Getting started

  • Revision slug: Project:Getting_started
  • Revision title: Getting started
  • Revision id: 374063
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{{ MDCProjectPagesTOC() }}

The Mozilla Developer Network has tasks to suit any level of technical knowledge. You don't need to be a programmer or know a lot about technology. There is a range of tasks that need to be done, from the simple (proof-reading and correcting typos) to the complex (writing API documentation).

MDN has a simple web-based interface that will be familiar to anyone who has used a word processor. Please help us! MDN's success is built on the spirit of cooperative improvement by a community of Mozillians.

  • Content is more important than style, grammar, and spelling. If your English is not perfect - don't worry about it! If you didn't memorize the style guide - don't worry about it! If you make a typo - don't worry about it! Mistakes are easy to fix, and changes can be quickly and easily reversed.
  • Ask for help and chat with your new friends in the MDN community. The community (both paid staff and volunteers) are friendly. We love (LOVE!) new contributors! If you don't receive a quick response to your email or IRC question, remember that there are people in many different time zones working on many different projects. Feel free to ask more than once and / or to ask more than one person. You are not being ignored. Contact Eric Shepherd, the MDN chieftain, if you aren't getting the help you need. There is nothing more important to us than helping contributors.
  • Anyone can change anything. No one should be upset if you change their content, and you shouldn't be upset if someone changes your stuff (although you should feel free to ask questions about the changes). Changes are not criticisms - they are (almost always) constructive improvements.
  • We have drivers for specific topic areas. If you are working on a particular area, they can help.

Quick Start guide

Log in

MDN uses Persona for authentication. Create a Persona account and then log in to MDN.

Practice

Practice your wiki skills in the Sandbox, an area of the wiki that is meant for messing around and learning and experimenting.

Edit a page

  1. Click the"Edit" button at the top of any page (or .
  2. Make your changes. Click "PREVIEW CHANGES" to see how your changes look.
  3. Click "SAVE AND KEEP EDITING" to save your changes without closing the editing interface. Click "SAVE CHANGES" to save the page and close the editing interface. Click "DISCARD CHANGES" to revert to the original version of the page.

You will not be able to save your changes and will get a "Permission Denied" error if your browser has been configured to not send referrer information. If you cannot save your changes, in Firefox, be sure the {{pref("network.http.sendRefererHeader")}} preference is set to its default value (at the moment it's "2").

Create a new page

If you do not know where to put a new article, do not worry about it! Put it anywhere, and we will find it and move it to where it belongs, or merge it into existing content if that makes the most sense. You also do not need to worry about making it perfect. We have happy helper gnomes that will help make your content clean and luscious.

  1. Enter the name of the new page anywhere in the text of a page.
  2. Highlight the name and click the Link icon () in the editor's toolbar. The "Update Link" dialog opens, with the highlighted text in the "Link To" field.
  3. "/en-US/docs/" will be inserted by default at the beginning of the URL field. Enter the name of the page after "/en-US/docs/". (The page name doesn't have to be the same as the link text.)
  4. Click OK to create and insert the link.

If the page does not already exist, the link will be in red. If the page does already exist, the link will be in blue. If you want to create a new page but the page title you want is already taken, check first if it makes more sense to help edit and improve the page that is already there. Otherwise, think of a different title for your new page and create a link for it. Refer to the page naming guide for guidelines.

To add content to your new page, click on the red link you just created (after saving and closing the editor) and start writing. Click "SAVE AND KEEP EDITING" as you work to save your changes without closing the editing interface. Click "SAVE CHANGES" when you are done.

To create a new page without linking from another page, enter a unique page name in the URL field of your browser. For example, if you enter:

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/FooBar

... MDN will create a new page with the title "FooBar" and open the editor so you can add content to the new page.

Wiki markup

Kuma, the Mozilla-developed software the Mozilla Developer Network uses, uses HTML as its markup language for the documentation. If you wish to see or edit the HTML content, you can do so by clicking the "Source" button in the toolbar while in edit mode. Click it again to return to the WYSIWYG editor.

