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.

How we’re working, at WebPlatform.org

I thought I’d share some thoughts this week on how we are working towards making web standards documentation rock more here at WebPlatform.org! We knew it would be challenging to deal with this much content, especially as we are mostly volunteers with only a finite amount of time available to work on the project. We’ve already achieved much, working towards our goal of making WebPlatform.org the definitive client-side web technology documentation site, but there is still much more to do. This is why we opened it up to the wider community as an alpha.

The plan has always been to include the public as early as possible. The web does, after all, belong to all of us. To facilitate getting things done, we have a number of communication means at our disposal. We have a number of discussion methods available including IRC and a mailing list. These are mostly used for general communication, such as announcing in-person Doc Sprints, soliciting feedback and discussing current and future work. For focusing on particular tasks, we:

  • Identify specific tasks to work on. To make the work more manageable, we have started to split it into manageable chunks and we work on each item in turn.
  • Discuss these tasks via our regular communication means, and also have more involved discussions at our regular weekly meetings, simultaneously held on teleconference and IRC.
  • Record task priority lists and who is working on each task, at our beta requirements page.
  • Create detailed task plans to outline how the work will be done, with subtasks, and people assigned to complete them.
  • Get on with the tasks!
  • Speed up task progress with intensive bursts of work at Doc Sprint events.

Current priorities

At the moment, the main topics we are focusing on are CSS properties and JavaScript APIs. Our plan is to perfect the topic pages for these two major areas over the next two to three months. This is where you come in! If you are knowledgeable and passionate about these areas, please get in touch with us to find out how best to contribute. If you don’t wish to contribute to either of these focus areas, and wish to work on something else instead, get in touch anyway, as we will be able to find something for you to do.

The next Doc Sprint we have coming up is in Berlin, Germany, this week — we expect to make a lot of progress on our priority tasks there!