Engaging developers in Mozilla docs


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The Mozilla Developer Network site provides documentation not for only developers working on or with Mozilla code, but also for web developers working with open web technologies. I'll discuss various efforts for encouraging this diverse audience to participate in maintaining the documentation. Some of these are led by Mozilla, such as documentation sprints (both face-to-face and virtual) and "Wiki Wednesdays". Others are from external sources, such as other organizations, and the grassroots "Promote JS" campaign. I'll talk about how these strategies can be applied to other open source projects.

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  • The purpose of this presentation is not to say that we are awesome, but to share wh
  • Other community content can be donated or paid for by other organizations, like Google or IBM.
  • Note also that Bugzilla is open to everyone to read (with the exception of specific security bugs), and to edit with a login. Talk about Florian ’ s tool a bit.
  • Announced on the mailing list Conducted in IRC, no phone charges Page on the Mozilla project wiki serves as both agenda and notes
  • Script-generated lists, based on tags Posted to Mozilla developer mailing lists Credit given to previous week’s contributors Email responses accepted (good and bad)
  • About to have our 2 nd in-person sprint Have done 2 online-only sprints Biggest participation was when we promised t-shirts
  • Tell the story of the guy who was hesitant to edit docs written by the guy that invented JavaScript.
  • Engaging developers in Mozilla docs

    1. 1. Engaging Developers in Mozilla’s Documentation Janet Swisher (@jmswisher) Mozilla Developer Network
    2. 2. Why are we here?
    3. 3. What is MDN? https://developer.mozilla.org
    4. 4. What Is MDN? <ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><li>Web development: reference, tutorials, and guides </li></ul><ul><li>Mozilla APIs </li></ul><ul><li>Mozilla project (building, testing, debugging, process) </li></ul><ul><li>Firefox add-on development </li></ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Web developers </li></ul><ul><li>Developers using Mozilla code/libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Developers working on the Mozilla project </li></ul><ul><li>Add-on developers </li></ul>
    5. 5. Where content comes from <ul><li>Some historical content (e.g., inherited from Netscape) </li></ul><ul><li>New material </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some paid for by Mozilla </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some contributed by Mozilla community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some from other communities </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Documentation process <ul><li>Using Bugzilla as a documentation planning tool </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Documentation-specific bugs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tags on engineering bugs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prioritization and delegation </li></ul><ul><li>Tagging for review </li></ul>
    7. 7. Communication channels <ul><li>IRC (#devmo on irc.mozilla.org) </li></ul><ul><li>Mailing list/news group/Google group (dev-mdc@lists.mozilla.org) </li></ul><ul><li>Blog posts ( http://hacks.mozilla.org ) </li></ul><ul><li>Talk pages (under-used) </li></ul>
    8. 8. MDN community meetings <ul><li>Every other Wednesday, 10 am PT </li></ul><ul><li>Agenda in Mozilla project wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion in IRC </li></ul>
    9. 9. Wiki Wednesdays <ul><li>Target Audience: Mozilla developers </li></ul><ul><li>Blog post, with chunks to topic-specific mailing lists </li></ul><ul><li>Credit given to last week’s contributors </li></ul><ul><li>Special email alias </li></ul>
    10. 10. Doc sprints <ul><li>First one in-person in Paris, Oct. 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual, late January 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual, early April 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Following this conference </li></ul>
    11. 11. Why people don ’ t contribute <ul><li>They don ’ t realize it's a wiki </li></ul><ul><li>They don ’ t want to bother setting up an account </li></ul><ul><li>They ’ re intimidated by changing “ the ” documentation </li></ul>
    12. 12. Webdev community
    13. 13. Cooperation with other groups
    14. 14. What could we do better? <ul><li>“ Welcome Wagon” </li></ul><ul><li>5-minute tasks </li></ul><ul><li>More/better recognition (badges?) </li></ul><ul><li>New contributor map </li></ul>
    15. 15. Take Away <ul><li>View your mission as bigger than software. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for help and reviews in small chunks. </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to developers and contributors through their preferred channels. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for alliances based on your (broad) mission. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Thanks! <ul><li>Janet Swisher: jswisher@mozilla.com, @jmswisher </li></ul><ul><li>https://developer.mozilla.org/ </li></ul>