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To help clarify why this is a big deal, I'd like to share why I've been so excited about this project...

[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 Once docs are even slightly out of date, people lose trust and eventually abandon them.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!




That seems like it has some value for super large teams. I guess the thing I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around is the workflow for a tool like this. My current understanding is that you'd need:

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.


Yeah this confused me as well, but some other comments here clarify the situation: there's one sketch file that is the "design system" (containing the "components"), then a bunch of other sketch files for the actual pages of the site or screens of the app... it's only this "components" file that is generated from code. Sketch is used for the design of the pages/screens/etc, but they are pulling the components from the "design system" file.

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 work on the design system side. In size of Airbnb, you need some kind of design system, since the product fairly large, its changing every week, it's built for 4-6 platforms at the same time by dozens different teams and designers. Without a system the product design and therefore the product becomes chaotic and inconsistent over time.

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.


> 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.

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.




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