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Contributing to docsLink

From romi-robots-docs, we incorporate changes using a typical git workflow with commits and pull requests. The documentation is generated using MkDocs.


At the end of this tutorial, you should be able to:

  • create content for romi-robots-docs
  • review modifications suggested for romi-robots-docs by you colleagues


  1. Install git

  2. Install Mkdocs

1. Install gitLink

  • Install git
  • Example in Linux system with a Debian-based distribution (e.g. Ubuntu):
    git --version #verify that you have git installed: it should return the version (e.g. git version 2.25.1)
    #if git is not installed:
    $ sudo apt install git-all
  • git clone romi-robots-docs
git clone
cd romi-robots-docs  #enter the cloned repository so that all git actions are available 

2. Install mkdocsLink

sudo apt install mkdocs
sudo pip3 install mkdocs-material #this extension of mkdocs is required

Note: if the second installation fails, you may consider installing or updating pip3:

sudo apt-get install python3-pip

Then re-run gain the command: sudo pip3 install mkdocs-material

Step-by-step tutorialLink

if you only review an existing branch (without adding or modifying content), go directly to steps 8/9.

1. Create your local branchLink

The default branch is master, that directly incorporate all changes. There is no dev branch. Never ever work on master: create a local branch to make changes, using the following commands:

git checkout master  # go to master
git pull  # update it with last changes
git checkout -b my_branch  # create local branch `my_branch` (it will derived from the last master)
git push --set-upstream origin my_branch  # attach branch `my_branch` to `origin/my_branch`. GitHub login/password will be asked for.

2. Visualize your changes locally on a web browser in an interactive mannerLink

mkdocs serve  # reads the mkdocs.yml file to generate the web page.

The terminal gives you information. The programs starts by building the documentation. As soon as you can read:

[I 210323 08:58:22 server:335] Serving on

..., you can connect your favorite web browser by copy-pasting the url or just (ctrl+click) on the address to open it in your default browser.

The program mkdocs serve constantly watches for changes and refreshes the build as soon as they are detected, as indicated by the terminal:

[I 210323 08:58:22 handlers:62] Start watching changes INFO - Start watching changes

[I 210323 08:58:22 handlers:64] Start detecting changes INFO - Start detecting changes Since the refresh is very rapid upon changes, you can then see in live the effect of you modifications.

In the terminal, possible issues are listed (INFO and WARNING),pointing to problems that should be fixed:

In this case, pages should be added in the nav section of the mkdocs.yml file (see later point 4.). In the interactive browser, you cannot see and display pages that does not exist in the "nav" configuration.

  • internal hyperlink issues (WARNING):

WARNING - Documentation file 'xxx/xxxx/' contains a link to 'xxx/yyy/' which is not found in the documentation files.

In this case, check and modify the hyperlink in to provide good redirection to

3. Adding images in the contentLink

  • store the image files in assets/. You can also directly provide html address for third party images if you are sure that the link will be stable over time.
  • To have more flexibility and options for images layout, use the html command in your markdown file:
<img src="/assets/images/my_image.png" alt="name_displayed_if_error" width="600" style="display:block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"> # here the style centers the picture

4. Modify the navigation in mkdocs.ymlLink

Open mkdocs.yml at the root of romi-robots-docs repo.

Some changes must be reported in this file in the nav section: when you create a new page (a new or a new directory, or modify the name of an existing

In the nav section, you can also enter the name given to pages in the menu.

5. Commit your changesLink

This follow the classical git commit procedure:

git status  #list all files affected by changes
git add/restore/rm <file>  #do as many action as listed in red by the previous command
(git status)  #optional: verify that all changes are staged and ready for commit)
git commit -m "my awesome commit"
git push  # push modification to `origin/my_branch`
(git log)  #optional: verify that your commit is recorded

6. Merge your working branch with current master: rebase may be neededLink

Assuming that your working branch is called my_branch

git checkout master  #switch to master
git pull  #update in case changes were made in the meantime: now you have the latest master branch
git checkout my_branch  #switch again to the branch to merge
git rebase master  # rebase `master` branch onto `my_branch`

if the last command indicates conflicts, it means that master and my_branch have diverged during your work. For each files listed by git:

  • fix the conflicts by directly editing the file
  • stage your changes with:
git add file1
  • continue the rebase with:
git rebase --continue

Finally, once all conflicts have been resolved and changes staged, Push the rebasing to remote central repo:

git push -f origin my_branch  #-f (force) implies that login/password will be asked for.

7. Prepare a PR on GitHub webpageLink

  • Go to the distant romi repository :
  • select you branch and prepare a PR: open a pull request (green button), enter a brief text to explain the modifications, assign reviewers (in the right column of the page), and press the green button 'create pull request'.

8. test a distant branch (e.g. for a pull request review from your colleagues)Link

git checkout test_branch  #switch to 'test_branch'. /!\ do not switch to origin/test_branch since your working locally
git fetch  #Download objects and refs from the remote branch on /origin
git pull  #Incorporates changes from the remote repository into the current local `test_branch`
mkdocs serve  #serve the docs website on the local server

You can view the display, test the links, etc... You can also create a new branch from it to modify it.

9. make your review on GitHub web interfaceLink

Comment the pull requests (PR), file by file. Point to issues if any.

10. Use the project board (Kanban type)Link

Go to:

  • link your PR to existing issues
  • move the corresponding note to the appropriate column (To do / In progress / Test / Done)


Warning messagesLink

They points to files reported in the mkdocs.yml but not existing in the current documentation. This is not an rugent issue sine the doculentation can be built despite these raised warnings. Consider modifying the indicated files.

Fatal errors occuring after executing mkdocs serveLink

  • module 'materialx.emoji'

    cannot find module 'materialx.emoji' (No module named 'materialx')

solution: execute sudo pip3 install mkdocs-material

  • 'gitsnippet'

    ERROR - Config value: 'plugins'. Error: The "gitsnippet" plugin is not installed

solution: execute pip install mkdocs-gitsnippet-plugin

  • 'decorator'

    ERROR - The 'decorator' distribution was not found and is required by the application

solution: execute pip install decorator

  • 'wcwidth'

    ERROR - The 'wcwidth' distribution was not found and is required by prompt-toolkit

solution: execute pip install wcwidth