[tl;dr] - This is the first tool I'm aware of that actually allows you to generate both API docs and design tools from the same source.
Static documentation is a lie waiting to happen. Once docs are even slightly out of date, people lose trust and eventually abandon them.
On the engineering side of the dev/design process, this is easy to work around. We generate documentation from code and structured comments, which allows us to trust our docs as an up-to-date point of truth.
If you're building a design system that both engineers and designers will work with, there's no real solution to keeping sketch symbols and React components in sync. You're essentially stuck maintaining "static documentation" for designers in the form of a sketch file.
More often than not, things get busy, or someone forgets to commit a change to the sketch file, and the sketch symbols fall behind the code used in production.
Developers start to receive mocks that don't match the "standard" components they're using. Designers start to wonder why fidelity is lost by the time features make it to production. The design system falls apart.
`sketch-reactapp` will help us deal with the static documentation problem the same way we deal with it on the engineering side of things: generate from source.
This is the first tool I'm aware of that actually allows you to generate both API docs and design tools from the same source.
Congratulations on the launch!
1.) Design your thing in Sketch
2.) Code your thing in a text editor
3.) Port your code over to this new tool to see it rendered in Sketch?
Like I said. There's some value there (accounting for the changes between 1 & 2), but the workflow feels weird. Maybe someone from AirBnB design can jump in and enlighten me.
As with most misunderstandings/disagreements/arguments in the programming world, this confusion arises from people in different contexts using a tool for one purpose, but not realizing that other people are in different situations trying to achieve different goals with those same tools.
(Specifically, if you are an agency or freelance designer/developer, and you are building a bunch of different sites, then this tool does not serve any useful purpose... but if you have an underlying "design system" and a large company with lots of different products all sharing the same basic design, and a large team to go with it,then this starts to make a lot more sense.)
I do think that design systems can be helpful for smaller, or even 1 person teams as well. It helps you to apply meaningful constrains for your design and reuse common components across the product to shorten development times.
With the library we have both designers and developers can construct completely new views or modifications fairly fast. https://twitter.com/karrisaarinen/status/849733176150773761
Where the React-Sketchapp comes in is help us to keep the system up to date for designers, and in the future build other tools that can help the design workflow.
Where are your API docs coming from? When you say "the same source", is this because your frontend/backend code is sitting together in a mono-repo?
Not familiar with the AirBnB architecture so I'm interested to know how API docs are adjacent to this topic.