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Mozilla, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and the W3C have agreed today to unify all their documentation sites under one single roof, on Mozilla's MDN portal.

Previously known as the Mozilla Developer Network, the site has been rebranded today as MDN Web Docs, and will house all web standards-related docs, along with cross-browser usage instructions.

The decision came after more than two decades, during which time developers had to run around different documentation sites, in order to understand how web standards worked and how each rendered in each browser. The new MDN Web Docs site will provide all the information users need on basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript commands, but also on the latest W3C Web APIs.

Microsoft, Google have already started moving docs to MDN

In an announcement today, Microsoft said it already started redirecting over 7,700 MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) pages to the new MDN Web Docs site.

"Over 5000 MDN edits later, the entire web API surface of Microsoft Edge (as of the 10/2017 Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Build 16299) is now documented on MDN," Microsoft said today.

Google, in a similar announcement, revealed that "for the last several years, Chrome has been transitioning its web documentation efforts to MDN."

MDN started in the old Netscape days

According to Mozilla, the MDN portal receives around six million users per month, of which 95% visit documentation pages on web standards and technologies like JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, and the newer Web APIs.

The other 5% visit Firefox and Thunderbird-specific documentation. Mozilla promised today to move the Firefox-specific docs into a separate section of the site, clearly separated from the cross-browser documentation pages.

The MDN portal has over 34,500 documentation pages and over 20,500 contributing users. Mozilla founded the MDN portal in 2005 when the foundation grew out of the old Netscape project. The MDN portal evolved from the old Netscape Navigator browser docs, was initially named the Mozilla Developer Center, and was later rebranded to the Mozilla Developer Network. For who still remembers the browser wars, it's ironic that Microsoft is now moving Edge doc pages to MDN.

Representatives from Mozilla, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and the W3C, have already formed the initial MDN Product Advisory Board, and the organization says it expects other browser vendors and standards bodies to join. Of the big browsers, the missing names are Apple, Opera, and Vivaldi.

Most web developers rejoiced at today's announcement, but others also had counterpoints. One often brought up is MDN's overly technical language and complicated code examples, with many still preferring the old W3Schools service due to its simplicity.

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