Jan 302011

This was an absurdly productive week, even before our wildly successful documentation sprint — which Janet will be blogging about separately.

Stuff I did before the doc sprint

Stuff I did during the doc sprint

  • Added the MobileOnlyInline and MobileOnlyHeader templates, which insert “Mobile Only as of Gecko X” notes in the documentation.
  • Created the JSFiddleLink template, which creates a “See this on JSFiddle” button.
  • Documentation for Electrolysis content views has been written; the affected documents are:
  • Documented nsIProfile, then realized it’s so obsolete it was never used in Firefox. But we have it for historical reference now anyway.
  • After that, I moved on and documented the new Toolkit Profile Manager APIs:
  • Made multiple updates to the MDC Style Guide to clarify several points, mostly related to code samples.
  • Added screen shots from Google Chrome to the HTML meter element documentation, since it’s not supported in Gecko yet.
  • Created the EmbedSVG template, which renders an SVG file that’s attached to the article into the page, given its filename.
  • Reviewed and copy-edited articles updated by others during the sprint.

Crazy awesome!

 Posted by at 12:33 AM
Jan 272011

The first quarter 2011 Mozilla documentation sprint starts tomorrow (that is, Friday, January 28).  We have a nice list of ideas for things people can help with, including some that are great for non-writers to work on, such as adding examples to the CSS Reference and the HTML Element Reference. Those would be fun projects for people for whom CSS and HTML are their primary language, rather than English.

This will be a virtual sprint, with the participants chatting in the #devmo IRC channel on irc.mozilla.org. We encourage anyone and everyone to pitch in and contribute in their own way. We’ll be pounding away on documentation both Friday and Saturday. It’s going to be great fun, and I hope to “see” you there!

 Posted by at 8:38 AM
Jan 212011

This was a rear-loaded week, with most of the good work done late in the week, due to a meeting-heavy first few days of the week (not to mention the holiday celebrating the memory of Dr. King), and lots of little administrative stuff that had to be dealt with. Still, there are a few things of note that I got done:

  • Documented the new dom.min_timeout_value preference. This lets you set the minimum amount of time setTimeout() can delay.
  • Someone created a dummy page for the nsIExternalHelperAppService interface. I went ahead and put in real documentation for it.
  • Generated and slightly tweaked a reference document for the nsIXPConnect interface; this needs a ton of work but at least now it exists.
  • Wrote reference documentation for the PopupNotifications.jsm code module.
  • Wrote a guide on how to use popup notifications.
  • Documented the dom.max_chrome_script_run_time preference.
  • Documented the new disablefastfind attribute on XUL windows.
  • Got the staging server updated to MindTouch 2010 version 10.0.4 and the latest MDN skin installed onto it.
  • Found out from MindTouch that they do not support right-to-left locales properly. We didn’t previously know this and will see what we can do to work around it.
  • Poked MindTouch and got a proper security fix for a pair of related XSS bugs we discovered.
 Posted by at 5:36 PM
Jan 192011

After the wild success of the Paris documentation sprint we had in the fall, we’ve decided to start trying to do a sprint every quarter, alternating between in-person and virtual sprints. Our first-quarter sprint will be a virtual one, with writers gathering in #devmo to collaborate, commiserate, and cajole one another while cranking out epic quantities of documentation!

The virtual doc sprint will be held on January 28 and 29. This is a great time to challenge yourself to write about something you want to learn about, or have been meaning to write about for a while now. Or to write something for the very first time! There will be plenty of writers around to help you with the verbiage if you’re not an expert wordsmith. Just drop into #devmo and tear into something.

I, for one, am planning to finally dig into the Cocoa event model for NPAPI plugins. The subject intimidates me entirely, but that makes this sprint a good time to challenge myself!

 Posted by at 1:16 PM
Jan 172011

This was a nicely productive week! Lots of good updates to documentation:

