Graphia

Features

Simple, portable and accessible content

Plain text is the lingua franca of the internet. It is readable on any platform, by any device, without the need for specialised software. There are no subscriptions, dependencies or features locked away behind a paywall. It just works and has done for decades.

This open, standards-based approach helps forward-thinking organisations avoid the dangers of lock-in and over-reliance on platforms. Your company’s documents are critical and there should be no limit on the ways you can import, access, export, index and search them.

Technical writers, academics, scientists and authors favour plain text over WYSIWYG editor formats, like Word, Confluence or Pages. Plain text is simple—everything is visible. There is no cruft, no waste, and no nasty surprises.

While plain text is great for nerds, some formatting is required to help authors convey meaning and to help readers understand difficult concepts. Well-designed, beautiful, easily-navigable documents make reading pleasurable and complex content easier to comprehend.

Graphia CMS uses Markdown to format plain text. Markdown is an extremely simple formatting syntax for the web; it is en route to being standardised and is already used by millions of people.

Version Control

Version control software typically helps developers collaborate on complex projects without conflict. Every modification is tracked along with the details of who made the change, when they made it, and most-importantly, why.

Writing formal documentation like Standard Operating Procedures is a very similar process to writing code; the documents are living, there is never a final version, and accuracy and traceability are fundamental.

Graphia CMS utilises Git, the world’s most popular and best-supported VCS. With Git, your files are completely safe. Every change is recorded, deleted files can be retrieved, unwanted changes rolled back and entire document histories reviewed with a click.

Separate style and content

Word Processors store styling information alongside the content, an excellent approach when working on short-lived standalone documents. For larger projects where consistency across hundreds of files is vital, it’s a headache.

When your company updates its style guidelines, changing the colours, logos or fonts across a disparate collection of standalone documents can be a complicated and tedious task. Projects of this kind can take years and often aren’t complete by the time the next updates to the style guide are released.

In Graphia CMS, when a designer implements a change, it is applied everywhere, uniformly, resulting in a consistent, accessible, readable resource.

👩🏽‍🎨 Your own brand and identity

Graphia CMS comes with a beautiful, minimal, useable theme. Most companies want something a little more aligned with their online identity.

Themes are written using the standard building blocks of the web; HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The learning curve for designers is minimal and they will feel right at home with their favourite tools. Design work can be done offline and tested against the real documents to safely ensure everything is perfect before changes are released.

A familiar editing experience

Graphia CMS comes with a full-featured Markdown editor that supports all the common formatting options. Bold, italic, lists, citations and hyperlinks are just a click—or a keyboard shortcut—away.

Images can be dragged from your computer or the selected from the image library. When the document is saved, all contents are bundled together, keeping all related assets separately but organised and accessible.

🏷 Organising with tags

Organising large volumes of technical documents is hard. Sometimes, a folder hierarchy isn’t enough; documents might fit into more than one section or belong to multiple projects. This is where tagging comes in.

A tag is just keyword that describes a document. Adding an ISO27001 tag to all related documents can make finding everything you need for the upcoming audit a breeze, even if the files are spread across dozens of directories.

Tags are prominently displayed and make organising, sorting and exploring content a breeze.

Power user friendly

One size definitely doesn’t fit all, especially when it comes to productivity. With Graphia CMS’s focus on standardised and universally accessible file types, there are no limits on writers when it comes to their software preferences.

✈️ Working offline

Thanks to Git, it doesn’t matter if your authors are in the office, at home or mid-flight. Work can continue uninterrupted and changes will be automatically synced when next convenient.

Getting going with Git can be daunting for non-technical users, but Git’s ubiquity means that it is supported by plenty of clients and editors, making the jump much easier.

✂️ Snippets

Another feature loved by technical writers is the ability to embed excerpts of markup or code inside a document with full syntax highlighting. As this very website is written using Graphia CMS, here’s a real example.

/*
 *  An example JavaScript snippet
 */ 
var materials = [
  'Hydrogen',
  'Helium',
  'Lithium',
  'Beryllium'
];

materials.map(({length}) => length); // [8, 6, 7, 9]

A huge number of syntaxes are supported, vastly improving the readability of the excerpt. No additional effort is required by the writer and all of the frustration associated with broken formatting when pasting from programming editors into Word Processors is avoided.

Self-hosted

If confidentiality and reliability are important to you, there is no better place for your company’s documentation than on your own network. You have full control of the hardware and software; you can pinpoint your content geographically and ensure no compromises are made at any level.

🐳 Docker

The easiest way to get up and running is with the official Docker image. The image is free to try while in Beta and will be available in the Docker store following the official release.

🐧 Traditional packages

If your organisation isn’t ready for containers just yet, don’t worry. Graphia CMS will work in any Unix-like environment and official packages and repositories are available for Red Hat Linux and CentOS.

Multilingual

When your workforce is diverse or spread around the world, orchasterating documentation localisation difficult. Keeping it synchronised, consistent and beautiful is incredibly difficult.

We understand that the process varies wildly across organisations; many rely on human localisers, others employ LSPs and increasingly, companies are turning to automated MT solutions.

To facilitate all three scenarios, Graphia CMS comes with support for the XLIFF format. XLIFF is the standard interchange format utilised during the localisation process, familiar to most translators, localisers, LSPs and MT providers alike. Every translation is independently-versioned giving administrators a clear view of the adaptation process.

When documents are available in more than one language, links are automatically added to every document and listing.

Localisation needn’t stop with documents. The theme itself can be localised and the entire documentation site can be published in multiple languages simultaneously, allowing all of your employees to access content without any confusion.

Super-fast, super-easy

The published output from Graphia CMS—the bit your employees will read—has zero external dependencies. Reading a document doesn’t hit any database or require dynamic rendering. It’s fast, simple and elegant.

Better still, it makes your documentation resource behave in a straightforward and predictable manner. There’s no clunky user interface to navigate, hyperlinks work, pages and sections are bookmarkable. Even the URLs are friendly, often they are as simple as docs.yourcompany.com/handbook.