Nov 302012

We have a huge new version of the Kuma platform that powers MDN today! Well, no, not really. It’s actually really small. But John Karahalis asked me to be sure to post a long, detailed post about it, and because my sense of humor commands me to oblige, here it is!

  • The text copy promoting the January Dev Derby — for the Drag and Drop API — has been updated.
  • Text copy for the February Dev Derby — for demos using the Touch Events API — has been added.
  • The text copy for the Offline Dev Derby for December has been added, too.

A screen shot of the updated Dev Derby copy

This is so very exciting! It’s a virtual smorgasbord of promotional goodness!

Well, not really exciting, exactly. But it’s an update, and John practically dared me to blog about it, so I couldn’t let it slide.

No way.

 Posted by at 6:12 PM  Tagged with:
Nov 282012

We’ve updated the Kuma platform on the MDN wiki this afternoon. Today’s update has lots of changes. A lot of them are somewhat hidden from view, but there’s been a lot of progress on stabilization, upgrades to dependencies, and the like. There’ve also been some real changes that may be of some use to you.

  • The Italian language is no longer listed twice in the Languages drop-down menu.
  • The HTML dir attribute is now in our Bleach whitelist, so you can use it in content on MDN.
  • When editing an article, the editor page’s <title> now includes the article’s title, so you can more easily find it among your browser’s tabs.
  • Special subtrees of the MDN site are now excluded from getting the “new” style applied to links to them. These are: /docs/new, docs/tag, /docs/feeds, /docs/templates, and /docs/needs-review.
  • More bits of the infrastructure for supporting getting lists of subpages from KumaScript code have landed.
  • Middle-clicking on an article title in the revision dashboard’s list now opens that page in a new tab.
  • Clicking on a user name in the revision dashboard list now filters on that username, showing you only that user’s changes.
  • Lots of work has been done on improving compatibility with a new version of Django we’re preparing to move to. There’s more to do, but this push is a very big initial step.
  • Automated test coverage has been improved.

We continue to teeter on the brink of landing full support for the following sweet capabilities, but aren’t quite there yet:

  • Page moving; this will let us move one or more pages from one place in our site hierarchy to another. This will be totally awesome to have.
  • A page.subpages() KumaScript function; this will return a code-readable list of all of the subpages of a given page. This will make it much easier to automate certain tasks in templates.
  • A wiki.tree() KumaScript function; this will return an HTML tree of links to subpages of a given page (or the current page). This will make it trivial to create simple landing pages for subsections of MDN. We have several broken landing pages waiting for the arrival of this function, so I’m pretty excited that work is progressing!

Things are moving along really well, and I’m still super excited about how well work on Kuma is going, and how far we’ve come. This platform has been great so far, and has so much more to offer in the future!

 Posted by at 2:35 PM  Tagged with:
Nov 272012

Yeah, this blog post is about a Kuma update from the middle of last week. But I was on vacation someplace warm and sunny at the time, so I didn’t get to blog about it. Now I am!

  • The button in the editor for inserting the boilerplate for live samples now includes subheadings for each code block (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript).
  • The promotional campaign for the Social API has been added to the MDN home page.
  • The revision dashboard now has a column that shows the revision comment corresponding to each item in the list of revisions.
  • The date and time columns in the revision dashboard have been merged into one.
  • The locale filter dropdown menu in the revision dashboard has been changed to say “All locales” instead of “Choose a locale.”
  • Article names in the revision dashboard list are now links you can click to go to that article’s page.

There have also been some behind-the-scenes updates and fixes to tests and the like.

As you can see, this update was mostly about the revision dashboard. I think we’re getting close to ready to open it to the general public. I hope to have news on that soon!

 Posted by at 12:51 PM  Tagged with:
Nov 152012

That’s right, everyone! We have a very lovely update of MDN’s Kuma platform for you today with some nice enhancements and fixes. This should be the last one of the week, unless we really blew it today.

  • When you click the button to insert a new live code sample, you now get prompted to enter a title for it. This title is used for the header for the sample’s section, and is used to generate the IDs of each of the code blocks within. In addition, the EmbedLiveSample template call is now created for you, so you don’t have to do it yourself. It’s like magic!
  • Pressing the tab key while in a <pre> block no longer alternately either inserts &nbsp; characters or insets the entire code block; instead, it just inserts two spaces, as it’s supposed to do.
  • You can now have multiple compatibility tables per page.
  • More of the back-end work has been done for the KumaScript features for generating lists (both code-readable and human-readable) of subpages. This capability isn’t available yet, but it should be soon. We’re getting close!
  • The Revision Dashboard now lets you filter the list of revisions by locale and/or username. We’ve expanded the set of people this dashboard is available to, but it’s still a small set of core community members. I hope to open this to the whole community before a lot longer.

Obviously, the biggest changes visible to typical users here at the moment are the enhancements to live samples and editing of code snippets. However, the majority of the work in terms of sheer man-hours and hard work by our amazing development team is behind the scenes. For now. I’m really excited about the work they’re doing, and you’ll see even more excellent stuff soon!

