Jun 292012

Kuma, the new wiki platform Mozilla is building for the Mozilla Developer Network, is going to be deployed in stages starting on July 5th. As I mentioned yesterday, that day we will direct all attempts to edit the site to the new Kuma site, while viewing will continue (by default) on the current one. Then on the 15th, we will begin directing all traffic to Kuma instead, and it will become the new powerhouse driving developer.mozilla.org.

However, we haven’t really shared a lot of details yet about what features you can expect from the new site. Let me start to fix that! I’ll be blogging over the coming days about the new stuff you’ll see.

First, let me begin by saying that the site will look very familiar if you’re reading it. Indeed, as a typical user, you may not even notice any difference! It’s possible that you may find the occasional glitch, where something hasn’t been updated fully to work correctly on the redesigned site. But we’ll be continuing to work on cleaning those things up.

Indeed, it’s worth keeping in mind that our development team will continue to improve Kuma at a rapid pace over the weeks and months following our launch!

Okay, on to a few of the things that typical users will see.


First off, you may find pages with banners at the top that look like this:

An example of what the review needed boxes look like

That’s because we now have a more formal system of requesting technical and editorial reviews. Whenever a user edits an article, there are checkboxes that they can use when submitting their change to request that someone review the content; this replaces our old system of using “NeedsTechnicalReview” and “NeedsEditorialReview” tags (although those tags have not yet been converted to use the new system).

If you review a page, you can simply turn off the appropriate checkbox on the edit page and save the page. Boom! It’s reviewed!

Contributor list

The only other really obvious change is that at the bottom of the page, you’ll see a list of all the people who have contributed to the article! This little tip-of-the-hat to our community is fantastic! Clicking on the username takes you to their MDN profile page.

More news to come!

Other than these changes, you probably won’t see much difference. There aren’t as many options in the drop-down menus right now, but that will change as our feature set expands. The real changes are going to be visible to our writers and localizers. I’ll be talking about those changes starting tomorrow.

 Posted by at 12:51 PM  Tagged with:
Jun 272012

Hopefully by now you’re aware we’re switching to a brand new, Mozilla-built wiki platform for the Mozilla Developer Network. The new site will launch in mid-July, and we’re incredibly excited about it!

As part of the launch process, we’re going to begin directing all editing of content to the new wiki starting on July 5th. That means any time someone tries to edit a page, they will actually go to the new site and edit that instead. No editing of the current, MindTouch powered site will be possible from that time on.

The current site will remain in place for the time being, and viewers will see that rather than the updated content. However, each page will include a banner explaining the situation and offering a link to the equivalent page on the new wiki, for people that want to view the very latest content.

On the weekend of July 7-8, we plan to have a very structured test program, led by Mozilla’s brilliant QA team. We will be inviting community members to participate actively, to help ensure that the new site is ready for action.

We continue to expect to launch the new site on or around July 15th, directing all traffic there.

Watch this space for further announcements. We’re getting close now, and we’ll need your help to get there!

 Posted by at 1:17 PM  Tagged with:
Jun 252012

If you’re a deep MDN user, and have familiarity with our current scripted template system, we could use your help. We have 20 days until launch, and we have a lot of our templates that still need to be updated to work on the new Kuma wiki.

If you’d like to help, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Let me know, so I can grant you template editing permissions.
  2. Read the guide to updating templates for Kuma.
  3. Take a look at the list of templates that haven’t been reviewed yet. Some may work already, but most probably need some revisions.
  4. If it already works, simply edit the template and turn off the “Template review” checkbox at the bottom, add the tag “ks-fixed”, then save the article. This will remove it from the to-do list.
  5. If it doesn’t work, please try to fix it. If you need help doing so, feel free to ask in the #mdndev channel in IRC. It’s where all the MDN developers hang out, and they can totally help.
  6. Once it works, turn off the “Template review” checkbox at the bottom and add the “ks-fixed” tag to the article. This will remove it from the to-do list.

This is a great way for you to help us reach our goal of launching MDN on Kuma by July 15th. If you encounter any bugs while you work with it, please do feel free to file bugs!

Also, remember you’re working on what will be the live MDN site — don’t go around doing silly hacks, because this is what people are going to see for real!

 Posted by at 1:05 PM
Jun 212012

Change is coming to the Mozilla Developer Network!

As you probably know, we’ve been using the MindTouch wiki software for several years now, and although it’s a nice package, it has not been a good fit for us. As I hope you also already know, we’ve been working for the last couple of years on a brand new replacement wiki, codenamed Kuma, to replace it.

The time for the switch to Kuma is nearly upon us! On or before July 15, we will throw the switch and have all users on the Kuma wiki platform.

Change can be a little scary, but this is a great thing for us. We will get stability, reliability, performance, and, over time, some kick-ass new features. As it stands, localizers should be pleased with a number of new tools they’ll get with Kuma.

The Kuma launch will happen on or before July 15. That’s not much time at all. We have some ongoing test projects for small groups, and we’ll be announcing tests for larger groups soon.

The important thing I want to get out there is that you’re going to see changes, and we don’t want you to be totally surprised! Future blog posts will share details about what to expect, but you can learn more from our basic Kuma documentation on MDN. It’s sketchy at the moment but I promise it will get better very soon!

Watch this space for further news and details. We’re all very excited about this project, and we think you’re going to love it.

 Posted by at 1:34 PM
Jun 072012

We are now 38 days from our July 15th launch of the new Kuma wiki system on the Mozilla Developer Network. This will replace our current MindTouch wiki with one we’ve built in-house to better suit our needs.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll see us asking for people to do testing of the new system. You’ll also see at some point that editing will be disabled on the current site; we’ll ask people to do edits on the new one instead.

I don’t yet have specific dates for any of these events, although we expect to have our second Kuma test day sometime this coming week. I will continue to blog about this, and you can follow me on Twitter as well. I’ll certainly be tweeting about how the development process is going.

It’s worth noting that the new server we’ll be running on is up and running the new software. We just need to polish the software up a bit.

It’s also worth noting that at launch, we will not have a final product. It will be usable, and we’ll have some features we never had before (including some very nifty localization tools). But there will also be features missing. We have a rough outline for development that will continue after launch, and will be refining that further in a meeting we’re going to have shortly after launch. Don’t expect a miracle cure to all our problems as soon as we switch over!

I’m very excited about the Kuma platform. Having control over the destiny of MDN at last is going to be a huge relief!

 Posted by at 12:09 PM