Why Quarto

documentation
markdown
website
Our reasons for using Quarto to build the website and write the general documentation.
Author

Luke W. Johnston

Published

February 26, 2024

There are many different types of “static website generators”1, like Jekyll or Hugo. They all have their pros and cons, and we ultimately have to choose one to use when writing content for this website and to build it, as well as when writing the documentation for Seedcase itself.

Within the R world, a recent new tool came out called Quarto. Since its release, it has completely taken over as the tool to use when working with R and data science. We will use this tool because it aligns with our values and philosophies for multiple reasons.

  1. It is open source.
  2. The documentation is phenomenal and very beginner friendly.
  3. It is sponsored by an organization (Posit) with an established history of supporting and contributing to open source projects.
  4. The software design is extremely well developed and structured, which makes it easier to use compared to other alternatives.
  5. It has multi-language support (like R and Python), but is itself language-agnostic.
  6. Because it is integrated into RStudio, many data scientists and researchers who use R will quickly become familiar with it.
  7. It has support for integration with other applications, like VS Code, which is also used by many software developers and data scientists.
  8. It is built on top of Pandoc Markdown, which the de facto standard for writing Markdown, with strong historical use and community support.

For these reasons, we write our documentation that includes the website with Quarto.

Footnotes

  1. A static website or blog generator is a framework for building websites based on pure, plain HTML files (unlike building websites from SQL databases and programming languages like PHP). “Static” meaning it is a simple file that is being shown by the browser as a webpage.↩︎