​Developers rejoice: Microsoft, Google, Mozilla are putting all their web API docs in one place

Browser makers have agreed to make Mozilla's MDN Web Docs the prime repository for information about web APIs.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Three big browser makers have agreed to put their cross-browser documentation on the Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) wiki.

Mozilla's MDN Web Docs will now be home to documentation about web APIs and information on Chrome, Edge, and Firefox rather than its historic role as a resource for just Firefox. The site contains information and help for web developers covering JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and various web APIs.

Having a single repository should make it simpler for developers to access cross-browser documentation.

Representatives from Mozilla, Google, the W3C, and Samsung are now on a new MDN Product Advisory Board that aims to ensure MDN will have browser-agnostic documentation.

Microsoft says it will soon start redirecting its web API reference library from the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) site to MDN Web Docs and has already been backfilling the site's browser compatibility tables with details about its Edge browser. Currently all web APIs in Edge are documented on MDN Web Docs.

In preparation for the shared repository, Mozilla in July renamed MDN to MDN Web Docs to de-emphasize "Mozilla" and reflect the site's wider relevance than its products, such as Firefox, Gecko and Add-ons. As part of the effort to make it a browser-neutral space, Mozilla separated product documentation from web documentation.

Google has been moving its web API documentation to MDN for several years, and will now additionally invest in interoperability tests for the web, and build new infrastructure to help browser developers find bugs and missing APIs between implementations.

Mozilla's vision for MDN is for it to become the "most comprehensive, complete, and trusted reference documenting the most important aspects of modern browsers and web standards."

The product advisory board can provide recommendations regarding content strategy and site features, however Mozilla has the final say on decisions.

According to Mozilla, MDN content is growing and improving, with 8,021 users having written 76,203 edits this year alone, with 5,000 edits coming from Microsoft writers.

Notably missing from the advisory board is a representative from Apple, however Mozilla notes additional members may be added in future.

Microsoft will continue to maintain its own documentation pages for guidance specific to Windows and Microsoft. It will also continue updating Edge status, chaneglogs, and news at the Microsoft edge Developer site.

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