2nd Doc Sprint in Amsterdam!

Last year we made a grave mistake when we scheduled the doc sprint in Amsterdam to follow the Fronteers conference. As Scott Rowe mentioned in his blog post, Amsterdam is a great city. Well, it seems that most people found the city a little too great (that is, partied a bit too hard during and after the Fronteers conference) to make it to the doc sprint. And we don’t blame you!

So for this year, the party starts at the Doc Sprint! The day before the Fronteers Conference, the 8th of October, when everybody is still full of energy, Indivirtual will host a fantastic day of pushing the web forward, meeting new people, and learning even more than you already know about the web! Come collaborate with us on ideas and problems and help build a better Web Platform with the best technical documentation for the web community.

Register Here

Join us the day before Fronteers

Will you be in Amsterdam for the Fronteers conference? Will you be visiting the city for work? Do you live here? Will you be in Amsterdam on holiday? If you can answer yes to any of these and want to meet-up with fellow front-end developers, join us for the second Amsterdam Web Platform Doc Sprint (#WPDS). The sprint will take place right inside the main office of Endemol, in the GTST-room, 30 minutes by train from Amsterdam Central Station. There will be experts from the Web Platform Stewards (Jake Archibald, Martin Beeby and Mathias Bynens) as well as the community (Rodney Rehm, Christian Schaefer and me, Paul Verbeek) that provide introductory talks and ideas on what to work on.

You can choose to write documentation, add some examples or best practices, fix typos or organize information better, or just hang out with us and leave an excellent impression of yourself.

Is this interesting for me, regardless of whether I’m a beginner or expert?

Yes! Whether you are new to the web or a pro; whether or not you are already a member of the web platform community; if you haven’t used WPD at all; heck, even if you don’t know what WPD is; you’ll find use in attending. The doc sprint is valuable for everybody.

  • If you’re new to the web community or new to Web Platform Docs, we’ll help you get started contributing to the documentation. This is a great way to learn about web development and meet other web professionals.
  • If you’re an old pro on the web but new to Web Platform Docs, you’ll easily get up to speed and start contributing your expertise to the benefit of the whole community. Maybe you can add knowledge about edge cases. Perhaps you want to see some robust samples for your area of interest.
  • If you’re coming to Amsterdam for the Fronteers conference, drop by the doc sprint for a few hours or the whole day and start your networking a little early.
  • If you’re already a member of WebPlatform.org, just jump right in and start contributing. And, please come help people new to the project
  • We’ll have specific areas of content for you to work on, and if you have other content that you want to contribute or other projects that you want to work on, you’re certainly welcome to do that, too.
  • Did I mention that we’re giving things away?

Free lunch, giveaways and drinks – all day

We will provide comfy seating, power, WiFi, a plan what to work on and of course we will feed you over the day. There will also be swag and a bunch of great raffle prizes provided by the Web Platform Stewards!

Fronteers Jam Session to finish the day

We’ll stop at 19:00 and take the train back to Amsterdam Central. From there everybody can go and grab a bite to eat and go straight to the Fronteers Jam Session, to finish the day with beer and lightning talks!

See you at the Doc Sprint!

*Paul Verbeek

Doc Sprint at beyond tellerrand has been a blast!

Last week another Adobe-hosted Doc Sprint with 53 attendees out of 70 registered happened. According to our Doc Sprint Dashboard the event resulted in over 800 edits to the wiki, got about 10 new contributors on board and smoothly transitioned over to the official warm-up-party for the famous beyond tellerrand conference in Düsseldorf, Germany.

We had an awesome time!

While the original plan had been to run the event in a beach bar setting, lacking a beach bar we ended up under an old gas station from the 50s. Nevertheless, the deck chairs specially made for this event (no leftovers – sorry!), as well as a delicious barbeque and volumes of free beer (and other drinks) made a sunny and comfy location to spend all day. Some people even got sunburned; others sent us thanks for an unexpected tan. :) (And there are many more fun bits and stories to tell. Check out some of them over at the Adobe Web Platform Team blog post on the event.)

The Location of our Web Platform Doc Sprint @btconf Düsseldorf, May 2014 - an old gas station from the 1950s

The Location of our Web Platform Doc Sprint @btconf Düsseldorf, May 2014 – an old gas station from the 1950s

Sun, fun, plus quite a bit got done

With the help of our community experts we split up the party into six focus groups as follows:

The HTML Elements focus group was led by Paul Verbeek and, most of the time, consisted of 4 people: Aaron Gustafson, Horia Dragomir, Michael Kühnel, and Paul, himself. The group documented a total of 33 elements and also made decisions on what to do with deprecated elements (= document them, stating it’s deprecated and why, and write in the past tense). Find their tracking sheet here.

