Getting started

  • Revision slug: Project:Getting_started
  • Revision title: Getting started
  • Revision id: 49209
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  • Creator: Sheppy
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Helping with the MDC is as easy as using your browser. If you have ever filled in a web form or used a text area to write a weblog post, you have all the browser skills you need to get started.

Introduction

You are encouraged to help write, edit, review, and translate any documentation you find within these wikis. Please do so in the spirit of cooperative improvement, and don't ever be disappointed if someone else corrects or improves upon your contributions. We're all here to try to make Mozilla documentation much better (save for a few nasty spammers), so cooperation and helping one another is always encouraged.

The basics

Here's a short guide for creating and editing pages in the MDC wikis. You're welcome to practice your wiki skills in the Sandbox.

Editing pages

To edit a page, you will first have to create an account on the wiki. Do this by going to the User login page and then filling out and submitting the form. Once you've created an account, you will automatically be logged in and able to edit.

At the top of every page, you will now see an "Edit page" link. Clicking this link brings you to the editing form for the selected page, where you can make and preview whatever changes you wish to make, then save them into the wiki. Once you save your edits, you'll be able to see them immediately on the page.

You can also point at a subtitle on a page and click the edit button that appears next to it to edit just that section.

Starting a new page

The easiest way to start a new page is to create a link for it on your user page, then use that link to enter the "Edit" mode for the page.

To get to your user page, click on your user name in the top blue bar of the wiki. If you haven't added anything to your user page, you'll be brought immediately into the editing form for the page where you can add whatever content you like.

Creating a link to the page you want to add is as simple as writing the title for the page enclosed with double square brackets, like this: [[Here is an example]]. When saved, that will be turned into a link, like this: Here is an example.

If the page doesn't already exist, the link will be in red. If it does already exist, the link will be in blue. Should you want to create a new page but the page title you want is already taken, check first to see if it makes more sense to help edit and improve the page that's already there. Otherwise, think of a different title for your new page and create a link for it.

When you want to add content to your new page, simply click on the red link you just created and start writing. Remember to use the "Save page" button at the bottom of the editing form to save your work (be sure to save often if you're working on a long piece).

Page naming guide

For more information about creating and naming new pages, see our page naming guide.

Wiki markup

If you click "Edit" in the right-hand column now, you'll see that the text of this page contains some special characters, for example the "==" marks around headings and the "[{{ mediawiki.external(' ]') }}" brackets around links. This is a very simple form of textual markup unique to wiki systems. The power of this markup system is that it's easy to learn and tends to be pretty forgiving if you make a mistake.

Wiki markup reference

We have a full wiki markup reference you can use to learn the markup language as you're editing the wiki.

Writing, editing, and reviewing

Here's a slightly longer introduction to the MDC for writers, editors, and reviewers.

Writers

The MDC is always interested in new content, so you're encouraged to write new articles on whatever topics we currently cover in the wiki. New content can be as simple as a one page tip or as complex as a book-length programming guide or reference. The amount of new content you contribute is entirely up to you.

Bugs in the Mozilla project's Bugzilla database that impact documentation should be tagged with the dev-doc-needed keyword. This is another great way to find items that may require documentation. Typically, only bugs for which changes have already been checked into the source code should be written up. When the required documentation changes have been made, the dev-doc-complete keyword should be added to the bug.

If you're going to undertake a large project, I suggest you join the MDC community and discuss it there first in case someone else is planning to start (or has already started) a similar project.

Refer to our writer's guide if you have questions about style or usage policies within the wiki.

Editors

Copy editing is always welcomed in this wiki, particularly to improve or correct writing style, grammar, or spelling. Please see our writer's guide for more information.

Reviewers

Technical improvements and review are always welcome. If you're reading through a page and spot a technical error (be it in code or text), please feel free to correct it. If it is a controversial change, make a note in the "talk" page (accessed by clicking the "Discuss" link in the right-hand column) and leave a note that outlines your reasons for the change.

Writer's guide

We have a writer's guide outlining preferred writing style practices for the MDC wiki. If you have questions about usage and style that aren't covered there, I recommend referring to the Economist style guide or, failing that, the Chicago Manual of Style.

We will be expanding the guide over time, so if you have specific questions that aren't covered by the writer's guide, please send them to the MDC mailing list or developer documentation lead.

