MS Donates 400 Pages to Web Documentation Project
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Microsoft has donated more than 400 pages of JavaScript reference materials to the Web Platform Docs project to fill a need for reference documentation on this topic.

Web Platform Docs (WPD) was launched in October 2012 by the W3C with stewards including Adobe, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia and Opera. The project, which is still in alpha, aims to create a wiki-styled site made up of thousands of web documentation articles and looks to the community to contribute suitable material.

Microsoft's recent donation to WPD is intended to seed the area of JavaScript documentation which has been pretty bare until now as indicated by a post from Shepazu on the Webplatform blog:

“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.”

The 400 pages are JavaScript reference materials on: 

  • Objects
  • Constants
  • Functions
  • Properties
  • Methods
  • Operators
  • Statements
  • Directives
  • Errors

At the moment they are HTML files that are used by Microsoft to create documentation on MSDN and they need to be converted to MediaWiki format for publication.

According to Shepazu the documents will provide a foundation to build up a robust library describing the use of JavaScript in modern web development.  Asking for help with the task of making the content usable within WPD he writes:

 “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”.

Help is required in deciding the URL structure for the documents, then making the 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.”

Finally, Webplatform is looking for ideas for a methodology to convert the HTML content into the wiki. As Shepazu puts it:

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.

Any ideas as how to streamline the task?




More Information

Web Platform Docs

Microsoft donates JavaScript materials to Web Platform Docs

New JavaScript Docs from MSDN!

Related Articles

Web Platform Docs - A Unified Resource for Web Developers


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