That’s true, since GitLab evolved from SCM to provide the full lifecycle in a DevOps platform with planning, CI/CD, security, monitoring and more. It may not be as intuitive for beginners with a project as it can be.
Do you think it may make sense to link GitLab Learn | GitLab more prominently?
I understand where you are coming from - as a documentation maintainer for software in the past decade, I like generated websites which are always uptodate and help avoid confusion. It is a tough job our technical writing team is doing, as GitLab is moving fast. A generated PDF would be outdated the next day.
We believe that everyone can contribute at GitLab, which is why I’d like to invite you to create feedback issues and suggestions for the docs, or suggest an edit in a Merge Request.
Unrelated, since you mentioned your background: If you are planning to write your own documentation or research papers, you probably will be using LaTeX, or a TeX variant. You can use GitLab’s CI/CD to generate PDFs.
You can learn the GitLab basics and CI/CD in this workshop I created a while ago:
It is also linked in the CI/CD getting started docs.
Let me know if there’s more I can help you with.