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Re: Proposed Blog Post for MSDN JS Contribution

From: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2013 02:24:18 -0400
Message-ID: <51762912.1090800@w3.org>
To: Patrick D'Souza <patrick.dsouza@gmail.com>
CC: Eliot Graff <Eliot.Graff@microsoft.com>, Julee <julee@adobe.com>, "public-webplatform@w3.org" <public-webplatform@w3.org>, Alex Komoroske <komoroske@google.com>
Hi, folks-

Sorry for another iteration... here's a (hopefully) final draft of the 
MSDN JS docs blog post, greatly improved by help from Eliot's skillful 
hand. (Thanks, Eliot!)

We plan to publish this tomorrow at 15:00 UTC / 11:00 ET / 8:00 PT. That 
will give a bit of time to Europeans to absorb it.

We'll tweet right then to point to it (and retweet from @w3c), and then 
repeat it a few hours later just before noon PT, to hit lunchtime on the 
West Coast, and hopefully some stewards will retweet it then.


Tweet (proposed):
[[
Want to help us integrate our new hoard of 400+ JavaScript articles into 
Web Platform Docs? Read on!
http://blog.webplatform.org/2013/04/new-msdn-js-docs/]]
]]


Blog:
http://blog.webplatform.org/?p=335&preview=true
[[
New JavaScript Docs from MSDN!

Apr 23 2013
by Shepazu
Let’s face it, a site for Web documentation that doesn’t have solid 
JavaScript docs is like a browser that doesn’t have JavaScript. Up to 
now, the JavaScript topic on Web Platform Docs has been sparsely 
populated, especially our reference articles. That’s why we were so 
thrilled when Microsoft offered us their excellent JavaScript 
documentation from MSDN.

These 400+ articles will give Web Platform Docs a foundation to build up 
a robust library describing the use of JavaScript in modern web 
development. The donation is substantial, but it leaves room for a 
expansion and enhancement from our community. But the first step is 
integrating these articles into WPD.

So, this is where you come in!


Help us transform the MSDN donation into WPD content

Last week, Microsoft’s Kathy Shoesmith and her team exported the whole 
JavaScript branch of their MSDN content from their CMS as 
well-structured HTML; they also provided some support files, including a 
hierarchy index in XML, and an Excel file with the correspondence table 
between file names, like “1b512146-1e8a-44a4-89da-6cc5338d15cb.htm” 
(shudder), and article titles like “getMilliseconds Method (Date) 
(JavaScript)”.

We converted that spreadsheet file to a JSON object, and used Node.js to 
rename all the files (e.g. “getMilliseconds-Method__Date.html”) and 
convert the XML hierarchy index to an HTML nested list to serve as a 
table of contents, then pushed everything to WebPlatform’s Github 
msdn-js repo.

So, there’s where we are. Where we go next is up to the community as a 
whole, because Webplatform is a community-based and community-driven 
project. Microsoft donated the source content, but it will be the 
community that takes this donation and builds WPD with it. And let’s 
face it, content integration is not a trivial task. It’s not difficult, 
either, but there are lots of moving parts.

First, we have to settle what on the URL structure. How do we want to 
organize the different pages within our information hierarchy, so that 
it’s consistent, easy to find and reference, and avoids naming clashes?
Second, we have to make MediaWiki templates. We need to define how each 
page type (object, property, method, etc.) is structured, again for 
consistency and to make it easy for an API to extract just the 
information needed.
Third, we have to come up with a methodology to convert the HTML content 
into the wiki. Converting 400+ pages by hand would be tedious, but an 
automated import script is likely to be error-prone, even with 
consistent and well-structured HTML like the export from MSDN. Which 
sections do we use? What do we do if we need to add structure that 
doesn’t exist in the original? How shall we review all the converted 
documents? Should we import first into our test wiki instance, then 
transfer into the main wiki? In some cases, there may be duplicates of 
content already in the wiki; how shall we resolve that? What import 
script should we use (and can we revise and reuse the script from our 
original MSDN mass-import back in October)? Phew!
What can I do?

For starters, you can help us answer these questions, and ask questions 
we didn’t think about. If you don’t already have an account, go create 
one, and feel free to participate in one or more of our general content 
meetings. You can volunteer to help do the conversion, review migrated 
content, or help out with other parts of the project. All our work is 
public, and to help manage this process, we created a special 
sub-project, MSDN-JS, in our issue tracker/project management tool. Once 
you have an account, subscribe to our public-webplatform mailing list 
and introduce yourself, and we’ll help get you started.

JavaScript is still evolving (rapidly!), so WPD community engagement by 
JavaScript experts will help us evolve our content along with it. You 
want to future-proof our documentation by adding a tutorial and examples 
on JavaScript Futures? Go for it!

Don’t feel intimidated by all these open questions! We’ve already got a 
skilled community, like Alex Komoroske (Google) who authored most of the 
site templates, Eliot Graff (Microsoft) who helped design WPD’s 
information architecture, and content drivers like Chris Mills (Opera 
and W3C), Julee Burdekin (Adobe), and Scott Rowe (Google), as well as 
many other folks who can lead the integration… or step aside to let new 
leaders take the initiative!

What about other donations?

We’ve gotten this type of donation before. We’ve received large 
transfers of content files from nearly all of our stewards. To cite a 
few examples, Google and MDN have donated many articles and tutorials; 
Opera donated a great deal of their developer education materials; Adobe 
offered wonderful content from their site; and Microsoft had donated 
reference pages previously. It’s been a wonderful and cooperative effort 
to get the seed content in place for this project.

For each content topic, sometimes there are multiple sources that we’d 
like to use, with overlap in coverage. For example, MDN, the Mozilla 
Developer Network, already has great JavaScript documentation, and 
Mozilla is one of the Web Platform stewards. Why didn’t we just reuse 
their JavaScript content, too? As Mozilla’s Janet Swisher explains, that 
content was contributed to MDN under the CC-BY-SA (Creative Commons 
Attribution Share-Alike) license, rather than the more permissive and 
reusable CC-BY license that WPD offers, so for the long-term goal of 
making and keeping WPD as open as possible, we needed another solution. 
Microsoft donating their content is an ideal starting point for 
comprehensive community-driven documentation. Having the option to 
select the best choices from different sources is another strength of WPD.

You really need me?

Yes. Even with big content contributions like this one from Microsoft, 
this site will never succeed in our mission without consistent 
contributions and engagement from our community. So, consider your 
effort in integrating these documents a “matching donation” and help us 
make WPD the documentation site we all need.
]]


Regards-
-Doug
Received on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 06:24:27 UTC

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