Migrating old documentation

One longer ongoing subproject at the MDC is to migrate all currently existing developer documentation from the mozilla.org web site into the MDC 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're keen on doing a comprehensive job on this, you'll 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 putting them in the "Junk" category by adding [[Category:Junk]].

Localizing the MDC

If you're interested in helping translate the documentation in any of the MDC wikis to another language, simply visit the relevant language's wiki and create or edit pages.

Existing localization projects

Currently the MDC has wikis for the following languages: Català, 中文(简体), Deutsch, English, Français, Italiano, 日本語, Nederlands, Polski, Português, Español, 한국어, 中文(正體), Русский, Hindi.

How to start a new localization project

If you would like to start a new localization project for a language we don't currently have a wiki for, please read the localization projects page and follow the instructions there.

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 MDC 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, add it to the "Junk" category, by adding [[Category:Junk]] to the bottom of the page.

The Junk category is 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".

Joining the MDC community

The Mozilla Developer Center is largely the handiwork of a group of volunteers, and we're always happy to help new writers and editors get involved.

Mailing list / newsgroup

  • View MDC forums...

{{ DiscussionList("dev-mdc", "mozilla.dev.mdc") }}

IRC channel

We also hang out on the irc.mozilla.org server in the #devmo channel: #devmo on irc.mozilla.org.

Project lead

The MDC and developer documentation is overseen by Eric Shepherd.

{{ languages( { "es": "Project:es/Primeros_Pasos", "fr": "Project:fr/Pour_commencer", "ja": "Project:ja/Getting_started", "pl": "Project:pl/Na_pocz\u0105tek", "pt": "Project:pt/Como_come\u00e7ar", "zh-cn": "Project:cn/\u73b0\u5728\u5c31\u5f00\u59cb" } ) }}

