MDN Changelog for March 2018

Editor’ s note: A changelog is “ the log or record of all significant changes made to a project. [It] usually includes records associated with changes such as bug fixes, brand new features, etc . ”

Publishing the changelog is kind of a custom in open source, and a long-time practice on the web. We thought visitors of Hacks and folks who make use of and contribute to MDN Web Docs would be interested in learning more about the job of the MDN engineering team, as well as the impact they have in a given 30 days. We’ ll also introduce program code contribution opportunities, interesting projects, plus new ways to participate.

Done in March

Here’ s what happened in 03 to the program code, data, and tools that support MDN Web Docs :

Here’ s the plan pertaining to April:

Improved suitability data at the Hack on MDN event

In Mar, the MDN team focused on the particular Browser Compatibility Data project, conference in Paris with dozens of collaborators for the “ Hack on MDN” event. The work resulted in 221 Pull Requests within the BCD repo , as well as extra work in other repos. See Jean-Yves Perrier’ s Hack on MDN article for details about the tools developed and data updated during the 7 days.

We reviewed plus merged over 250 PRs within March. The compatibility data transformation jumped from 57% to 63% complete. Jeremie Patonnier led the time and effort to convert SVG data ( BCD PR 1371 ). API data seemed to be a focus, both converting the present MDN tables and using other information sources to fill out missing APIs.

There’ s right now 264 open up PRs in the BCD repo, about a month’ s really worth, and the contributions keep coming in. BCD is one of the most active GitHub repositories at Mozilla this year by draw requests (880) and by authors (95), only second to rust (1268 PRs, 267 authors). The rate associated with contributions continue to increase, so BCD may be #1 for Q2 2018.

Graph that shows weekly commits towards the browser-compat-data project growing from regarding 25 commits per week to over sixty per week in March.

Tried brotli compression

Brotli is really a Google-developed compression algorithm designed for providing web assets, which can outperform the particular widely used gzip algorithm. By the end associated with 2017, all major browsers assistance the br content-encoding method, and Florian requested a test of brotli upon MDN in bug 1412891 . Maton Anthony wrote a Python-2 compatible brotli middleware in PR 4686 , with the arrears compression level of 11. This proceeded to go live on March 7th.

Brotli does compress our content material better than gzip. The homepage will go from 36k uncompressed to nine. 5k with gzip to 7k with brotli. The results are much better on wiki pages like CSS display web page , which goes from 144k uncompressed to 20k with gzip and 15k with brotli.

However , brotli was a net-negative for MDN performance. Average reaction time measured at the server had been slower, going from 75 microsoft to 120 ms, due to the improved load of the middleware. Google Analytics showed a 6% improvement within page download time (1 microsoft better), but a 23% drop in average server response period (100 ms worse). We noticed no benefit in static possessions, because CloudFront handles gzip compression setting and ignores brotli.

Antony adjusted to compression degree 5 ( Kuma PR 4712 ), which usually a Condition of Brotli article tested to be comparable to gzip nine in compression time but still leads to smaller assets. When this proceeded to go live on March 26th, we noticed similar results, with our response time for pre-brotli levels, but with a slight enhancement in HTML size when br had been used.

Graph of average server reaction time from New Relic, displaying a doubling from about fifty ms to 100 ms close to March 7, then back to fifty ms after March 21. inch width=

When we ship CloudFront in April, the CDN is going to take care of compression, and brotli goes away again. It looks like a good technology, but requires a CDN that will supports it, and works best having a “ pre-compress” workflow rather than a “ when requested” middleware workflow, meaning it won’ t be a great fit for MDN for a while.

Shipped tweaks and repairs

There were 370 PRs merged in March:

137 of these were from new contributors:

Additional significant PRs:

Planned for 04

We’ ll become busy in April with the outcome of the Hack on MDN occasion , reviewing PRs and switching prototypes into production code. We’ ll continue working on our various other projects as well.

Obtain HTML interactive examples ready for manufacturing

The interactive illustrations are transitioning from rapid testing to a shipping feature. Will Bamberg published Getting interactive examples to MDN in March, which information how this project went through idea to implementation.

The interactive examples team may firm up the code and procedures, to build a better foundation for contributing factors and for future support. At the same time, they are going to firm up the design for HTML illustrations, which often require a mix of CSS plus HTML to illustrate usage.

Ship the CDN plus Django 1 . 11

Ryan Johnson finished up caching headers for the 60 or so MDN endpoints, and he and Dave Parfitt additional CloudFront in front of the staging site. We’ ll spend some time with automated plus manual testing, and then reconfigure manufacturing to also be behind a CDN.

We’ ve skipped the April 1 deadline for your Django 1 . 11 update. We all plan to focus on the minimum jobs needed to update in April, and can defer other tasks, like upgrading out-of-date but compatible 3rd-party your local library, until later.

Enhance the front-end developer experience

Schalk Neethling has had some time to learn the front-end code of MDN, using tools like Sonarwhal plus Chrome devtools’ performance and system panels to find performance issues confronted by Chrome visitors to MDN. He’ s put together a list of changes which he think will improve development and efficiency.

Analyzing the performance of developer. mozilla. org with Chrome developer equipment, showing how long it takes to down load assets, run javascript, etc . JS starts running around 1 second, as well as the page is ready around three or more seconds.

1 quick win is to replace FontAwesome’ s custom font face along with SVG symbols . Instead of loading all the symbols in a single file, only the icons utilized by a page will be loaded. The SVG will be included in the HTML, avoiding extra HTTP requests. SVG icons are usually automatically scaled, so they will look great on all devices. This should furthermore improve the development experience. It’ s i9000 easy to make mistakes when using character encodings like "f108020eae6" , and much clearer to use names such as "icon-ie icon-mobile" .

Schalk is thinking of other challenges to front-end advancement, and how to bring in current tools plus techniques. He’ s cleaning up program code to make it more consistent, and formalizing the rules in MDN Fiori , a front end style guide and pattern collection. This may be the first step to switching to some UI component structure, such as React .

A bigger improvement would be upgrading the front-end build pipeline. MDN’ s build system was developed in years past (by Python developers) when JavaScript was less mature, and the program hasn’ t kept up. Webpack is widely used to bundle program code and assets for deployment, plus a new pipeline could allow programmers to use a broader ecosystem of equipment like Babel to write modern JavaScript.

Finally, we still look for the right way to test JavaScript. We’ re currently using Selenium in order to automate testing in a browser atmosphere. We’ ve had issues obtaining a stable set of tools for consistent Selenium testing, and it has proven to be too heavy intended for unit testing of JavaScript. Schalk has had good experiences with Jest , plus wants to start testing MDN Javascript with Jest in April.

John is a web developer focusing on the engine of MDN Internet Docs

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