10th Anniversary Mozilla Developer Network

Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) is an open and collaborative learning platform for Web technologies (HTML, CSS and JavaScript). MDN goes beyond providing essential coding information; it addresses developers’ needs through its supporting community of volunteer developers, with the aim of inspiring ideas, encouraging collaboration and ultimately, fostering the growth of the open Web. For a wide range of Web developers, from learners to hobbyists to full‐time professionals, MDN provides useful explanations for coding practice, instructions on downloading and building code, articles on how the code works. It also gives guidance on how to build add‐ons for Mozilla applications and apps for Firefox OS, user‐submitted runnable demos of Web technologies, and helpful answers on development planning and strategy.

Openness is central to MDN, in that anyone can create an account to edit the content, and anyone can copy and reuse the content, under its Creative Commons (Attribution‐Share‐Alike) license. Likewise, anyone can join in discussions about planning and task management, via publicly accessible tools. This openness has coalesced a community of volunteer contributors that extends far beyond the small staff who keep pace with the rapid release cycle of Mozilla’s flagship browser. The online collaboration also manifests in face‐to‐face events such as monthly MDN‐focused meet‐ups in Mozilla’s London and Paris offices (joined by a video conference link), and other ad‐hoc gatherings that members may take initiative to throw.

Currently, MDN has over 4 million users per month and more than 1000 volunteer editors per month, worldwide. In July 2015, MDN will celebrate its 10th anniversary, as the original MDN wiki site launched on 23 July, 2005.

 

“Never memorize something that you can look up.” —Albert Einstein
He would have greatly appreciated MDN.
— Brian Blakely

 

Chronology

2005: Mozilla obtained a license from AOL to use content from Netscape’s DevEdge site. The DevEdge content was mined for still‐useful material, which was then migrated by volunteers into a wiki so it would be easier to update and maintain. The new wiki was launched in July 2005 as Mozilla Developer Center (MDC), also known as “devmo,” shorthand for its domain name, “developer.mozilla.org.”

2010: The name was changed to Mozilla Developer Network (MDN), reflecting the site’s growth into a nexus for all developer documentation related to the Mozilla Project and open web technologies.

2011: A “Demo Studio” section was added for web developers to share and show off their code, along with learning pages to provide links to tutorials.

2014: The basic learning pages have been expanded into “Learn the Web” content for beginning web developers, including a web terminology glossary, which Mozilla staff and volunteers will continue to develop over the next few years.

 

Key facts

  • Original MDN wiki site launched on 23 July, 2005
  • Today it is one of the richest resources on the Web for documentation with 34,500 documents and climbing
  • Currently MDN has about 4,2 million users per month
  • More than 20,000 contributors have made about 510,000 edits to date
  • 1000+ people edit MDN every month
  • So far, MDN editors created 13,200 English pages and made 21,200 translations in 42 locales
  • 142 HTML elements documented, including all standard elements in HTML5, still‐ experimental ones like <dialog>, and never‐standard, deprecated ones like <blink> (for historical reference).
  • 275 CSS properties documented, covering 60+ CSS‐related specifications, many of which are still being defined for example, writing‐mode, which controls whether lines of text are horizontal (such as for Latin and most other alphabets) or vertical (for Japanese and Chinese characters)
  • 300+ web terminology glossary
  • 90+ articles for complete beginners and learners in the “Learn the Web” section, e.g. explaining the basic difference between a webpage, a website, a web server, and a search engine.

 

Further information