Revision Source

<p>
{{ MDCProjectPagesTOC() }}
</p><p>Helping with the MDC is as easy as using your browser. If you have ever filled in a web form or used a text area to write a weblog post, you have all the browser skills you need to get started.
</p>
<h3 name="Introduction"> Introduction </h3>
<p><b>You are encouraged to help write, edit, review, and translate any documentation you find within these wikis.</b> Please do so in the spirit of cooperative improvement, and don't ever be disappointed if someone else corrects or improves upon your contributions. We're all here to try to make Mozilla documentation much better (save for a few nasty spammers), so cooperation and helping one another is always encouraged.
</p>
<h3 name="The_basics"> The basics </h3>
<p>Here's a short guide for creating and editing pages in the MDC wikis. You're welcome to practice your wiki skills in the <a href="en/Sandbox">Sandbox</a>.
</p>
<h4 name="Editing_pages">Editing pages</h4>
<p>To edit a page, you will first have to create an account on the wiki. Do this by going to the <a href="/Special:Userlogin" title="Log in">User login</a> page and then filling out and submitting the form. Once you've created an account, you will automatically be logged in and able to edit.</p>
<p>At the top of every page, you will now see an "Edit page" link. Clicking this link brings you to the editing form for the selected page, where you can make and preview whatever changes you wish to make, then save them into the wiki. Once you save your edits, you'll be able to see them immediately on the page.</p>
<p>You can also point at a subtitle on a page and click the edit button that appears next to it to edit just that section.</p><h4 name="Starting_a_new_page"> Starting a new page </h4>
<p>The easiest way to start a new page is to create a link for it on your user page, then use that link to enter the "Edit" mode for the page. </p><p>To get to your user page, click on your user name in the top blue bar of the wiki. If you haven't added anything to your user page, you'll be brought immediately into the editing form for the page where you can add whatever content you like. </p><p>Creating a link to the page you want to add is as simple as writing the title for the page enclosed with double square brackets, like this: <code><span class="nowiki">[[Here is an example]]</span></code>. When saved, that will be turned into a link, like this: <a href="en/Here_is_an_example">Here is an example</a>.
</p><p>If the page doesn't already exist, the link will be in red. If it <i>does</i> already exist, the link will be in blue. Should you want to create a new page but the page title you want is already taken, check first to see if it makes more sense to help edit and improve the page that's already there. Otherwise, think of a different title for your new page and create a link for it.
</p><p>When you want to add content to your new page, simply click on the red link you just created and start writing. Remember to use the "Save page" button at the bottom of the editing form to save your work (be sure to save often if you're working on a long piece).
</p>
<h5 name="Page_naming_guide"> Page naming guide </h5>
<p>For more information about creating and naming new pages, see our <a href="Project:en/Page_Naming_Guide">page naming guide</a>.
</p>
<h4 name="Wiki_markup"> Wiki markup </h4>
<p>If you click "Edit" in the right-hand column now, you'll see that the text of this page contains some special characters, for example the "==" marks around headings and the "[{{ mediawiki.external(' ]') }}" brackets around links. This is a very simple form of textual markup unique to wiki systems. The power of this markup system is that it's easy to learn and tends to be pretty forgiving if you make a mistake.
</p>
<h5 name="Wiki_markup_reference"> Wiki markup reference </h5>
<p>We have a full <a href="Project:en/Wiki_Markup_Reference">wiki markup reference</a> you can use to learn the markup language as you're editing the wiki.
</p>
<h3 name="Writing.2C_editing.2C_and_reviewing"> Writing, editing, and reviewing </h3>
<p>Here's a slightly longer introduction to the MDC for writers, editors, and reviewers.
</p>
<h4 name="Writers"> Writers </h4>
<p>The MDC is always interested in new content, so you're encouraged to write new articles on whatever <a href="Special:Tags?tag=All_Categories&amp;language=en">topics</a> we currently cover in the wiki. New content can be as simple as a one page tip or as complex as a book-length programming guide or reference. The amount of new content you contribute is entirely up to you.
</p><p>Bugs in the Mozilla project's <a class="external" href="http://bugzilla.mozilla.org">Bugzilla database</a> that impact documentation should be tagged with the <code>dev-doc-needed</code> keyword. This is another great way to find items that may require documentation. Typically, only bugs for which changes have already been checked into the source code should be written up. When the required documentation changes have been made, the <code>dev-doc-complete</code> keyword should be added to the bug.
</p><p>If you're going to undertake a large project, I suggest you join the <a href="Project:en/Getting_started#Joining_the_MDC_community">MDC community</a> and discuss it there first in case someone else is planning to start (or has already started) a similar project.
</p><p>Refer to our <a href="Project:en/Writer's_guide">writer's guide</a> if you have questions about style or usage policies within the wiki.
</p>
<h4 name="Editors"> Editors </h4>
<p>Copy editing is always welcomed in this wiki, particularly to improve or correct writing style, grammar, or spelling. Please see our <a href="Project:en/Writer's_guide">writer's guide</a> for more information.
</p>
<h4 name="Reviewers"> Reviewers </h4>
