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Write the Docs Podcast episode 11: Exploring the Mozilla Developer Network's Web Docs project

by Tom Johnson on Nov 28, 2017
categories: wtd-podcasts

In this episode of the Write the Docs podcast, we chat with Kadir Topal, product manager for Mozilla Developer Network Web Docs project, about how they manage their large body of documentation for web developers. The MDN project provides standards-based documentation around web development topics (for example, HTML, CSS, and JS) intended for web developers, with the goal of producing consistent experiences for users across web browsers. Kadir gives us an inside look into the challenges, goals, and roadmap with this project.

Here are some of the questions discussed during the podcast:

  • What motivations do participants have for contributing to MDN docs?
  • How does MDN’s web doc initiative differ from Stack Overflow’s documentation project?
  • How does MDN’s web docs differ from documentation on W3C Schools?
  • What reasoning is behind the decision to use wiki platforms instead of GitHub repos?
  • How are you integrating into web dev IDEs to provide real-time linting/validation during coding?
  • How does conceptual documentation differ from action-oriented documentation, and which is more suitable for the web developer audience?
  • How can users contribute to the MDN?
  • How do you manage all the volunteers and edits across thousands of MDN pages?
  • How do you keep the project funded?
  • What’s the ultimate goal of the MDN documentation?

For more detail, see Mozilla brings Microsoft, Google, the W3C, Samsung together to create cross-browser documentation on MDN. In this article, the authors note:

In this year alone, 8,021 users made 76,203 edits, greatly increasing the scope and quality of the content. Cross-browser documentation contributions include input from writers at Google and Microsoft; Microsoft writers have made more than 5,000 edits so far in 2017.

You can follow Kadir at @atopal on Twitter and read his blog at

You can also view this content on the Write the Docs podcast site. See Subscribe to the podcast for ways to follow the podcast.

About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm an API technical writer based in the Seattle area. On this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, AI, information architecture, content strategy, writing processes, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation course if you're looking for more info about documenting APIs. Or see my posts on AI and AI course section for more on the latest in AI and tech comm.

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