 Posted by at 5:39 PM  Tagged with:
Nov 152012

We’re having a virtual — that is, online — MDN documentation sprint from November 30 through December 1! We encourage anyone interested in helping make documentation of and for the open Web to log onto #devmo on and help out. Even if you only have a few minutes, it’s possible to make a huge difference. Indeed, if you’re a Web developer that knows lots of things, you can log in and help answer questions the writers might have. That’s a way you can contribute to MDN content without doing any writing yourself!

Check out the wiki page about this doc sprint and put your name on the list if you plan to participate. There’s even a list of links to suggested topics for work. And you can even contribute by simply adding live samples to existing articles, using our nifty new live sample system!

I hope to see you there! We always have a good time and get lots of great work done to make developing for the open Web easier for everyone!

 Posted by at 7:30 AM
Nov 142012

That’s right! We have another, small, update to the Kuma software on MDN today. This is a really small update that corrects a bug in yesterday’s push, and has a chunk of code that’s disabled right now anyway.

  • Fixed the Live Sample boilerplate button to insert code with the correct class names. You can now use the Live Sample system without having to use source mode to correct the mistake.
  • Tweaked the backend code for the live sample system to be less picky about the class name strings’ content.
  • Added some backend code for the revisions dashboard; this is part of the upcoming support for filtering the contents of the list there. However, it’s disabled right now, so there’s no user-discernible impact.

For more information about using the live sample system, read the documentation for it on MDN. We’re all really excited about the live sample system. This is a feature we’ve wanted for ages (literally since back when I first joined Mozilla). So I’m thrilled that Louis-Rémi Babé came up with this technique (and wrote an initial proof of concept that showed it would work), and with Les Orchard and David Walsh for building the system. Thanks, guys!

 Posted by at 12:58 PM  Tagged with:
Nov 132012

Today we have another update the the Kuma code on MDN to talk about. It’s a small-seeming update that has a lot of big stuff going on in it.

The big change is the addition of a new button next to the <pre> button. This button inserts boilerplate code for our new live sample system. I’ve written up documentation for the current implementation of the live sample system (please take special note of the information about a bug that requires some source-mode twiddling to make things work), and you can see it in action in, of all places, the example section of the <marquee> documentation. The live sample system will get much easier to use over time, with a handy user interface for setting things up, editing the samples, and so forth, but this is a start!

There are a few other improvements, as well:

  • The <figcaption> element has been added to the HTML whitelist.
  • Changes to the slug on a a translated page are saved correctly; see bug 809617.
  • Improved the line-wrapping in tag list pages, such as this one for the tag “Media”.

That’s it. A few little things, plus the first pass at the live sample system. A happy update!

 Posted by at 5:15 PM  Tagged with:
Nov 122012

This week, I’ll be working again, albeit slowly. After many weeks of working slowly, that’s hardly unusual. However, what’s different is that hopefully things are on the upswing at last! Last Wednesday (November 7th), I had surgery to correct a spinal problem in my neck. In technical terms, I had an anterior cervical discectomy with fusion. This corrected a long-standing problem I’ve had with certain nerves in my neck — in addition to my spinal cord — being compressed, causing severe pain, coordination problems, and so forth.

Now that this problem is corrected, I can begin, finally, to recover!

Right now, of course, I’m recovering from the surgery. My pain is by and large not bad at all, and is much, much less than what I was going through previously. However, it does slow me down a bit, and if I sit up working for too long, I get very tired and have to take a rest. So I’ll be on again, off again on IRC and the like, and will be picking and choosing what I work on for the week.

But things should be getting better from here on out! I can’t wait!

 Posted by at 5:19 PM
Nov 122012

We had another small update to the Kuma software that powers MDN on Thursday! Let’s take a quick look at what’s new:

  • You can now add revision comments when saving translation updates.
  • While in the editor, Ctrl+LeftArrow and Ctrl+RightArrow move backward and forward a word at a time now.
  • Fixed a bug in attachment handling.
  • Removed a notice about articles not having any “approved translations.” Since we don’t use an approval process, this message wasn’t needed.
  • When using a right-to-left locale but viewing an article in English because there isn’t a translation available, the article should be displayed left-to-right. This is fixed.

Like I said, mostly fairly small changes, but between the handy editor tweak and the improvements for our international users, these are welcome improvements.

 Posted by at 9:30 AM  Tagged with:
Nov 082012

There’s been another update to the Kuma software that powers the Mozilla Developer Network’s documentation wiki. A few things here, none of them super-huge. We continue to see most of the development team putting their time toward Big Things that hopefully will start reaching production soon.

  • Fixed errors in slug handling while editing pages under some circumstances.
  • Tabbing in the link editor dialog no longer causes it to close itself automatically if it thinks you’ve made your selection.
  • <span class=”nowiki”> in code samples, previously used when we were on MindTouch to prevent URLs from being turned into links in code samples, now has no effect and is not displayed in the samples.
  • Added dividing lines between the columns in the revision dashboard (still only available to a few people for testing).
  • Moved the revision dashboard into a new /dashboards/ subtree, in preparation for the addition of other dashboards in the future.
  • A few more promotional text adjustments.

We’re working up plans for our next sprint now. I hope that we will see live code samples and a few other big deal projects make it to production before the end of November!

 Posted by at 2:39 PM  Tagged with: