MDC upgrade ideas

by 2 contributors:

My ideas

This is a list of the ideas I have for things we might do to improve MDC. It's not a to-do list, just some thoughts I've had, none of which is a "sure thing."

  • Finish the new breadcrumb extension and get it deployed.
    • This one is a must-do, and webdev is scheduled to do this for us in Q4, estimating completion by December 15th.
  • Fix the issues with Nutch.
    • There are several quirks here; webdev is scheduled to fix these as well.
  • Implement a new title-override system using the same RDF architecture used by the new breadcrumbs.
    • This isn't scheduled yet.
  • Look into ways to implement "pretty printing" for folks that need printed output of MDC documentation. Either by having a "Printer friendly" version of pages or by generating PDF of the docs.
  • Look into adding a way for readers to "vote" on the quality of pages. Being able to track whether or not pages have useful content would be helpful.
  • Add ability to embed HTML examples directly into pages.
    • We've installed an extension that should let us do this on the staging server, but it's not tested yet.
  • Add ability to embed SVG samples directly into pages.
    • Likewise.
  • Restrict uploads to the wiki to a specific set of file types (png, gif, jpg, svg, etc). Everything else should go through a separate form for submitting files for review and posting.
  • It would be very cool if someone used XULRunner to create an offline reader for MDC.
  • The editor could use some improvements. For example, the button bar includes several things we never use, and is missing obvious stuff like "code".
  • Don't include new users in the RSS feed and global new changes pages. We really only care under specific circumstances, and when we do, we'd rather go to the new users special page isntead.
  • Add to the main page a box that promotes newly-added pages. It should randomly select some number (3 or 5, probably) of pages added recently.
  • Add to the main page a box that lists the names of articles that haven't been written yet. Should randomly select 3 to 5 of them. Also should have a link to a page that lists all the articles that don't exist.

Other people's ideas

Here's a raw list of ideas people have suggested for improving MDC. It's not necessarily a to-do list, just a jumping-off point for making a future to-do list. I've put my own thoughts on some of them as well.

  • Don't include links to pages that don't already exist.
    • I don't think I agree with this one. By having "broken" links on pages, I think it encourages people to add more content. More importantly, it helps the writers keep track of what's not already in place.
  • Remove the red "unfrozen" warnings.
    • I think this is a good idea. We also need to do a better job of documenting even unfrozen interfaces.
  • Change the Talk page entry from "Login required to edit" to clarify the role of Discussion pages. Will someone read them? Do they matter? Where should questions about articles be directed? And why is the link called Talk but the page called Discussion?
    • Several good questions here, especially the last one.
  • More pointers to more sample code.
    • Yes. We don't have enough sample code, and it needs to be easier to get to. Part of the problem is that it's currently hard to submit sample code. I have thoughts on that (see my ideas above).
  • A low overhead way to ask questions.
    • Yes, we need a way to ask questions easily. I have ideas on this one too.
  • More and better documentation!
    • Really? :D
  • Good XPCOM documentation. Need both a good, thorough reference manual in addition to tutorials.
    • Agreed, but we need someone to write it who actually knows XPCOM well. If someone volunteers to do it, we have lots of talented writers and editors that can pretty it up.
  • Use DekiWiki extensions to build tight integration between documentation, bug tracking, and Mercurial. Bug tracking extension already exists for a few trackers. There is an SVN extension, and that might be easy to change to work with Mercurial.

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Contributors to this page: Pc1oad1etter, Sheppy
Last updated by: Pc1oad1etter,