MDN Changelog – Looking back at 2018

December is when Mozilla meets as a company for our biannual All-Hands, and we reflect on the past year and plan for the future. Here are some of the highlights of 2018.

The browser-compat-data (BCD) project required a sustained effort to convert MDN’s documentation to structured data. The conversion was 39% complete at the start of 2018, and ended the year at 98% complete. Florian Scholz coordinated a large community of staff and volunteers, breaking up the work into human-sized chunks that could be done in parallel. The community converted, verified, and refreshed the data, and converted thousands of MDN pages to use the new data sources. Volunteers also built tools and integrations on top of the data.

The interactive-examples project had a great year as well. Will Bamberg coordinated the work, including some all-staff efforts to write new examples. Schalk Neethling improved the platform as it grew to handle CSS, JavaScript, and HTML examples.

In 2018, MDN developers moved from MozMEAO to Developer Outreach, joining the content staff in Emerging Technologies. The organizational change in March was followed by a nine-month effort to move the servers to the new ET account. Ryan Johnson, Ed Lim, and Dave Parfitt completed the smoothest server transition in MDN’s history.

The strength of MDN is our documentation of fundamental web technologies. Under the leadership of Chris Mills, this content was maintained, improved, and expanded in 2018. It’s a lot of work to keep an institution running and growing, and there are few opportunities to properly celebrate that work. Thanks to Daniel Beck, Eric Shepherd, Estelle Weyl, Irene Smith, Janet Swisher, Rachel Andrew, and our community of partners and volunteers for keeping MDN awesome in 2018.

Kadir Topal led the rapid development of the payments project. We’re grateful to all the MDN readers who are supporting the maintenance and growth of MDN.

There’s a lot more that happened in 2018:

  • January – Added a language preference dialog, and added rate limiting.
  • February – Prepared to move developers to Emerging Technologies.
  • March – Ran a Hack on MDN event for BCD, and tried Brotli.
  • April – Moved MDN to a CDN, and started switching to SVG.
  • May – Moved to ZenHub.
  • June – Shipped Django 1.11.
  • July – Decommissioned zones, and tried new CDN experiments.
  • August – Started performance improvements, added section links, removed memcache from Kuma, and upgraded to ElasticSearch 5.
  • September – Ran a Hack on MDN event for accessibility, and deleted 15% of macros.
  • October – Completed the server migration, and shipped some performance improvements.
  • November – Completed the migration to SVG, and updated the compatibility table header rows.

Shipped tweaks and fixes

There were 124 PRs merged in December, including 27 pull requests from 26 new contributors:

This includes some important changes and fixes:

27 pull requests were from first-time contributors:

Planned for January

David Flanagan took a look at KumaScript, MDN’s macro rendering engine, and is proposing several changes to modernize it, including using await and Jest. These changes are performing well in the development environment, and we plan to get the new code in production in January.

About John Whitlock

John is a web developer working on the engine of MDN Web Docs

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