Logging documentation bugs

You can report complex problems by filing a documentation bug. Use these field values:

product
Mozilla Developer Network
component
Documentation requests
URL
The page where you found the problem
Description
As much as you know or have time to describe about the problem and where to find correct information. This can include people ("talk to so-and-so") as well as Web links.

Migrating old documentation

One longer ongoing subproject at the MDN is to migrate all currently existing developer documentation from the mozilla.org web site into the MDN wiki. The procedure is fairly simple:

  1. Pick a document you would like to migrate from the existing content list.
  2. Refer to the page naming guide and decide what the page or pages for that document should be called in the wiki.
  3. Create those pages and migrate the content, marking it up as best you can using the wiki markup reference as a guide.
  4. Delete the item from the existing content list.
  5. Add the item to the needs redirect list.

If you are keen on doing a comprehensive job on this, you will also:

  1. Use our search system to search for any links to the original document in the wiki, then change those links so they point at the new wiki page.
  2. Check for external redirects to the original document, and flag those redirects for deletion by adding the "Junk" tag to them.

Localizing MDN

If you are interested in helping translate the documentation in any of the MDN wikis to another language, simply visit the relevant language's wiki and create or edit pages. See Localization projects for information about current projects and how to start a new project.

Resolving "edit wars" or other conflicts

If for whatever reason you end up in an "edit war" on a page, where two or more people are continually and repeatedly making and reverting changes, please try to resolve the conflict with the people involved first.

Should no resolution be possible, please bring it to the attention of either (ideally) the MDN mailing list or (as a last resort) the developer documentation lead. Other technical experts, writers, and editors will be consulted as required, and their expertise will be used to resolve the problem.

Requesting page deletions

Should you create a page by accident or stumble across a page you think should be deleted, mark it as such by adding the "Junk" tag to it.

Items tagged as Junk are checked periodically by wiki administrators and the pages it contains are evaluated and deleted when appropriate.

Note: Please do not delete other content or categories from the pages you flag as "Junk".