<p>Technical improvements and review are always welcome. If you're reading through a page and spot a technical error (be it in code or text), please feel free to correct it. If it is a controversial change, make a note in the "talk" page (accessed by clicking the "Discuss" link in the right-hand column) and leave a note that outlines your reasons for the change.
</p>
<h4 name="Writer.27s_guide"> Writer's guide </h4>
<p>We have a <a href="Project:en/Writer's_guide">writer's guide</a> outlining preferred writing style practices for the MDC wiki. If you have questions about usage and style that aren't covered there, I recommend referring to the <a class="external" href="http://www.economist.com/research/StyleGuide/">Economist style guide</a> or, failing that, the <a class="external" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0226104036/">Chicago Manual of Style</a>.
</p><p>We will be expanding the guide over time, so if you have specific questions that aren't covered by the <a href="Project:en/Writer's_guide">writer's guide</a>, please send them to the <a href="Project:en/Community">MDC mailing list</a> or <a href="User:Sheppy">developer documentation lead</a>.
</p>
<h3 name="Migrating_old_documentation"> Migrating old documentation </h3>
<p>One longer ongoing subproject at the MDC 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 MDC 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">existing content</a> list.
</li><li> Refer to the <a href="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/Wiki_Markup_Reference">wiki markup reference</a> as a guide.
</li><li> Delete the item from the <a href="Project:en/Existing_Content">existing content</a> list.
</li><li> Add the item to the <a href="Project:en/Needs_Redirect">needs redirect</a> list.
</li></ol>
<p>If you're keen on doing a comprehensive job on this, you'll also:
</p>
<ol><li> Use <a class="external" href="http://search.developer.mozilla.org">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">external redirects</a> to the original document, and flag those redirects for deletion by putting them in the "Junk" category by adding <code><span class="nowiki">[[Category:Junk]]</span></code>.
</li></ol>
<h3 name="Localizing_the_MDC"> Localizing the MDC </h3>
<p>If you're interested in helping translate the documentation in any of the MDC wikis to another language, simply visit the relevant language's wiki and create or edit pages.
</p>
<h4 name="Existing_localization_projects"> Existing localization projects </h4>
<p>Currently the MDC has wikis for the following languages: <a class="external" href="http://developer.mozilla.org/ca/docs/">Català</a>,
<a class="external" href="http://developer.mozilla.org/cn/docs/">中文(简体)</a>,
<a class="external" href="http://developer.mozilla.org/de/docs/">Deutsch</a>,
<a class="external" href="http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/">English</a>,
<a class="external" href="http://developer.mozilla.org/fr/docs/">Français</a>,
<a class="external" href="http://developer.mozilla.org/it/docs/">Italiano</a>,
<a class="external" href="http://developer.mozilla.org/ja/docs/">日本語</a>,
<a class="external" href="http://developer.mozilla.org/nl/docs/">Nederlands</a>,
<a class="external" href="http://developer.mozilla.org/pl/docs/">Polski</a>,
<a class="external" href="http://developer.mozilla.org/pt/docs/">Português</a>,
<a class="external" href="http://developer.mozilla.org/es/docs/">Español</a>,
<a class="external" href="http://developer.mozilla.org/ko/docs/">한국어</a>,
<a class="external" href="http://developer.mozilla.org/zh_tw/docs/">中文(正體)</a>,
<a class="external" href="http://developer.mozilla.org/ru/docs/">Русский</a>,
<a class="external" href="http://developer.mozilla.org/hindi/docs/">Hindi</a>.
</p>
<h4 name="How_to_start_a_new_localization_project"> How to start a new localization project </h4>
<p>If you would like to start a new localization project for a language we don't currently have a wiki for, please read the <a href="Project:en/Localization_Projects">localization projects</a> page and follow the instructions there.
</p>
<h3 name="Resolving_.22edit_wars.22_or_other_conflicts"> Resolving "edit wars" or other conflicts </h3>
<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">MDC mailing list</a> or (as a last resort) the <a href="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>
<h3 name="Requesting_page_deletions"> Requesting page deletions </h3>
<p>Should you create a page by accident or stumble across a page you think should be deleted, add it to the "Junk" category, by adding <code><span class="nowiki">[[Category:Junk]]</span></code> to the bottom of the page.
</p><p>The <a href="Special:Tags?tag=Junk&amp;language=en">Junk category</a> is checked periodically by wiki administrators and the pages it contains are evaluated and deleted when appropriate.
</p><p><b>Note</b>: Please do not delete other content or categories from the pages you flag as "Junk".
</p>
<h3 name="Joining_the_MDC_community"> Joining the MDC community </h3>
<p>The Mozilla Developer Center is largely the handiwork of a group of volunteers, and we're always happy to help new writers and editors get involved.
</p>
<h4 name="Mailing_list_.2F_newsgroup"> Mailing list / newsgroup </h4>
<ul><li> View MDC forums...
</li></ul>
<p>{{ DiscussionList("dev-mdc", "mozilla.dev.mdc") }}
</p>
<h4 name="IRC_channel"> IRC channel </h4>
<p>We also hang out on the irc.mozilla.org server in the #devmo channel: <a class="link-irc" href="irc://irc.mozilla.org/devmo">#devmo on irc.mozilla.org</a>.
</p>
<h4 name="Project_lead"> Project lead </h4>
<p>The MDC and developer documentation is overseen by <a class="link-mailto" href="mailto:eshepherd@mozilla.com">Eric Shepherd</a>.
</p>{{ languages( { "es": "Project:es/Primeros_Pasos", "fr": "Project:fr/Pour_commencer", "ja": "Project:ja/Getting_started", "pl": "Project:pl/Na_pocz\u0105tek", "pt": "Project:pt/Como_come\u00e7ar", "zh-cn": "Project:cn/\u73b0\u5728\u5c31\u5f00\u59cb" } ) }}
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