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Re-prioritizing developer documentation – Bit Stampede
Feb 142012

Last week, the writing team took a look at how documentation work is progressing, and the enormous amount of it coming up in the months ahead, and we realized that our old method of prioritizing writing work doesn’t do the job anymore. In the past, we prioritized work first by which Firefox release it was due to be shipped in, then by topic area.

That simply doesn’t work anymore. Between the rapid release schedule and the fact that we often start promoting new technologies while they’re in Nightly or Aurora builds, we can’t focus on one release at a time. So we’ve decided that going forward, we’re going to prioritize documentation based on the importance or “interestingness” of the topic, regardless of which Firefox release it’s expected to ship in.

This means that going forward, we’re much more likely to ship Firefox releases that don’t yet have complete developer documentation, but it also means that we’re more likely to have all the most important and broadly interesting topics written up earlier in the development process. Of course, we’ve already started to have trouble getting documentation for a release “finished” in time anyway, so this isn’t a big surprise. But by accepting it and embracing the hugeness of the task ahead, we can make better decisions about what to write and when.

Hopefully the Mozilla community will be able to step in and fill the gaps that get left behind as we move forward. There will be lots of great opportunities to contribute to MDN. I look forward to seeing what you can do to help!

 Posted by at 9:41 AM