The JavaScript focus group, led by Rodney Rehm, worked on the Number object. The group has put together a number of considerations and suggestions. Make sure to read through their detailed work output here.

Rodney Rehm shares the joy :o) on the work output of his focus group. Passion anybody?

Rodney Rehm shares the joy on the work output of his focus group. Passion, anybody? (Picture by Andreas Dantz)

The Responsive Images and SVG focus group, led by Anselm Hannemann, focused on img, picture, and their attributes, as well as a number of SVG elements and attributes. Read through their full results in the WPDS-HTMLSVG-Group spreadsheet. The group also took notes on quite a bunch of bugs and issues, to be found in this comment in the focus groups work document.

The JS API focus group was led by Francesco Iovine, who actually spent most of the day giving kick start intro sessions to newcomers to WebPlatform.org, enabling them to immediately start contributing. Along with on-boarding new contributors, the JavaScript API focus group added examples to the Web Storage API page. They also created and set up some missing API listing pages: Ambient Light API, Device Orientation API, Screen Orientation API, and Pointer Lock API.

Francesco Iovine giving kick start intros to novice users of WebPlatform.org

Francesco Iovine giving kick start intros to novice users of WebPlatform.org

The “Do what you want” group, led by Hans Christian Reinl, focussed on general web concepts, tutorials and beginners docs. Six pages got revised and updated, and two new pages were created. Four pages received updates and still have open ends, two others definitely need more work – find all details at the group work document.

The CSS focus group led by Christian “Schepp” Schaefer identified the following pages as being imported from MDN or MSDN, and reworked them according to the style guide: Selectors :last-child, ::before, ::first-letter, ::first-line; Functions translate(), translateX(), translateY(), translate3d(); Properties zoom, left, right, object-fit, transform, font-variant, text-shadow; as well as the syntax page for important!. The group also went through every single CSS property and removed all prefixed example code, just leaving the unprefixed CSS in there. Annoyingly they found a lot of CSS property pages that had an empty “CSS Object Model Property” table cell, or a wrong one, like “element.style.”. A few of those got corrected. Also, a dabblet bug was found on code.webplatform.org and fixed with the help of Renoir Boulanger.

Thanks to all the contributors and volunteers

This successful Doc Sprint would not have been possible without the help of our community experts and our lovely volunteers: Pascal Szewczyk, Tomas Caspers, Kenneth Shinabery, Daniel Connerth, Sven Wolfermann, Aaron Gustafson, David Kirstein, and my partner in crime in organizing the event, Marc Thiele. Thank you all.

Want to run a Doc Sprint yourself?

Doc Sprints like this one are a fantastic opportunity to help push the web and its documentation forward. In the same time and place, you can meet and exchange with like-minded folks, learn, get inspired, and also have a nice BBQ and party. So why not run your own Doc Sprint? We created a document for you in case you’d like to create the next #WPDS: the Doc-Sprint-in-a-Box.

Fluent Doc Sprint is next week

We have already blogged about the upcoming Doc Sprint at Fluent 2014, but I’ve compiled a few details, in case you have questions. You can also get a sense of what happens by reading about past doc sprints by checking out our previous posts.

First of all, the Fluent conference is hosting the Doc Sprint, providing the space & food. But you don’t have to go to the Fluent conference to attend the Doc Sprint. The Doc Sprint is open to the public. That means anyone can attend.

Yep, that means YOU are invited. So, what will happen when you come? The agenda will go something like this:

MORNING:

  • Welcome
  • Intro to WebPlatform.org docs
  • How to contribute
  • Doc Sprint!

LUNCH (yes, free food!):

  • Working, talking, sharing ideas

AFTERNOON:

  • Special guests Doug Schepers (W3C), Jen Simmons (Jen Simmons Design), and maybe a surprise or two…
  • More Doc Sprint!
  • Swag
  • Wrap-up

No experience is necessary. Seriously. That means you don’t have to be an expert, you need not know how to edit wiki-markup, or be familiar with any build tools. It’s a good idea to be there at the beginning, just so you get the information about getting started contributing. We’ll go over everything you need to know. Bear in mind that you can come for just part of the day, too.

We’ll be in Salon 5 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis780 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA.

You will need your own laptop and power (and power adaptors).

For any other questions, go ahead and email the webplatform public list. And do sign up at Eventbrite to get the latest information and special treatment.

See you there!

Fluent 2014 Doc Sprint (& You’re invited too!)

A group of us working on WebPlatform Docs will be hosting a Doc Sprint at Fluent 2014, in San Francisco, on March 11th! O’Reilly has generously provided the facilities and experts through the Fluent conference, but the doc sprint is open to the general public.

