Jan 162012

During the Engagement team work week last week, the four on-staff Mozilla developer documentation writers (myself, Janet Swisher, Jean-Yves Perrier, and Will Bamberg) had a sit-down to talk. This was a big deal since it was Jean-Yves’s first time meeting with us in person since joining Mozilla on December 1, and Will’s first time meeting with us since he’s been largely off doing fairly separate stuff documenting the Jetpack SDK.

We had a long discussion about a wide variety of things, and I figured I’d blog about it, to share those ideas and thoughts with the wider Mozilla community — and to flesh out the ideas from the outline format I took the notes in.

This time, I’m going to talk about our plans for documenting BrowserID.

What it is and where we are

BrowserID is a new, open, identity system developed at Mozilla that makes it easier to sign in to lots of web sites using just your email address and a single password. Any site that supports BrowserID can then query a BrowserID identification server to determine if you’ve correctly authenticated.

Right now, what BrowserID developer docs that exist are slapped onto Github along with the code. That’s been good enough while BrowserID was in development, but now that it’s starting to try to get more broadly deployed, it’s time to get the documentation whipped into proper shape and up on MDN.

Where we’re going and how we’ll get there

Will Bamberg will be heading up work on the new MDN landing page for BrowserID content starting soon; a stub is currently in place with no content. Will is going to be drafting up the content for that page soon so it can be reviewed and tidied up before content starts to be added to the site.

A “BrowserID field guide,” which covers how to go about making a site use BrowserID for authentication, will likely be the first content added to MDN. After that, an API reference and further examples will be created. We’ll also have links to plugins for popular web apps and other popular web site software (such as the BrowserID WordPress plugin).

We’re pretty excited about BrowserID, and looking forward to having really great content to help web developers start using it to authenticate their users in an incredibly painless way.

 Posted by at 9:30 AM