Feb 292012
 

A few months ago, we decided to set up a driver system for driving documentations on a release-by-release basis, with a writer taking lead on each release as it made its way through the release train process.

This… didn’t really work out. It was a noble experiment that failed.

We’re now in the process of switching to a per-topic documentation driver system. This will let us get documentation for the most important material done more quickly (at least in theory) regardless of when it ships. The driver for each topic area will prioritize the work for that subject matter and help ensure that things get written when appropriate. They’ll help coordinate the writers that are interested in contributing to that topic and make sure that the docs in that area of the wiki are kept tidy and are properly crosslinked.

Obviously, the first step in switching to this driver model is to get people selected for each of the topic areas. We have a new page on the wiki for this. If you know of a topic area that’s not listed there (or is a large enough subset of one of the ones already there that it should be handled separately), please feel free to add it. Similarly, if you’re interested in being a documentation driver for one of those topics, let me know, or put your name down.

I’ve not yet selected the topics I will drive, other than likely the XUL and XPCOM stuff. I’m waiting to see what others would like to do first (indeed, if anyone else wants those two, feel free to take them from me). My primary goal as always will be to coordinate the overall documentation effort, maintain the site in general, and contribute as needed, in addition to driving whichever topics I wind up with.

If you have questions or would like to volunteer to drive a topic, feel free to comment here, send me email, or pop into #devmo on irc.mozilla.org.

 Posted by at 3:23 PM
Feb 282012
 

As pretty much everyone knows, our documentation for events (both standard DOM events and Gecko-specific ones) is pretty lame. We’re missing a lot of stuff, and what we have is often bad and poorly organized.

We have a new event reference page:

https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Mozilla_event_reference

Which embeds the Gecko and DOM event references:

https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Gecko-Specific_DOM_Events
https://developer.mozilla.org/en/DOM/DOM_event_reference

However, neither of these pages are complete, and most of the events have little or no documentation.

This is obviously important documentation, but has never managed to drift to the top of the to-do lists of any of the writers.

For that reason, we’re now looking for a contractor that we’d pay to write and clean up this material. The goal is to have complete documentation of all standard events for the DOM and other open web APIs, as well as for Gecko-specific and internal events.

This will probably take a while, although at the moment I don’t know how long. There’s quite a lot to be done; it would involve, among other things, going through the spec to find events and document them, plus going through the code to see which ones we support and which ones we don’t (as well as, hopefully, where our implementation deviates from spec).

Additionally, the writer would need to be able to look through the code to find, understand, and document the Gecko-internal events, most of which are currently entirely undocumented.

If you’re interested, or know someone that might be interested, please let me know!

 Posted by at 10:43 AM
Feb 222012
 

Here are today’s Wiki Wednesday articles! If you know about these topics, please try to find a few minutes to look over these articles that are marked as needing technical intervention and see if you can fix them up. You can do so either by logging into the wiki and editing the articles directly, or by emailing your notes, sample code, or feedback to mdnwiki@mozilla.org.

Contributors to Wiki Wednesday will get recognition in the next Wiki Wednesday announcement. Thanks in advance for your help!

JavaScript

SpiderMonkey

Developing Mozilla

Extensions

XUL

XPCOM

Interfaces

Thanks to Neil Rashbrook for contributing!

Plugins

CSS

Thanks to leeli and Panagiotis Tsalaportas for their contributions!

SVG

HTML

Thanks to Panagiotis Tsalaportas and Neil Rashbrook for their contributions since last time.

DOM

Thanks to Matt N. for his contribution to the DOM documentation.

 Posted by at 4:55 PM
Feb 142012
 

Last week, the writing team took a look at how documentation work is progressing, and the enormous amount of it coming up in the months ahead, and we realized that our old method of prioritizing writing work doesn’t do the job anymore. In the past, we prioritized work first by which Firefox release it was due to be shipped in, then by topic area.

That simply doesn’t work anymore. Between the rapid release schedule and the fact that we often start promoting new technologies while they’re in Nightly or Aurora builds, we can’t focus on one release at a time. So we’ve decided that going forward, we’re going to prioritize documentation based on the importance or “interestingness” of the topic, regardless of which Firefox release it’s expected to ship in.

This means that going forward, we’re much more likely to ship Firefox releases that don’t yet have complete developer documentation, but it also means that we’re more likely to have all the most important and broadly interesting topics written up earlier in the development process. Of course, we’ve already started to have trouble getting documentation for a release “finished” in time anyway, so this isn’t a big surprise. But by accepting it and embracing the hugeness of the task ahead, we can make better decisions about what to write and when.

Hopefully the Mozilla community will be able to step in and fill the gaps that get left behind as we move forward. There will be lots of great opportunities to contribute to MDN. I look forward to seeing what you can do to help!

 Posted by at 9:41 AM
Feb 082012
 

Here are today’s Wiki Wednesday articles! If you know about these topics, please try to find a few minutes to look over these articles that are marked as needing technical intervention and see if you can fix them up. You can do so either by logging into the wiki and editing the articles directly, or by emailing your notes, sample code, or feedback to mdnwiki@mozilla.org.

Contributors to Wiki Wednesday will get recognition in the next Wiki Wednesday announcement. Thanks in advance for your help!

JavaScript

SpiderMonkey

Developing Mozilla

Extensions

XUL

XPCOM

Interfaces

Plugins

CSS

SVG

HTML

DOM

 Posted by at 2:08 PM