We receive content from various sources: companies, individual contributors, standards groups, and more. When we get the content, we review it, improve it, and add “that little something more.” For example, right now, we’re concentrating on JavaScript language reference content. A doc sprint is a period of concentrated effort by a number of people to improve that content, or really, any part of the site that you’d like to work on. It’s like a hackathon for documentation.

No experience is necessary! At a doc sprint, beginners can learn how to get started. We have some basic tasks that anyone can do with support. And we’ll be there to support all contributors. Folks with more experience can make great progress on deeper tasks. We’ll all collaborate on the site: extending it and building the content, itself. Bugs get fixed on the spot. We do usability testing. We eat and drink and… Well, doc sprints are great places to geek out, make new friends, and meet old ones. To get a sense of past doc sprints, check out our previous posts.

Just go to Eventbrite to sign up. We look forward to seeing you there!

Birthday-party-slash-Doc-Sprint, Amsterdam, October 12, 2013

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead

Also, never doubt that a small group can get a lot done at a doc sprint, and the group at the Amsterdam doc sprint, however small, accomplished a lot of work on Web Platform Docs, moved the web forward, and changed the world. A small group, however, does have trouble polishing off a huge, chocolatey birthday cake, and we really could have done with more attendance on that front.

Indeed, the cake was not only not a lie, it was delicious. Careful with the knife, Doug.

The cake, the catering, and the venue, The Hub co-working space, were all orchestrated by our host, Paul Verbeek. Paul also coordinated with the Fronteers organization, which helped publicize the doc sprint, as it followed the Fronteers 2013 developer conference. Everything came off with great panache! Thanks, Paul!

The big story coming out this doc sprint is that we finished some 53 CSS properties, to bring the total number of CSS properties completed to within twenty of our goal for the project. Some of the work on those 53 properties was already done, in other doc sprints and by other contributors, so we mostly reviewed and put the finishing touches on these properties, and we were able to move very quickly through the list.

There are opportunities for us to add value to the web, apart from great documentation. In documenting the new auto value of the outline-style property we discovered that the specification did not describe exactly how the auto value should work as a standard, the spec leaves it up to the user agent, and when we tested it in several browsers on several systems, we were unable to discern a common pattern. This struck us as falling short, so we dispatched a missive to the CSS working group, recommending that the behavior of the auto value be more clearly defined. We’re waiting to hear back from them. But the point is, we took the opportunity to not only document the auto value, but to help shape its specification and participate directly in building the web.

Some prefer to sprint in their socks.

Many of the participants here in Amsterdam have also attended one or both of the other European doc sprints. Rodney RehmVivienne van Velzen, and Francesco Iovine, veterans of the Berlin and Zurich doc sprints, made a mountain of edits to the CSS properties and HTML attributes documentation.

Is it time for cake yet?

We also signed up several new members, one of whom, Tom Schuller won the raffle prize, a Chromebook provided by Google.

Show up at a doc sprint, win free stuff!

The local luminaries also graced us with not only an appearance, they chipped in on the CSS properties and worked on developing automated compatibility information for WPD. Peter-Paul Koch of Quirksmode fame, Ronald Mansveld, and Niels Leenheer of HTML5Test are working with Doug Schepers of the W3C to aggregate compatibility information from across the web and display it on Web Platform Docs.

The Syndics revisited. This time, it’s the fabric of the web.

Okay, one last cheesy mashup featuring the work of Dutch masters of the Golden Age, just to tie up the analogy above, and hopefully put an end to all the silliness of the last three blog posts:

The real Syndics did show up, but left abruptly when we told them the Linen API wasn’t standards-track. [The Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild, by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, courtesy of the Rijksmuseum.]

So, even if we couldn’t finish the cake, we certainly took a big bite out of the work on Web Platform Docs. As this post goes to press, the CSS properties are being finished and the last loose ends of that project are getting tied up. We look forward to developing a new JavaScript reference and over-hauling our HTML elements and attributes in up-coming doc sprints. We hope you’ll join us!

Switzerland Doc Sprint sets some new records!

The first ever Swiss Web Platform Doc Sprint is a wrap! Pure stat hunters might have liked to see more attendees: 15 out of 31 registrants attending resulted in a 52% no-show, which is pretty unusual for Switzerland; this was probably due to the current holiday season as well as the pouring rain. But hey, this is clearly about quality not quantity, so let’s talk more about the longest traveller to the sprint: Francesco, who came in from Rome, Italy. Or how about probably the youngest ever Doc Sprint attendee, Samarth (age 13), who made the script tag shine on Web Platform Docs!

Chris Mills from Mozilla presented a guide to using the Wiki, making edits, and what work we aimed to achieve. The fifteen very motivated and skilled contributors were a fairly even mix of Web Platform veterans and newcomers, and jumped head-first in to a variety of tasks ranging from bug investigation to example coding and doc writing.

