Have you any specific data to backup your decision to blog documentation versus documenting documentation? Polls? Research studies? Feedback from users that say “yes, I love to jump all over blogs rather than look in a manual”. Is this anything other than a unilateral decision, or a new “trendy” tradition, or Mozilla-internal cultural phenomenon?
What I am hearing are irrational justification (excuses). While it is acknowledged that standardized documentation (when it is of the detail and quality of which you guys are absolutely capable), is easier to access for most people, the decision is to continue to make things difficult for the majority, rather than inconvenience a few people who like to be inefficient and disorganized. No, we will not stop blogging our documentation, hurrah! But maybe we will add some of that info to MDN from our blogs, but oh wait, that would be too much work, boo, hiss!
Yet more excellent reasons to adopt just about any other browser platform than Mozilla. It’s like Mozilla is actively trying to drive away developers. You guys are really not not listening to, hearing, or heeding the feedback of the addon developers. The only reason that users still use this browser platform is for addons, so your strategy, drive away all the addon developers by adopting the most insane environment possible. Have you ever read this article? Writing Extensions for Firefox Is Barely Worth the Trouble This article is 2 years old, yet my experience with the documentation is just as relevant, which means you guys are still not getting the message.
However, I am here to honor my choice to help out someone with an addon, and to learn more about the process (for better or worse). So I will just have to shrug. These are my takeaways. Mozilla is unreliable and uninterested in the quality of the addon developer experience when it comes to documentation and long term support and viability of the project, and gleefully and proudly jeopardizes the future in exchange for rock-star blogger status. In many regards, Mozilla suffers from a complete and utter failure with addon developer relations.
Sorry if I sound harsh, but it is born out of a frustration of a long-standing problem not being addressed and proactively ignored. As a person in a position of addon relations leadership, we rely on you to take feedback, and advocate for change within the organization, rather than dictate policy based on flimsy rationale and blatantly ignore criticism. I respect the work and contributions here at Mozilla by so many staff and volunteers.
As just some random peon, what can I possibly do to address this problem more proactively? Does the doc team need some grunt to wade through blogs and collate results? Maybe develop some semi-automated tools which can detect blogs of high interest, to help optimize the process of capturing this valuable information into documentation? If I have experienced anything with Mozilla as a casual observer over the years, it has been an overwhelming tendency that each group becomes more and more entrenched in unproductive and unhelpful practices, and less willing to cooperate with one another (many kings of many hills), which discourages people from wanting to contribute, because who needs the aggravation of fighting an uphill battle against an organizational culture of dysfunction.