After a lot of research, it looks likely that we’ll be moving the Mozilla Developer Center away from MediaWiki, which we’ve been using for some time now, to Deki Wiki. There are a number of reasons we’re probably going to be making this move:
- Two words: Syntax highlighting. You can specify a language for a code snippet and get syntax highlighting with numbered lines; fantastic for doing explanations of what a sample does.
- Deki uses lucene for searching, and it’s built in, so we don’t have to fight with Nutch. Searches can even go into attached files, so a search on, say, “nsIDownloadManager” will not only find articles mentioning that interface, but also any downloadable code samples that make use of it.
- Deki offers a very snazzy WYSIWYG editor which should make it easier for new contributors to get going.
- You can easily attach downloadable files to articles, and there’s a nice file manager for organizing these. This will make it much easier for contributors to offer sample code.
- Very nice built-in statistic features.
- Articles can be keyword tagged.
- Advanced printing options, including PDF download option.
- Since all content is stored in XML instead of in a database, we have some interesting possibilities for making portable versions of the wiki that could be downloaded and browsed offline.
- It looks like it will be easier to customize the appearance and functionality of the site with Deki.
The folks at MindTouch will be writing us a utility to convert our current MediaWiki content into Deki, and will (assuming we do indeed decide to go ahead with this transition) be adding some new features to their software that we’ve requested. This is a huge plus for us: we can get the software revised to meet our needs by people that know the code inside and out.
We’re still working out exactly what changes they would be making to the code for us, but it’s looking very good, and I think folks will be pleased with the result.
Assuming this transition happens, it will take place sometime early next year. Hopefully in the first quarter but I wouldn’t be surprised if it slips into Q2, given the huge amount of stuff that needs to be done to make this happen.
I’ll blog further on this as things develop.