redoc

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The Promo API documentation themed with redoc for https://tincre.dev

Wait, you don't know what redoc is? What APIs are? You don't use Swagger? This article might not be for you.

I will avoid defining those things so that I have more material to blabber about later. 😉

But if you do use OpenAPI (Swagger) definitions for your APIs, you should be using redoc to publish and beautify your definitions. And even better, once you hit scale, you can leverage the company behind the redoc project - Redocly - to manage that scale.

Of course I have literally nothing to do with Redocly, nor do I even know anyone who works there (at least of whom I'm aware). I just genuinely enjoy great products and the businesses that make them. Big surprise, considering we (try) to do the same thing at

Tincre!

📚 What is redoc?

As stated in the project's README.md:

Redoc is an open-source tool for generating documentation from OpenAPI (fka Swagger) definitions.

By default Redoc offers a three-panel, responsive layout:

  • The left panel contains a search bar and navigation menu.
  • The central panel contains the documentation.
  • The right panel contains request and response examples.

Basically, redoc takes an OpenAPI (Swagger) schema and renders it. In a real nice, purdy way that happens to be quite flexible.

What's so special about it?

For Tincre's developer platform, Tincre.dev, we need to publish various API documentation so that other developers can best understand how to use our products and services. Believe it or not, this is no easy task.

For one, just look at how much detail is in a single API schema for our Promo API! In case you're wondering what that API does IRL, head over to one of our product subsidiaries, b00st.com, login and press the "Real Easy Ads" button. The Promo API is the magic behind the scenes, running may of the largest musicians' and bands' marketing. đŸ¤¯

Redoc let's us render all this detail in a useful, dynamic fashion for for our users. And its design allows us to keep all the magic between the sheets - i.e. within our build, testing, and deployment schemas.

The redoc React component

We load our openapi.json schema from our own, local directory. In fact, if you go to https://tincre.dev/openapi.json you can load our Promo API schema right in your browser!

To get the job done we use the Redoc React component. It's extremely easy to use and requires just a few peer dependencies.

Getting setup

If you use a React-framework such as Next.js you should do the following:

yarn add -D mbox styled-components core-js redoc

ℹī¸ npm is also fine!

Then, at the top of the file in which you'd like to declare your openapi schema component:

import { RedocStandalone } from 'redoc';

Use it by filling out the spec prop within the component with a string (that's what we do) or a JavaScript object.

For example, using a string:

<RedocStandalone specUrl="/openapi.json" />

That's it!

Theming it purdy

The best part about redoc is that it takes options. Yep, those kind of options, the ones that let you customize how things look, feel, and behave.

Let's dig into some of the options you can use, leveraging Redocly's examples and slight modifications we use for tincre.dev:

<RedocStandalone
  specUrl="/openapi.json"
  options={{
    defaultSampleLanguage: 'JavaScript',
    ctrlFHijack: false,
    scrollYOffset: 80,
    theme: {
      codeBlock: {
        borderRadius: '8',
      },
      typography: {
        fontSize: '16px',
        fontFamily: 'Roboto Mono, Roboto, sans-serif',
        optimizeSpeed: true,
        smoothing: 'antialiased',
        headings: {
          fontWeight: 'bold',
          lineHeight: '2em',
        },
        code: {
          fontWeight: '600',
          color: 'rgba(92, 62, 189, 1)',
          wrap: true,
        },
        links: {
          color: 'rgba(246, 20, 63, 1)',
          visited: 'rgba(246, 20, 63, 1)',
          hover: '#fa768f',
        },
      },
      sidebar: {
        width: '300px',
        textColor: '#000000',
        backgroundColor: '#ffffff',
      },
      rightPanel: {
        backgroundColor: 'rgba(55, 53, 71, 1)',
        textColor: '#ffffff',
      },
    },
    colors: {
      primary: {
        main: 'rgba(246, 20, 63, 1)',
        light: 'rgba(246, 20, 63, 0.42)',
      },
      success: {
        main: 'rgba(28, 184, 65, 1)',
        light: '#81ec9a',
        dark: '#083312',
        contrastText: '#000',
      },
      text: {
        primary: 'rgba(0, 0, 0, 1)',
        secondary: '#4d4d4d',
      },
      http: {
        get: 'rgba(0, 200, 219, 1)',
        post: 'rgba(28, 184, 65, 1)',
        put: 'rgba(255, 187, 0, 1)',
        delete: 'rgba(254, 39, 35, 1)',
      },
    },
  }}
/>

The schema is fairly straightforward but only some of the options are available for the community edition (OSS/free).

Check out the theming docs for yourself.

📑 Why Tincre needs API docs

Phil and I built this business to scale, at extremely low costs, with pure blood, sweat and tears.

That scale starts now. Actually it started many months ago and we've been maintaining a 5-15% top-line growth rate monthly. Oh, and there's been no sacrificing earnings - profitability has also expanded while growing that top line. Cash flows? Fuggedaboutit!

Imminent expansion - tincre.dev

Specifically, we're working with some amazing partner firms you'll see announced over the next several months to plug in our new Promo product.

Then, we'll begin marketing our fully-fledged developer platform to well, developers. But developers are, by far, the hardest and most expensive group of customers/clients you can go after. It's the pinnacle of business in 2022 (and has been for quite a while).

But don't take my word for it...Amazon, for instance, generated more than half its 2021 profits via its AWS - Amazon Web Services - business, which sells specifically to developers and developer-enabled organizations.

Businesses such as Twilio, Facebook (Meta), Mailchimp, and Ebay, to name a few, either sell developers services directly or rely upon developer-built consumer-facing technologies for literally all of their cash flows.

Communication, service, and support

But as a small operation which has rejected VC funding up to this point, we have to attack our market from a different, vastly more efficient angle.

That's where our API (and other) docs come into play. High-quality engineering communication with our developer client base is paramount to successful products and services.

Keeping ourselves honest

By publishing code-side documentation that's generated from our actual APIs we are able to communicate with our clients in ways the old-school business world cannot begin to fathom.

For example, imagine that the second your favorite restaurant changed the recipe to a menu item that you were:

  1. informed of the change,
  2. were told exactly what that would mean for other dishes on the menu, and
  3. were able to make an informed decision before ordering that dish, surprised by the abrupt difference.

New capabilities for client developers

Quality technical documentation also communicates how to utilize something. You'll notice that each of our API endpoints in the redoc rendering has a Response demonstration.

Hit the API as one of our client developers and know exactly what you're going to get and how you're going to get it.

Business efficiency: a first line of defense

Lastly, quality docs are an efficiency tool for a business like ours. They're the first order of assistance we can provide, helping to clarify usage, expectations, limitations, and most importantly, possibilities.

đŸĨƒ Last call

I hope you enjoyed or found this piece useful. If you know of anyone that should be plugging in the Promo product I mentioned, do me a favor and connect us w/a simple email to hi@tincre.dev.

Especially if that someone's you!

l8r 🐊 - J

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