  • Updated the documentation of JS_NewString() to note that it’s been removed.
  • Started work on driving the upgrade to MindTouch 2010.
  • Updated various articles related to xpcnativewrappers=no, with the primary content here.
  • Finished the documentation for the nsIDOMWindowUtils method sendNativeKeyEvent().
  • Documented changes that allow specific mochitests to be run with a simple make command.
  • Added the js_obsolete_inline template, which lets you insert inline “Obsolete in JavaScript X” badges.
  • Documented new templates on Custom Templates.
  • Documented XUL template logging. Then found out someone had already done it without marking it off. Deleted my newer document in favor of the old one, because, well, it was better than mine.
  • Added a new “super secret preferences” page, and started a reorg of the preference system documentation.
  • Finished the documentation for the changes to chrome registration; namely, that only the root chrome.manifest file is loaded automatically now (this improves startup performance). To load secondary manifests, add-ons need to use the manifest command in their root chrome.manifest file.
  • Updated the documentation for the nsIThreadPool interface to be a little bit clearer.
  • Updated the ChromeWorker documentation to describe the new support for XPCOM interface access and passing of wrapped natives. bent and bz are going to put together a useful example for this.
  • Moved the documentation for DOM EventListener objects from nsIDOMEventListener and added a cross-reference to that from the old page.
  • Added an article describing global functions available to workers, and generally cleaned up the worker documentation.
  • Updated documentation for nsIDOMWindowUtils and window.innerWidth and window.innerHeight to note that setting the virtual viewport size affects the values returned by the latter two properties.
 Posted by at 8:54 AM
Jan 072011

This week was productive on a selective basis; much of my time was occupied dealing with technical issues rather than writing. However, we got the problems fixed, so that counts as being productive! Right? Right? Yep.

  • Reverted a ton of inappropriate removals of uses of extensions on the documentation site; some people were mangling the docs instead of letting me fix the underlying problem of the crashed extensions.
  • Added the first example to the article on the new add-on bar, showing how to add items to the bar programmatically. More are coming soon.
  • Put together a quick initial document for the nsIPrincipal interface; it’s very incomplete, but it does at least mention some key changes in Gecko 2.0 — namely, that several methods and attributes are now accessible from script.
  • Updated the article Security check basics with more useful information about principals, and added links between it and the article on the nsIPrincipal interface.
  • Coordinated IT and MindTouch efforts to find and fix the problem causing errors to be spewed into pages on MDC. Turns out a database was corrupted, causing failures to load extensions responsible for things like syntax highlighting and other features. IT repaired the database and I restored the settings that had been lost due to the corruption.
  • Added documentation for the nsISHistoryListener interface. It’s not new (or changed) in Firefox 4, but someone created the page with a link to old docs for it, so I figured “why not?”.
  • Updated the documentation for nsIDocShell to cover session storage related methods better.
  • Updated the DOM StorageEvent documentation, including moving the old storage event reference doc to the StorageEventObsolete page.
  • Documented a behavior change in how the :invalid pseudo-class is applied to radio button groups.

In all, a more productive week than it should have been given the stuff going on around me, but not bad!

 Posted by at 5:28 PM
Jan 052011

It looks like we’ve got the MDC wiki’s errors fixed. It turns out that one of the databases used to store settings had gotten corrupted. After IT repaired the database, I was able to go in and re-apply the settings that were lost due to the corruption. After doing that, and a wiki daemon restart, the site appears to be fully operational again.

If you happen to see any problems, please let me know, and I’ll take a look!

Now that that’s fixed, I’m going to return to driving us toward upgrading to MindTouch 2010 so we can hopefully pick up the supposed stability improvements there.

 Posted by at 5:36 PM
Jan 042011

We’re aware that at this time there are a lot of frustratingly weird errors all over the documentation on the Mozilla Documentation Center wiki. I’m actively working on getting these resolved. There is an underlying technical problem — apparently a database connection issue — causing these errors to appear.

Some folks have been trying to help by editing the effective articles to work around the error by not using the extensions that, for example, provide syntax highlighting. This is not actually helpful and is in fact counter-productive, as it makes testing and attempting to fix the problem harder. Please leave these alone so I can concentrate on getting things fixed properly. I am coordinating getting this repaired and hopefully it will be all back to normal soon.

Thanks for your cooperation and enthusiasm!

 Posted by at 4:07 PM
Jan 032011

This was a short week, due both to the New Year holiday and a death in the family that kept me out of work for a couple of days. That had been in the cards for the past year (thereby explaining much of my lag over the past year, I think). Having gotten through that, hopefully things will grow less complicated and let me settle back into getting Real Work Done.

  • Documented the new XUL window attribute disablechrome.
  • Updated the docs for the DOM FileError interface now that our error code values match the spec.
  • Lots of cleanup and copyediting work that’s not particularly worth mentioning in detail.

Hoping to get a lot of good stuff done in the next week.

 Posted by at 3:38 PM