WPD:FAQ

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What does it mean for the site to be in alpha?

We are using the term “alpha” to indicate that Web Platform Docs is in its early stages. The stewards have already donated a substantial amount of content to get Web Platforms Docs off to a good start, but we still have a long way to go before the site evolves into a comprehensive resource for web developer documentation. All of us at Web Platform Docs wanted to open up the site as early as possible so that the entire web community can help shape the content and set the direction for the site. Over time, the goal is for the site to become the comprehensive and authoritative source of web documentation.

Is this a content aggregation site?

No, Web Platform Docs is not a content aggregation site. While the stewards have contributed a lot of pre-existing content, Web Platform Docs will also soon include fresh original content that is produced by both the original stewards and web community volunteers.

What principles guide the management of the site?

The webplatform.org WPD:Pillars lists a small number of principles intended to guide the development and maintenance of the site.

Who writes the content on the site?

Web Platform Docs is a collaborative wiki, in the same vein as Wikipedia. Anyone is allowed to edit it and improve it. If you're interested in helping out, please see the getting started guide.

Do you plan to have information in multiple languages on the site?

Yes! We want to make sure that content on Web Platform Docs is available in many languages. If you are interested in helping us localize some of the content, please drop us a note at public-webplatform@w3.org.

How do the stewards relate to the site?

The role of stewards is intentionally limited in favor of self-governance by the community. Stewards focus primarily on facilitating the long-term operation of Web Platform Docs. In practice, this means that stewards provide Web Platform Docs with funding and relevant infrastructure, while helping the community address issues that may arise that the community is not able to address. The stewards do not manage the content of the site, nor do they define the processes the community adopts to manage itself, unless requested to do so by the community. Although some representatives of the stewards participate in developing the site, they do so as peers of other members of the community.

Who provides the funds to run the site?

The Stewardship Committee provided funds to create, launch, and maintain the site. Any organization or individual may join the Stewardship Committee. W3C plays the role of administrator of the funds to ensure the site is available.

How can I become a steward?

To become a steward, an organization must complete an agreement (PDF) with the W3C. See also the Stewardship Charter, which governs steward roles and responsibilities. For more information, contact Doug Schepers at team-devrel@w3.org.

What technology is the site implemented on?

webplatform.org is completely built on open source technologies.

Web Platform Docs uses MediaWiki (which also powers Wikipedia) to run. It uses the Semantic MediaWiki and Semantic Forms extensions to apply more structure to the content and make it easier to edit.

Our Blog is built on WordPress.

What's the difference between Web Platform Docs and WebPlatform.org?

Web Platform Docs is a sub-component of the larger webplatform.org site, and is focused specifically on high-quality documentation for the Open Web Platform. Over time, webplatform.org will grow to encompass additional functionality.

What will happen to existing documentation sites?

In the short term, stewards with existing developer documentation sites will each make their own determination about managing content in both places. As Web Platform Docs matures and supports all the features needed by individual stewards, the stewards intend for it to gain acceptance as the authoritative and comprehensive web site for web developer documentation. As that happens, stewards may choose to place priority on Web Platform Docs content.

Where does the content come from?

The initial group of stewards has already provided thousands of web documentation articles to Web Platform Docs. As the community around the site grows, we expect the content developed by the community and hosted on the site to grow substantially.

How does this site differ from existing sites?

Web Platform Docs is an effort to create a single authoritative and comprehensive site for web developer documentation, supported by leading technology companies, convened by W3C, and managed and driven by the web community at large. As such it is very different from vendor-specific sites that tend to mostly cover the implementation of web technologies on that vendor’s operating system, browser, or devices. Other sites strive to collect information about multiple browsers by having individuals or groups test compatibility. Web Platform Docs provides a single place for browser makers to contribute this type of information directly, so that energy and effort can be freed for helping Web developers in other ways.

Why/how did you choose the browsers listed in the browser compatibility tables?

There are so many browsers available that we could have listed in our browser compatibility tables, but we had to narrow down the list. We couldn't possibly list them all and hope to keep the information up to date and error free. Some browsers are big in certain countries/locales but not so useful from a worldwide point of view. And functionality to allow people to enter new browser support info into the tables would have been complicated and error-prone (we did look into this).

We chose our final list based on the browsers we thought would be the most common options developers worldwide would want to know about/test against. Bear in mind that webplatform.org does not specialize in testing/compatibility. There are specialized websites such as caniuse.com, mobilehtml5.org and quirksmode.org that specialize in such data.

Where can I report bugs I find on the site?

To file bugs on webplatform, use the Project Management page. Read our filing bugs page for more information.

What is the scope of content for this site?

In a word, we expect a broad scope about Web technology. However, we do have some expectations:

  • We anticipate an early emphasis on client-side open web technologies, but the scope is not limited to those (see next FAQ question for more).
  • Technologies covered will include W3C Specifications but also technologies from other organizations.
  • The site is not for the development of new specifications; please consider a W3C Community Groups if you wish to work on new Web technology.

Will this site include information on server-side languages, like PHP, Perl, Ruby, Python, etc.?

See above. We plan to concentrate mostly on client-side technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, on some fundamental Internet technologies and protocols like HTTP, TCP/IP, and on some “hybrid” technologies that are both client- and server-side, like WebRTC.

If we tried to cover all server-side languages in depth, as well as all client side languages, the site would just become unmaintainable. Plus there are really good resources out there already for a lot of server-side languages.

However, because they are useful concepts, we do plan to include very basic introductory information on server-side languages, then link off to other sites for more in-depth coverage.

See the article on server-side languages for more details.

How does webplatform.org influence W3C specifications?

At the current time there is no formal connection between the two. However, W3C does anticipate that greater community involvement in W3C via webplatform.org will be a net benefit for all, through discussions and feedback.

If you are interested in developing use cases and requirements for new Web technology, please consider starting a W3C Community Group. Community Groups are free to anyone and provide additional services for specification development, notably a patent policy designed to help make Web technology Royalty-Free for all.

Can I translate articles on WPD?

Yes. You can find instructions of submitting translations on our translations page.

For more information, please contact Chris Mills via the webplatform mailing list.