About Eric Shepherd


Eric Shepherd (who usually uses the nickname “Sheppy” online because, well, it avoids confusing him with other people mostly), is the developer documentation lead for Mozilla Corporation.  His job is to organize, manage, and create documentation that doesn’t suck for the Mozilla project (including the popular Firefox web browser). In addition, he helps guide the overall direction of documentation content and tries to encourage participation in the open documentation project.

Before joining Mozilla, Eric wrote developer documentation at PalmSource and before that, at Be, Inc. Before becoming a technical writer, he was a game developer for about three years.

When he’s not writing documentation or writing about himself in the third person, Eric spends time with his wife and daughter, and also likes to read, watch movies, and play video games.

His wife would argue that rather than do any of the latter three things, he should clean up his office that’s so messy that he felt compelled to remove it from the photo here using Photoshop.

 Posted by at 1:15 PM

  7 Responses to “About Eric Shepherd”

  1. Hi Eric. I’m interested in refining/editing MDN’s JavaScript reference pages. One of my motivations is to make it easier for search engines to find my website (JavaScriptVisualReference.com). Two questions follow from this. Since each page I edit links to my MDN profile, which links to my website, that site will appear higher in Google search result, correct? Question 2: Does this motivation make me unsuitable for editing MDN pages?

    Thanks for your time.


  2. 1. Probably that does affect your Google ranking, yes.

    2. No, it doesn’t make you unsuitable, but keep in mind that if all you do is add links to your site, or something like that, we’ll undo your changes. Real changes that are useful would be very much preferred. :)

    One thing you could do that would be helpful: currently (at the urging of some of our core JS guys), methods defined in the prototype of standard classes are documented in a separate subtree from other content for those classes. This is confusing to most users. We’d like to merge them back in.





    These should be one page, with all the methods and properties in one list. Possibly with some sort of indicator showing which are part of the prototype. Ping me in IRC or by email if you’re interested in helping with this work, and we can talk about the best way to do that.

  3. Thanks for your reply Eric. I’ll take a look at that project you mentioned. If I can help out, I’ll let you know.

  4. Hello mr. Shepherd :-)
    I’ld like to translate MDN in italian. I already started: https://developer.mozilla.org/it/profiles/Giona
    but i’m experiencing an annoying issue: once translated and saved, the links disappear from text.
    If i “edit” the doc again, sometimes they re-appear, sometimes not, in what seems to me a…totally random pattern.

    I tried to contact other italian translators, without receiving a response.
    Even on SO they couldn’t help me: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/16669282/mdn-translation-localization-external-links-not-showing-up.
    Atm there’s no project leader for the italian localization. May i candidate myself?

    Thank you

  5. Hm. I’m not sure what would cause those problems. You might try popping into the #mdndev IRC channel and talk to our developers; they may be able to help figure out what’s going on.

    If there’s nobody working on the localization project as leader, certainly feel free to nominate yourself. Generally our localization teams will sort themselves out. The biggest and best teams, such as our Spanish and Japanese teams, are highly organized groups of amazing people. You should feel free to talk to them for advice!

  6. Hi Eric,
    I am translating the canvas docs into the traditional Chinese.

    In the MDN doc, it reads the lineJoin’s round means “Rounds off … The radius for these rounded corners is equal to the line width.” (http://tinyurl.com/pw989ba)
    However, I see, in the W3C draft spec, it says the round means “a filled arc …, with the diameter equal to the line width and the origin at the point of the join, …” (http://tinyurl.com/m5vbo56)

    Maybe these 2 docs are actually saying the same thing(since I am not an native English speaker).
    But one says radius and another says diameter so I am confused.
    Could I have more of your explanation on the lineJoin’ round ?

    Thank you for the reply : )

  7. Fischer: I *think* those are the same thing, but you may want to check with a canvas expert.