Revision Source

<p>{{ MDCProjectPagesTOC() }}</p>
<p>The Mozilla Developer Network has tasks to suit any level of technical knowledge. You don't need to be a programmer or know a lot about technology. There is a range of tasks that need to be done, from the simple (proof-reading and correcting typos) to the complex (writing API documentation).</p>
<p>MDN has a simple web-based interface that will be familiar to anyone who has used a word processor. <strong>Please help us! </strong>MDN's success is built on the spirit of cooperative improvement by a <a href="/en-US/docs/Project:Community" title="/en-US/docs/Project:Community">community</a> of Mozillians.</p>
<ul>
  <li><strong>Content is more important than style, grammar, and spelling. </strong>If your English is not perfect - don't worry about it! If you didn't memorize the <a href="/en-US/docs/Project:MDC_style_guide" title="/en-US/docs/Project:MDC_style_guide">style guide</a> - don't worry about it! If you make a typo - don't worry about it! Mistakes are easy to fix, and changes can be quickly and easily reversed.</li>
  <li><strong>Ask for help and chat with your new friends in the MDN community.</strong> The <a href="/en-US/docs/Project:Community" title="/en-US/docs/Project:Community">community</a> (both paid staff and volunteers) are friendly. We love (LOVE!) new contributors! If you don't receive a quick response to your email or IRC question, remember that there are people in many different time zones working on many different projects. Feel free to ask more than once and / or to ask more than one person. You are not being ignored. Contact <a class="link-mailto" href="mailto:eshepherd@mozilla.com">Eric Shepherd</a>, the MDN chieftain, if you aren't getting the help you need. There is <em>nothing</em> more important to us than helping contributors.</li>
  <li><strong>Anyone can change anything.</strong> No one should be upset if you change their content, and you shouldn't be upset if someone changes your stuff (although you should feel free to ask questions about the changes). Changes are not criticisms - they are (almost always) constructive improvements.</li>
  <li><strong>We have <a href="/Project:en/Topic_drivers" title="Project:en/Topic_drivers">drivers for specific topic areas</a>.</strong> If you are working on a particular area, they can help.</li>
</ul>
<h2 id="Quick_Start_guide">Quick Start guide</h2>
<h3 id="Log_in">Log in</h3>
<p>MDN uses <a href="http://www.persona.org/" title="http://www.persona.org/">Persona</a> for authentication. Create a Persona account and then log in to MDN.</p>
<h3 id="Practice">Practice</h3>
<p>Practice your wiki skills in the <a href="/en-US/docs/Sandbox" title="Sandbox: An area of the wiki for experiments">Sandbox</a>, an area of the wiki that is meant for messing around and learning and experimenting.</p>
<h3 id="Edit_a_page">Edit a page</h3>
<ol>
  <li>Click the"Edit" button at the top of any page (or .</li>
  <li>Make your changes. Click "PREVIEW CHANGES" to see how your changes look.</li>
  <li>Click "SAVE AND KEEP EDITING" to save your changes without closing the editing interface. Click "SAVE CHANGES" to save the page and close the editing interface. Click "DISCARD CHANGES" to revert to the original version of the page.</li>
</ol>
<div class="note">
  <p>You will not be able to save your changes and will get a "Permission Denied" error if your browser has been configured to not send referrer information. If you cannot save your changes, in Firefox, be sure the {{pref("network.http.sendRefererHeader")}} preference is set to its default value (at the moment it's "2").</p>
</div>
<h3 id="Create_a_new_page">Create a new page</h3>
<p>If you do not know where to put a new article, <strong>do not worry about it!</strong> Put it anywhere, and we will find it and move it to where it belongs, or merge it into existing content if that makes the most sense. You also do not need to worry about making it perfect. We have happy helper gnomes that will help make your content clean and luscious.</p>
<h4 id="Link_from_an_existing_page">Link from an existing page</h4>
<ol>
  <li>Enter the name of the new page anywhere in the text of a page.</li>
  <li>Highlight the name and click the Link icon (<img alt="" src="/files/3810/link-icon.png" style="width: 29px; height: 28px;" />) in the editor's toolbar. The "Update Link" dialog opens, with the highlighted text in the "Link To" field.</li>
  <li>"/en-US/docs/" will be inserted by default at the beginning of the URL field. Enter the name of the page after "/en-US/docs/". (The page name doesn't have to be the same as the link text.)</li>
  <li>Click OK to create and insert the link.</li>
</ol>
<p>If the page does not already exist, the link will be in red. If the page <em>does</em> already exist, the link will be in blue. If you want to create a new page but the page title you want is already taken, check first if it makes more sense to help edit and improve the page that is already there. Otherwise, think of a different title for your new page and create a link for it. Refer to the <a href="/Project:en/Page_Naming_Guide" title="Project:en/Page_Naming_Guide">page naming guide</a> for guidelines.</p>
