Sunday, February 3, 2013

Developer Experience Hackfest

I arrived back in Chicago today after attending the Developer Experience hackfest. While I was there I worked with the developer documentation group. As Allan Day mentioned in his post, he and I drafted some basic tutorial pages and worked with Federico Mena Quintero to make a new outline of the platform overview.

The first tutorial Allan and I worked on outlines the process of creating a GNOME application, and the second introduces new developers to GNOME APIs. Rather than presenting all of the APIs we tried to list what new developers were likely to use, and to list those in according to importance. After the initial drafts of those were finished, Allan worked on editing the API overview while I added some content to the "Writing Your First GNOME Application" page.

While Jakub and Allan worked on making the site responsive, I wrote some new Beginner's Tutorials for JavaScript. The JavaScript beginner pages were lacking eight tutorials that are available in Python and Vala, so I decided to start by writing those. I finished six of the eight, and I will work on getting the other two done, and all of them properly formatted and annotated when we have our next Chicago GNOME hackfest on February 16th.

Our whole group also worked together on the mockups for the GNOME Developer Center. We had several new ideas which I think will really improve the resources for coding, including making all of the API documentation available as a single download (perhaps available in the SDK download). Another idea that I thought was particularly good is adding code search to the online API documentation so developers can easily find existing code in git.gnome.org to use as a reference. The idea here is to possibly use the re2 library, which Google open sourced after it shut down Google Code Search.

Overall I felt that the hackfest was very productive. It was clear that there were a lot of different opinions on various topics, but still there was great focus and a determination to compromise in order to get things done.

Thanks to the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring me and to BetaGroup Coworking for providing the space. It was fantastic to see everyone -- see you all at GUADEC :)

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