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 Wednesdays: Week 2!

Last week’s Web Platform Wednesday was a rousing success! Our community looked at all of the target property pages, and you reviewed and completed most of the ones we lined up. So this week, we start in on Wednesday May 15th, 9am (PST). It’s time for round 2: DING! DING!

Not only do we hope to finish reviewing any pages left from last week’s target CSS property pages, but we will also work on four new groups of pages:

Please hop on board and pitch in. Even a small contribution to a single page is much appreciated. And it’s pretty straightforward. You can edit 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

To get started, send a quick note declaring your interest on our public-webplatform@w3.org email list, or ask for direction on our Freenode #webplatform IRC channel, or even our @webplatform Twitter account. Someone will help you get you started.

Each article has a coordinator managing it. Check in with them (just to make sure there’s no duplication of effort), and dig in. We 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, the coordinator is there for you.

Doug’s post from last week summed up really nicely what this is all about, so please give that a read if you want some more information about how this got started.

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!