<p>To add content to your new page, click on the red link you just created (after saving and closing the editor) and start writing. Click "SAVE AND KEEP EDITING" as you work to save your changes without closing the editing interface. Click "SAVE CHANGES" when you are done.</p>
<h4 id="New_page_without_link">New page without link</h4>
<p>To create a new page without linking from another page, enter a unique page name in the URL field of your browser. For example, if you enter:</p>
<pre>
https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/FooBar</pre>
<p>... MDN will create a new page with the title "FooBar" and open the editor so you can add content to the new page.</p>
<h4 id="Wiki_markup">Wiki markup</h4>
<p><a href="https://github.com/mozilla/kuma" title="https://github.com/mozilla/kuma">Kuma</a>, the Mozilla-developed software the Mozilla Developer Network uses, uses HTML as its markup language for the documentation. If you wish to see or edit the HTML content, you can do so by clicking the "Source" button in the toolbar while in edit mode. Click it again to return to the WYSIWYG editor.</p>
<h2 id="Logging_documentation_bugs">Logging documentation bugs</h2>
<p>You can report complex problems by <a class="external" href="https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/enter_bug.cgi?product=Mozilla%20Developer%20Network">filing a documentation bug</a>. Use these field values:</p>
<dl>
  <dt>
    product</dt>
  <dd>
    Mozilla Developer Network</dd>
  <dt>
    component</dt>
  <dd>
    Documentation requests</dd>
  <dt>
    URL</dt>
  <dd>
    The page where you found the problem</dd>
  <dt>
    Description</dt>
  <dd>
    As much as you know or have time to describe about the problem and where to find correct information. This can include people ("talk to so-and-so") as well as Web links.</dd>
</dl>
<h2 id="Migrating_old_documentation">Migrating old documentation</h2>
<p>One longer ongoing subproject at the MDN is to migrate all currently existing developer documentation from the <a class="external" href="http://www.mozilla.org">mozilla.org</a> web site into the MDN wiki. The procedure is fairly simple:</p>
<ol>
  <li>Pick a document you would like to migrate from the <a href="/Project:en/Existing_Content" title="Project:en/Existing_Content">existing content</a> list.</li>
  <li>Refer to the <a href="/Project:en/Page_Naming_Guide" title="Project:en/Page_Naming_Guide">page naming guide</a> and decide what the page or pages for that document should be called in the wiki.</li>
  <li>Create those pages and migrate the content, marking it up as best you can using the <a href="/Project:En/MDC_style_guide" title="Project:en/Wiki_Markup_Reference">wiki markup reference</a> as a guide.</li>
  <li>Delete the item from the <a href="/Project:en/Existing_Content" title="Project:en/Existing_Content">existing content</a> list.</li>
  <li>Add the item to the <a href="/Project:en/Needs_Redirect" title="Project:en/Needs_Redirect">needs redirect</a> list.</li>
</ol>
<p>If you are keen on doing a comprehensive job on this, you will also:</p>
<ol>
  <li>Use <a href="/Special:Search" title="Search">our search system</a> to search for any links to the original document in the wiki, then change those links so they point at the new wiki page.</li>
  <li>Check for <a href="/Project:en/External_Redirects" title="Project:en/External_Redirects">external redirects</a> to the original document, and flag those redirects for deletion by adding the "Junk" tag to them.</li>
</ol>
<h2 id="Localizing_MDN">Localizing MDN</h2>
<p>If you are interested in helping translate the documentation in any of the MDN wikis to another language, simply visit the relevant language's wiki and create or edit pages. See <a href="/en-US/docs/Project:Localization_Projects" title="/en-US/docs/Project:Localization_Projects">Localization projects</a> for information about current projects and how to start a new project.</p>
<h2 id="Resolving_.22edit_wars.22_or_other_conflicts">Resolving "edit wars" or other conflicts</h2>
<p>If for whatever reason you end up in an "edit war" on a page, where two or more people are continually and repeatedly making and reverting changes, please try to resolve the conflict with the people involved first.</p>
<p>Should no resolution be possible, please bring it to the attention of either (ideally) the <a href="/Project:en/Community" title="Project:en/Community">MDN mailing list</a> or (as a last resort) the <a href="/User:Sheppy" title="User:Sheppy">developer documentation lead</a>. Other technical experts, writers, and editors will be consulted as required, and their expertise will be used to resolve the problem.</p>
<h2 id="Requesting_page_deletions">Requesting page deletions</h2>
<p>Should you create a page by accident or stumble across a page you think should be deleted, mark it as such by adding the "Junk" tag to it.</p>
<p>Items tagged as <a class="internal" href="https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/tag/junk" title="Special:Tags?tag=Junk">Junk</a> are checked periodically by wiki administrators and the pages it contains are evaluated and deleted when appropriate.</p>
<div class="note">
  <strong>Note</strong>: Please do not delete other content or categories from the pages you flag as "Junk".</div>
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