We’d like to say a special thanks to Mike West (Google) and contributor Rodney Rehm (who already attended the Berlin Doc Sprint) — they helped attendees with 1:1 support on various questions over the day. Next, let’s give a big shout-out to our lovely venue sponsors Colab Zurich, who provided delicious catering for the full day, and to Adobe, who made the event possible by providing everything throughout the day.

Logo of Web Platform Doc SprintWe can report the following work stats:

David Maciejewski from t3n Magazine attended, and, in addition to contributing edits to the site, wrote a nice (german) review about the sprint and its motives, encouraging the community to organize similar events.

A huge thank you to all attendees of this Doc Sprint!

Web Platform Doc Sprint
August 28th 2013, Zurich, Switzerland!

Followers of the WebPlatform.org effort will remember that we ran our groundbreaking first European Web Platform Doc Sprint on February 8-9 in Berlin, Germany. This went down well, and a lot of good work was done on the CSS property and API documentation. The latest good news is that we are running another Doc Sprint — this time in Zurich, Switzerland, on August 28th!

Our new Doc Sprint is being run to coincide with Switzerland’s premier front end developer conference, Frontend Conference Zurich, which happens in the two days after the sprint. Use this as a great opportunity to attend a great conference, and make a great contribution to front end web documentation, all in one trip!

Aims of the Doc Sprint

Logo of Web Platform Doc Sprint

Doc Sprints are great places to have a great and geeky time, make new
friends, and meet old ones. At this event:

  • Beginners will learn how to get started as WebPlatform.org contributors
  • Those more experienced can dive in and make great uninterrupted progress on content
  • Great new ideas will form and grow through collaboration, including demos, plugins and more
  • Bugs will get fixed on the spot
  • Food and drinks (including but not limited to: beer) will be provided throughout the day
  • Swag will be tossed into the crowds
  • Winners will be crowned and prizes raffled away
  • A lot of fun is waiting for attendees!

The main focus topics at this event will be CSS properties and HTML elements/DOM, but if you would rather work on something else inside the WebPlatform.org documentation remit, we are more than happy to accommodate you! If you want to check up on what is ok to work on and suggest ideas, please tell us via the public mailing list.

Doc Sprint Venue and Sponsors

This Doc Sprint is organized by Adobe and being held at the awesome Colab Zurich, who are hosting the event as a sponsor and contributor to WebPlatform.org. Find full address details and directions on their website at http://colab-zurich.ch.

Sign me up!

Please sign up for the event at our Eventbrite page. We are looking forward seeing you in late August in Switzerland!

Web Platform Wednesday, Week 9: Layout

Last week we decided to take a small break to give everyone a rest and let you enjoy the holidays, so this week we are coming back in full force to tackle the next batch of CSS properties. This week, we will be focusing on layout based properties, which are fundamentally the foundation properties of all websites.

These properties that we will be covering, range from padding and size to positioning properties such as top, left, right, bottom and float. If you aren’t too familiar with these properties, here are some great reference materials on some of the CSS properties.

Position

Padding

Float

To view all the properties that we will be covering this week, head on over to the Web Platform Wednesday page and see where you can help. If you find any properties that you want to help contribute to, have any questions or even not sure, come and chat with the co-ordinators in the #webplatform IRC Channel or via email on the mailing list, as there is always someone who will be happy to help.

Until next week, happy documenting!

Web Platform Wednesday, Week 7: More text properties, shapes and exclusions

This week, we continue to work on text properties, but we’re adding some interesting properties. So if you know how to break out an experimental browser, and test the limits of features such as CSS Exclusions and Shapes, this is the week for you to jump in! And just in time for the latest Editor’s Draft. If you have an experimental browser available, such as Chrome Canary or WebKit Nightly, you can view demos such as The Raven and create your own.

There are some great explanations of CSS Exclusions out there, such as Hans Muller’s Growing and Shrinking Polygons: Round One and Bem Jones-Bey’s Freeing the Floats of the Future From the Tyranny of the Rectangle.

But also, if you happen to be going to the Seattle Doc Sprint this Saturday, June 22, you can ask questions of Alan Stearns, one of the editors of the CSS Exclusions and CSS Shapes specs. He’ll be there, along with other special guests.

Not in Seattle this weekend? No problem. Come chat with us on the #webplatform IRC Channel or on our public-webplatform@w3.org email list. However you join, do join Web Platform Wednesday this week as we continue to provide foundational and experimental content for our community.

Inaugural Doc Sprint for Seattle, June 22!

Webplatform.org continues to grow in all facets: breadth of content, accuracy, community health, and site usefulness. It’s a testament to the vibrancy of our community that we now have almost twenty thousand registered users! And though we are making great progress in building our “community-driven site that aims to become a comprehensive and authoritative source for web developer documentation,” there are still plenty of opportunities to make significant contributions.

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