Sauntering Beyond Swagger
with Open Source Tools

Jessica Parsons

@verythorough

slides.com/verythorough/beyond-swagger

Sauntering Beyond Swagger
...and stumbling along the way

Jessica Parsons

@verythorough

slides.com/verythorough/beyond-swagger

About Us

Service for developer teams to build, deploy,
and manage modern web projects

Small team

API used mostly by us (for now)

Our Starting Point

  • Minimal API task guides in main docs
    built with Hugo
     
  • API endpoint reference
    built from OpenAPI document with swagger-ui

About Swagger & OAS

Swagger spec → OpenAPI spec

info:
  version: 1.0.0
  title: Swagger Petstore
  license:
    name: MIT
host: petstore.swagger.io
basePath: /v1
paths:
  /pets:
    get:
      summary: List all pets
      operationId: listPets

About Swagger & OAS

  • single source of truth for API development
  • can be generated from code
    (or used to drive it)
  • can be used to generate SDKs and docs

Swagger spec → OpenAPI spec

About Swagger & OAS

Proprietary Saas

Swagger spec tooling → Swagger by SmartBear

About Swagger & OAS

Open Source

Swagger spec tooling → Swagger by SmartBear

Swagger UI

What We Wanted

  • better process: spec-driven development
     
  • better customer UX: improved site design
     
  • better writer UX: GUI file editor

To saunter in the direction of:

What We Wanted

  • decoupled & modular
     
  • prebuilt, portable markup
     
  • open source where possible

... while maintaining our tech values:

The Happy Path:

Site Generators

The Stumbling Block:

GUI Editing

I thought the path was clear

Netlify CMS seems to do all I need:

  • works with data stored in files with Git
     
  • can work in parallel with Git workflows
     
  • geared for open source contributions
     
  • file-based config

I thought the path was clear

For example, this config:

# admin/config.yml

label: Plans
name: plans
widget: list
fields: 
  - {label: Plan, name: plan, widget: string}
  - {label: Price, name: price, widget: string}
  - {label: Description, name: description, widget: string}
  - {label: Items, name: items, widget: list}

I thought the path was clear

... generates this editor UI:

I thought the path was clear

... generates this editor UI:

I thought the path was clear

... which saves this data:

# site/data/products.yml

plans:
    - description: Perfect for the drinker who likes to enjoy 1-2 cups per day.
      items:
        - 3 lbs of coffee per month
        - Green or roasted beans"
        - One or two varieties of beans"
      plan: Small
      price: '50'

I thought the path was clear

... which populates this site design:

It wasn't!

OpenAPI spec documents are not simple data files

It wasn't!

OpenAPI spec documents:

  • are heavily nested
  • are often really (really!) long
  • have limited modularity
  • use "patterned" fields
paths:
  /sites:
    get:
      operationId: listSites
      parameters:
        - name: name
          in: query
          type: string

patterned
fields are
user-defined!

Potential Detours

Other options for now:

  • Stoplight
    • proprietary Saas
    • nice editor UI syncs with GitHub repo
    • OpenAPI 2.0 only
  • openapi-gui
    • open source
    • UI a bit clunky
    • import/export from web UI
    • converts to OpenAPI 3.0 on export

Next Steps

A decoupled stack allows parallel improvements:

  • Improve the customer UI
    • RapiDoc for now
    • Move to Shins with more content?
       
  • Improve the content
    • Git editing or temp UI options

Next Steps

A decoupled stack allows parallel improvements:

  • Improve the editor (Netlify CMS)
    • custom UI widgets
    • patterned fields
    • conditional display
       
  • Improve OAS document modularity
    • simple file generator?

Thank you!

Sauntering Beyond Swagger with Open Source Tools

By Jessica Parsons

Sauntering Beyond Swagger with Open Source Tools

Presenting at API the Docs Chicago 2019

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