Nov 242010

This was a short yet productive week. We’re making continued good progress on getting documentation issues for Firefox 4 knocked down.

  • Florian Scholz can now update documentation bugs, so if you need dev-doc-needed keyword added or changed on something and Janet and I aren’t around, ping him. He’ll be using his powers for good as he continues to work on the MathML documentation.
  • Updated the documentation for createBlobURL() and revokeBlobURL() to the latest spec, which changes them to URL.createObjectURL() and URL.revokeObjectURL(). This involved also updating several other articles and examples.
  • Updated SpiderMonkey documentation to note the removal of JS_GetStringBytes() and JS_GetStringBytesZ(), and to add some methods that replace them.
  • Documented how to use workers from JavaScript code modules.
  • Fixed Template:anch to work even if there are spaces in the name you specify.
  • Documented nsISessionStartup.

There were a few other small items, but I didn’t jot them down. Now I’m off to do pre-Thanksgiving errands that need running.

 Posted by at 3:14 PM
Nov 192010

Got a good bit done this week! In particular the code to help support the web console help is something I’m pretty happy about, but having the docs done (or done pending reviews) is a huge relief too!

  • Documented the batching() method on nsINavHistoryResultObserver.
  • Documented changes to the caching service to cover support for asynchronous cache management.
  • Added a script to the wiki that handles redirects from the help command in the Web Console, directing the user to a localized page in their language if one is available. See — this accepts a single parameter, in the form “locale=<language code>”. It then looks for a translation of the web console help page and presents it if available, otherwise presents the English version with a heading asking someone to translate the content. For example, would present the Japanese version (except at this time, one hasn’t been written).
  • Documented event listener enumeration interfaces: nsIEventListenerInfo and nsIEventTarget.
  • Documented the obsolete nsIUpdateItem interface, because it came up during discussion today.
  • Participated in the launch of the new MDC skin, which I’ve previously blogged about.
  • Documented the noinitialfocus XUL attribute, which was actually added back in Firefox 3.6.
  • Documented content process event handling. Whew! This involved documenting 7 interfaces in addition to the overview article.
 Posted by at 4:17 PM
Nov 162010

After a few months’ worth of work and testing, the new theme for the Mozilla Documentation Center section of the MDN web site is now up and running. While we’re still running on the same wiki software as before, you’ll find the look and feel has changed quite a bit.

I’ve blogged about these changes previously, so I won’t go into a ton of detail here. Other than looking much more like the rest of the site, the biggest changes are that the search box is now Google-powered, which works around the reliability issues we’ve had with search in the past (although it’s not currently language-selective; you’ll get results in all languages instead of just your own now), and that a lot of the site user interface stuff occupies a lot less space, giving you more room for content.

One thing we will be looking to change is the base font size for the body text. We realize it’s a little small right now.

If you have feedback on the new design, please feel free to share it using our uservoice page. I hope you like it!

 Posted by at 7:49 PM
Nov 152010

I’m looking at my query of bugs that are resolved and need documentation updates, and would love to get some help prioritizing the documentation work on these. If there are any on the list that you think are particularly important to get written about, let me know, either by email or in a comment here.

You can, by the way, always see my dashboard of which bugs are pending writing work by looking at

 Posted by at 1:48 PM
Nov 152010

This week involved, as always, a lot of Firefox 4 documentation, as well as ongoing MDC maintenance stuff.

One important note: we’re aware that the search on MDC is broken again. We have decided against fixing it for now, since it will just break again. The new MDC skin we hope to launch tomorrow will bypass the built-in wiki search and use Google instead (which has some problems too, but will be better than nothing).

When we upgrade to MindTouch v10 — which is in progress — we hope to switch back to the built-in search; that release has a much-overhauled search infrastructure that MindTouch assures us will not have the stability problems we’re currently experiencing. I don’t yet know when that upgrade will be completed though.

A pretty good week!

 Posted by at 1:12 PM
Nov 052010

This week was another productive one. I didn’t get to any of the really big stuff that needs writing about, but still managed to knock off about 30 documentation bugs (admittedly, some of those were “hey, this was already done” and “hey, this doesn’t really need documenting” type items).

Next week will be full of — you guessed it — more documentation! We’re making good headway; we’re now down under 75 bugs that are both dev-doc-needed and resolved.

 Posted by at 5:08 PM
Nov 012010

This has been a good, solid week of productivity!

  • Wrapped up changes to the new templates I previously blogged about.
  • Wrote up documentation about bootstrapped extensions; these are extensions that can be installed, upgraded, and uninstalled without restarting the browser.
  • Updated reference documentation for the File API: File, Blob, FileReader, FileError. More changes will be forthcoming, since we’re not quite adherent to the spec yet in a couple of places, and I still need to write more how-to type material.
  • More discussions and prep-work for both the new skin (coming early to mid November, we hope) and the new site (coming sometime mid-to-late 2011).
  • Assorted site management stuff that’s not interesting.
 Posted by at 11:25 AM