Kuma Report, July 2017
- Shipped the new design to all users
- Shipped the sample database
- Shipped tweaks and fixes
Here’s the plan for August:
- Continue the redesign and interactive examples
- Update localization of macros
- Establish maintenance mode in AWS
Done in July
Shipped the New Design to All Users
In June, we revealed the new MDN web docs design to beta testers. In July, Stephanie Hobson and Schalk Neethling fixed many bugs, adjusted styles, shipped the homepage redesign, and answered a lot of feedback. The new design was shipped to all MDN Web Docs users on July 25, and the old design files were retired.
The redesign was a big change, with some interesting problems that called for creative solutions. For details, see Stephanie’s blog post, The MDN Redesign “Behind the Scenes”.
Shipped the Sample Database
The sample database project, started in May 2016, finally shipped in July.
Data is an important part of Kuma development. With the code and backing services you get the home page, and not much else. To develop features or test changes, you often need wiki pages, historical revisions, waffle flags, constance settings, tags, search topics, users and groups. Staff developers could download a 2 GB anonymized production database, wait 30 minutes for it to load, and then they would have a useful dev environment. Contributors had to manually copy data from production, and usually didn’t bother. The sample database has a small but representative data set, suitable for 90% of development tasks, and takes less than a minute to download and install.
The sample database doesn’t have all the data on MDN, to keep it small. There are now scraping tools for adding more production data to your development database. This is especially useful for development and testing of KumaScript macros, which often require specific pages.
Finally, integration testing is challenging because non-trivial testing requires some known data to be present, such as specific pages and editor accounts. Now, a testing deployment can combine new code with the sample database, and automated browser-based tests can verify new and old functionality. Some tests can change the data, and the sample data can be reloaded to a known state for the next test.
Shipped Tweaks and Fixes
There were many PRs merged in July:
- 44 mozilla/kuma PRs
- 36 mdn/interactive-examples PRs
- 29 mdn/kumascript PRs
- 22 mdn/browser-compat-data PRs
- 22 mdn/doc-linter-webextension PRs
- 4 mdn/data PRs
- Kuma PR 4338: Move the locale files from kuma to their own repository, mozilla-l10n/mdn-l10n, from John Whitlock. This will allow for the higher volume of locale changes when KumaScript string are added, without requiring unnecessary source builds.
- Interactive Examples PR 156: Update to publishing to S3, fixing issue #54, from Schalk Neethling. The S3 bucket, resources, and process were set up by Dave Parfitt, with details in mozmeao/infra issue #362.
- Kumascript PR 220: Update specification names and URLs. This is the first contribution from Domenic Denicola.
- Kumascript PR 231: Add Ukrainian (uk) translations for the Glossary macro. Another first contribution, from Віталій Крутько.
- Kumascript PR 241:
Fix API calls such as
page.subpagesExpand, making more macros work in the Docker development and production environments, from Ryan Johnson
- Kumascript PR 248: The first of many PRs adding Brazilian Portuguese (pt-BR) from first time contributor Fernandolrs.
- Browser Compat Data PR 278: Edge does support iterator, according to the first-time contributor Flor Braz.
- Browser Compat Data PR 286: There’s no such thing as IE 15, according to first-time contributor Caleb Eggensperger.
- Browser Compat Data PR 301: Add MS Edge support for localization, from first-time contributor Yordan Darakchiev.
- Data PR 99: Add schema validation for groups parameter, from Sebastian Zartner
Planned for August
Continue the redesign and the interactive examples
We’ve established the new look-and-feel of MDN on the homepage and article pages, and will continue to tweak the design for corner cases and bugs. For the next phase, we’ll look at the content of article pages, and consider better ways to display information and to navigate within and between pages. It is harder to change these aspects than global headers and footers, so it may be a while before you see the fruits of this design process.
Work continues on the interactive examples. They have gone through several review and bug fix cycles, and have a working production deployment system. There’s been interest and work to enable contributions (Issue 99). In August, we’ll launch user testing, and enable the new examples for beta testers. See the projects page for the remaining work.
Update Localization of Macros
Currently, KumaScript macros use in-macro localization strings and utility functions like getLocalString to localize output for three to five languages. Meanwhile, user interface strings in Kuma are translated in Pontoon into 57 languages. We’d like to use a similar workflow for strings in macros.
In August, we’ll assemble the toolchain for localizing strings at render time, and for extracting the localizable strings for translation in Pontoon. Converting the macros to use localizable strings will be a long process, but there’s a lot of community interest in translations, so we should get some help.
Establish Maintenance Mode in AWS
Over the past 12 months, we’ve made some changes to MDN development, such as switching to a Docker development environment, moving Kumascript macros to Github, and getting our browser-based integration tests working. There are benefits to each of these, but they were chosen because they move us closer to our long term goal of serving MDN from AWS. We’ve slowly filled out our tech tree from our AWS plan:
In August, we plan to prepare a maintenance mode deployment in AWS, and send some production traffic to it. This will allow us to model the resources needed when the production environment is hosted in AWS. It will also keep MDN data available while the production database is transferred, when we finalize the transition.