Web Platform Wednesdays

Documenting the web, even just client-side technologies, is an enormous undertaking. We can’t do it alone, and we can’t do it all at once.

We want to send a clear signal to the web developer community about where our site is the most useful today, where it’s going next, and when it will get there. And to those who want to contribute, we want to make it clear and easy how to help. We also want to make sure that the content contributions are high quality.

To meet these goals, we’ve decided to focus on one main topic area at a time, break it down into manageable morsels that can be accomplished in a week, and systematically craft each article one at a time.

CSS properties are an area of rapid growth and great developer and designer interest, and with the recent integration of our CSS property reference documentation into Brackets and other upcoming projects, CSS properties seemed like a good place to start.

Though we have been working on the CSS properties here and there, at doc sprints, and whenever a few of us have the time, we aren’t moving fast enough. We need a coordinated effort, one that involves the larger community, and one which makes use of an on-going operating mechanism.

So, each Wednesday, we will announce a new set of CSS property articles that need work, and ask for volunteers to pick a task for one or more articles, work with the coordinator for that article, and report back when it’s ready for review. This way, we can systematically reach our goal of CSS property excellence by the end of July.

This first week, we are concentrating on outline properties, and border properties for color, style, width, and shorthands.

Welcome to Web Platform Wednesday!

We’ve borrowed this idea from Mozilla’s Eric Shepard, who drove contributions to MDN through their Wiki Wednesday. Wednesday is a good day to get people’s attention to ask for some spare time… you’re over the back-to-work part of the week, and not yet at the ready-for-the-weekend part. You’re got a little free time to invest in your future.

Every Wednesday, we will post 15-25 new articles for a particular set of CSS topics that need reference pages, and we will ask you to volunteer to tackle one or more articles broken down into the following tasks; you can work on any or all of these for each article:

  • Basic facts, such as overview table, syntax, and values
  • Explanatory text, such as the introduction (summary), usage, and notes
  • Examples, with explanations
  • Links to tutorials and other materials (either inside WPD or on the wider web), to the relevant specifications, and cross-linking keywords to other reference articles
  • Review, including flagging and unflagging

Each article has a coordinator managing it. Just check in with them to make sure there’s no duplication of effort, and dig in. We even provide the link to the target article and to the definition of the property in the appropriate CSS spec. Most tasks will be self-explanatory, but if you need help or guidance, check with the coordinator.

Everyone who contributes to Web Platform Wednesdays will also get special recognition: a badge on their profile page (and personal site, if they want) that shows they were in the project from the early days.

Obviously, different people will want to focus on different parts of the project. Maybe CSS isn’t your thing. That’s okay, we’ve got lots of irons in the fire, and people are working in the background on JavaScript and other topics. But our current main focus wil be CSS properties.

If you’ve wanted to contribute in the past, but weren’t sure how, we’re here to help guide you. Find us on our public-webplatform@w3.org email list, or Freenode #webplatform-site IRC channel, or even our @webplatform Twitter account, and we’ll get you started. And help us spread the word, to share the load.

If this is successful, we’ll repeat the process for JavaScript, APIs, HTML, SVG, and other article topics. Together, we will make this site outstanding!

 

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