MDN/Archives/Community meetings/2011/2011-10-26

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  • Feedback requested on School of Webcraft badge challenge ideas (see below)
  • Idea: Periodic "What's new in docs?" post on Hacks, highlighting docs that have been recently created or updated. Track in etherpad, then discuss at this meeting, and publish shortly after.
    • Preference from those at the meeting was to track content in an etherpad, rather than on the wiki. First one is here:
    • Going to try alternating weeks with Wiki Wednesday posts (each one every two weeks).
  • Renaming "Gecko DOM Reference", as discussed in this discussion thread, to "DOM Reference".
    • Agreed

School of Webcraft Challenges

Folks from the P2PU School of Webcraft have asked for feedback on learner challenges. The beginner challenges are up on the site, and some intermediate challenges have been proposed on the p2pu-webcraft mailing list. If you have some time to look at these and provide feedback, it would be greatly appreciated. You can email your comments to jswisher at mozilla dot com, and I will consolidate and forward the feedback.


Proposed Intermediate

From an email from Jessy Kate Schingler:

Challenges Ideas (note: these are targeted at intermediate web developers)

  • writing scrapers and parsers for large/messy unstructured data. for example, taking the plain text transcripts from a senate hearing and parsing it into a structured form that identifies and associated speakers with their spoken text, and possibly brings in other data about each speaker from a secondary source.
  • examining an existing site/module/library, and identifying architectural, design, or deployment choices that are likely to result in a bottleneck/crash during scaling or high load. what component of the site in question would be the limiting factor? why? for example, would it be bandwidth? number of connections? database speed? a really inefficient loop? how could these expected bottlenecks/load issues be addressed?
  • design an API from scratch (either design-only or design and implement): for example, pick a site you think is cool, that has an API (but one that you are not familiar with). without looking at what they have done, write out a design for what you think the API should look like - what function calls and features would it support? what should the API calls look like? what format would the returned data be in? after you're done, compare with what the existing site has, and compare/contrast.
  • identify 10 things that cannot be done on the web today. what are they, why are they not possible, what could be done to make them possible.
  • an import/export tool-- for example, write an import tool that grabs all your tweets and imports them as wordpress posts. (this gets at the idea but would prefer to make it more useful). the idea would be to get at working with larger data, working with data you can't control, and having to work with/convert between interfaces that others have designed.
  • write code/pseudocode for bluetooth pairing using the android API
  • pick your favourite website. what browser standards is it compatible with? which ones is it NOT compatible with? are there simple changes you could make, to make it compliant?
  • pick a site you like that does not have a mobile version. grab a snapshot of their page and any necessary css and js files being used. then modify the design locally to produce a proper mobile version of the site.

Help (aka, where i could use your feedback!):

  • do these challenges seem interesting? fun? too much work? imagining they were fleshed out in a more detail, do they seem self-contained/manageable enough? too big?
  • are they at the right level for an intermediate challenge?
  • should we explicitly design challenges to be composed (using the output from one as the input to another)?
  • do you have suggestions for incorporating game mechanics and incentives as we flesh these out?
  • who evaluates challenge content once submitted?
  • anything else that comes to mind!