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Web Platform Dot Org: How you can contribute

Ryan Boudreaux introduces the brand new project, announced by the W3C, that brings developers together to contribute to a cross-brand, cross-browser, and cross-platform web developer documentation source.

A community of cross-platform, cross-brand, and cross-browser developers are contributing to the Web Platform.org project where anyone can contribute. The Web Platform is a collection of stewards from various disciplines, which was recently announced by the W3C to collaborate on a new community-driven website dedicated to becoming a comprehensive and authoritative source for web developer documentation. Its catch-phrase, "Your Web, documented!", sums up their mission.

The W3C announced the Web Platform on October 8th as a collaboration between Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia, Opera, and the W3C itself as a single resource for current, cross-browser, cross-platform, and cross-device documentation for best coding practices including the following:

  • How to use each feature of the Open Web Platform, with syntax and examples;
  • The interoperability of various technologies across platforms and devices;
  • The standardization status of each technology specification;
  • The stability and implementation status of features.

The documentation

According to the W3C, anyone can contribute content to Web Platform Docs (WPD). The organizations above - collectively known as the stewards - have launched the new site with initial documents contributed as raw material for the community to shape. The W3C will serve as the site's purveyor, and as the Open Web Platform evolves, the entire community, including the original stewards and new stewards, will help maintain and improve the content. All materials on the site will be freely available and licensed to foster sharing and reuse.

The WPD aims to become a comprehensive and authoritative source for web developer documentation including topics such as Accessibility, Concepts, CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and SVG. They also offer a starting place for novice web developers, which includes a set of articles for complete beginners to work through in confidence, building up their essential skills at the beginning of the journey to becoming a web designer or developer.

The Web Platform "Hot Topics" list also includes:

How to contribute?

If you are interested in contributing to the WPD, you should register first, and then verify your email address. The WPD: Getting Started Guide is your best bet for getting used to the contribution tasks. Contribution tasks can be anywhere from five minutes to half an hour, to half a day.

The flow chart in Figure B shows the steps to contributing content to the WPD:

5-minute tasks

Five minute tasks include correcting grammar and spelling mistakes, filling in missing information, reviewing biased content, and setting appropriate flags, among others.

Half-hour tasks

These range from providing new examples, to merging duplicate articles, to filling in stubs and cleaning up imported content -- and more.

Half-day tasks

Of course these are more detailed and include merging articles, splitting articles, writing new articles, suggesting new topics, improving internal documentation, and more.

Other resources

In addition to the documentation which is the main purpose of the Web Platform.org, it also has a forum which includes recent questions and answers, a blog with recent articles on the progress of the site, a chat section which uses your IRC client, and tutorials providing hands-on lessons about implementing web technology.

And for you web graphic developers, in an effort to "stay in touch" they have suggested remixing their logo and linking back to their site. The Web Platform graphical logo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license, CC-BY 3.0 Unported, and the unadorned graphic is available to the community for re-use and remixing.

While the Web Platform site is in "Alpha" due to its early stages, there already exists a substantial amount of content and it will be interesting to see how it evolves as they welcome contributions and substance from the web developer community.

About

Ryan has performed in a broad range of technology support roles for electric-generation utilities, including nuclear power plants, and for the telecommunications industry. He has worked in web development for the restaurant industry and the Federal g...

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