This past weekend, a group of MDN contributors finished another fun and productive documentation sprint, while enjoying the environment of Mozilla’s London office.
Julia and Julien battle at the foosball table, while Onur looks on.
Here’s a sampling of what we accomplished:
- Onur Avsar added the last remaining HTML elements that were undocumented (noframes, isindex, spacer, ruby, rt, and rp). The HTML element reference on MDN now has complete coverage. Woot! (Of course, all the reference pages can always be improved, especially with browser compatibility info and code examples.)
- Louis-Rémi Babé installed Kuma, improved the Kuma installation docs as a result, and submitted a pull request to enable creating tab components.
- Frédéric Bourgeon (participating remotely!) translated ::first-line, transition-duration, and transition-property into French.
- Julia Buchner created French translations for border-image, border-image-width, and learned about compatibility table templates and live examples, and worked on automating testing of HTML and CSS properties. She also submitted several bugs, related to localizing in Kuma.
- Marc-Aurèle Darche wrote Open Web Apps and Web standards, based on partly on Kumar McMillan’s recent blog post, rewrote What is the difference between an app and an add-on?, fixed the rendering of mozIStorageService, and added
--class X11 to the command-line options for Mozilla applications.
- Christian Heilmann created a demo and corresponding article on taking webcam photos using WebRTC. Thanks also to Chris for making sure we had lots of good coffee!
- Trevor Hobson (participating remotely!) updated nsINavBookmarksService with Gecko 14 changes, and also fixed broken links and compatibility tables that were out of order.
- Jérémie Patonnier documented a bunch of SVG attribute pages, such as mode and type; edited some of the SVG filter element pages to make them clearer; and worked on an upcoming post for the Hacks blog.
- Jean-Yves Perrier documented the value definition syntax for CSS property values and the CSS cascade algorithm; added images to padding-top, padding-bottom; and started rewriting background-size.
- Florian Scholz created a new WebAPI landing page, documented the Web APIs for Ambient Light, and Screen Brightness; updated WebSMS and Battery API; and documented several issues marked “dev-doc-needed” in Bugzilla. Florian also helped Louis-Remi set up Kuma and submit a pull request!
- Till Schneidereit updated all the obsolete JSAPI functions with the version where they were removed, documented some new functions, and updated some changed ones.
- Julien Wajsberg and Marc-Aureèle worked together on improving the IndexedDB docs, testing and writing code examples. Julien, who works for Orange Labs, says that he owes most of his knowledge of IndexedDB to the work of his intern there, Samy Kantari.
Thanks to Chris Mills from Opera for hanging out with the group while working on a related project. (Look for more news about that later this week.)
Kadir Topal from the SUMO team also joined us, and talked with localizers about their workflow and needs. Since MDN’s Kuma platform is based on SUMO’s Kitsune platform, relevant improvements in one will eventually flow to the other.
Thanks also to Ali Spivak for organizing all the logistics, and to Shannon Clayton for helping us feel welcome. I’m afraid we put a bit of a dent in the office’s supply of chocolate:
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Keeping the streak alive, I was asked to provide a foreword for another book, this time HTML5 in action by Robert Crowther, Joe Lennon, and Ash Blue. So here is what I had to say:
Explaining what HTML5 is can be a very daunting task. I’ve been doing this more or less since its inception and I am still amazed just how many myths and how much confusion is there on the topic.
With HTML5 we re-booted web development. The world of HTML4.01 and the non-starter XHTML left those who wanted to use the web as a platform for applications stranded. HTML4 was meant for linked documents and XHTML was far too strict for its own good and it lacked real support in browsers.
HTML5 is built on the robustness principle, which means that a browser will make a lot of educated guesses what you might have meant when you make a syntax error instead of simply giving up and showing an error. This gives it backwards compatibility and we will be able to show pages developed for a never-to-arrive XHTML world in browsers these days. A large part of the standard is just that – it tells you how to write a browser that renders HTML5 rather than using it as a web developer. Again, this angers some people and they shout about the verbosity of the standard.
HTML5 is also the new hotness. A lot of advertising talk, shiny demos and promises of fidelity that matches native apps on phones make us cynical battle hardened web developers think back on Java, Flash and Silverlight and their promises and sigh. We have a lot of buzz about HTML5 and a lot of things that are not part of the standard are simply declared part of it as it makes a good punch line.
When it comes to extending the language and bringing new features into it we are running wild right now. Every browser maker and web company comes up with great new concepts on almost a weekly level. That can be frustrating for developers who just want to get a job done. Can you rely on the functionality that is currently developed or will the standard be changed later on? We are pushing browsers further into the operating system and allow them to access hardware directly which comes with security and robustness issues that need to be fixed by trial and error. Can you take that risk with us when it comes to delivering your product?
These are exciting times and when you want to be part of the ride you can help forge the future development environment for all of us. If you don’t have the time to follow the discussions on mailing lists, do a lot of browser testing in previews and propose own ideas you can be left quite confused.
And this is where a book like this comes in. Instead of promising you a cornucopia of functionality that will soon be available you get examples that work right now based on examples that worked in the past. Instead of getting experimental demos you learn how to build production code based on proven ideas but using the features in modern browsers that make it easier for us developers and much more enjoyable for our end users. All the examples come with a legend telling you which browsers support the features and you learn how not to give them to old browsers that will choke on them.
You will learn how to use HTML5 now, using secure and intelligent solutions like Modernizr and HTML5 Boilerplate and you will come out at the end understanding how to write things in HTML5 that work right now. This will make you a part of the movement to get HTML5 “production ready” for all of us.
Those who live on the bleeding edge of defining the next browser and language features need implementations in the wild right now. We are past the show and tell stage and we need to get to deliver and enhance. And you can become an integral part of this process by following the advice and applying the examples you find here. Go forth and deliver.
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The new facility will process up to 120,000 weekly orders. British web grocer Ocado Group Plc is building a second distribution center to accommodate what the retailer says is an expected boom in order processing.
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BOULDER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Amadeus Consulting, a custom software developer, announced another record-setting year in 2010. The company attributes the growth to an expanded service offering and new semi-custom software platform.
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