Open Web Docs meetup with Mozilla’s MDN team
This January 18-20, the entire Open Web Docs Technical Writing team and members of the OWD Governing Committee were invited to London to meet with Mozilla’s MDN Team. Mozilla generously sponsored OWD staff's travel and accommodation and Google hosted all of us in their London office. The OWD team was very grateful for this opportunity. Given Open Web Docs was founded during the global covid pandemic, it was the first time we met as a group in person. For some of us, it was our first time meeting each other face-to-face in real life.
The most important project Open Web Docs contributes to is MDN Web Docs. We work closely with Mozilla, our main sponsors Google, Microsoft, Igalia, JetBrains, Canva, our 150+ individual funders, and the larger web community to maintain and innovate on the best documentation site for web developers and designers around the world.
In Q4 of 2022, Open Web Docs started working very closely with Mozilla on community coordination and keeping the MDN contribution process running efficiently and effectively. To that end, Mozilla and OWD created a shared and open roadmap for ongoing and planned work. The Open Web Docs team actively collaborates and gives direct input on MDN’s information architecture, compatibility data, content structures, code examples, and other changes coming impacting all sections of the MDN Web Docs site.
With well over 11,000 pages on MDN Web Docs and an ever-evolving Web platform to document, the scope, requirements, and impact of changes for web developers all around the world can be quite a challenge to get right. With all of the expertise from the technical writer and advisory committee teams, we are all coming together on MDN Web Docs to provide web developers with the information they need to create accessible, secure, and performant web pages and applications. It is this mission that drives all of us to collaborate closely, share knowledge, and bring new ideas to the table.
Our shared roadmap will help us to capture significant site changes, from content updates to navigation improvements, and will empower Mozilla, OWD, and our community to implement and execute complex projects together.
Many of the discussions in London were about how to collaborate more closely. We also had a few technical deep dive sessions where we were able to discuss in person some of the current projects we are working on. The minutes for these sessions are available on our GitHub. The areas of focus are:
- Content lifecycle: We identified the maintenance cost of content additions during planning, defined sunsetting strategies, and discussed ways to separate technical or implementation details from prose that may quickly become outdated.
- Information architecture / page types: We talked through the ongoing work to categorize and organize content on the site based on the technology it relates to, and how it works with other technologies.
- Discoverability: We discussed how to make it simple for developers to find the information they need while browsing the site, improving the site's search functionality and making it more straightforward and exciting to discover new and related content.
- Web platform feature groups: This discussion was about developing a hierarchy that groups platform features across technologies so that developers get a clear picture of whether they can use the features, what they relate to, and the browser and device support for these features.
- Code examples: This session covered the plans to make the different types of code examples displayed on MDN easier to maintain and contribute to and ways to simplify the editor that renders them on the page for readers.
- BCD (the meeting notes are thin, sorry): This session was about the state of the compatibility data, how to maintain it going forward, and how to guarantee data quality.
Having a meetup with Mozilla, W3C, Google, and Microsoft was an excellent opportunity to discuss ongoing efforts to support web platform documentation for the benefit of web developers & designers worldwide. Our community of technical writers, developers, standards makers, and technology companies continues to do invaluable work for MDN Web Docs. We aim to continue to support documentation as critical digital infrastructure for everyone.
We hope this isn't a one-time event and that we get to meet in person with our partners and people who deeply care about web infrastructure and documentation again when the situation allows. Thanks again to Mozilla and Google for sponsoring us this time! If you want to sponsor Open Web Docs’ next meetup, or want to support us in some other way, get in touch: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.