Mozilla Updates and Renames MDN
Written by Lucy Black   
Thursday, 08 June 2017

Mozilla Developer Network, generally referred to as MDN, is preparing for a new brand identity and a new look for its site, along with more content and additional features. Mozilla is inviting feedback from beta testers so if you don't like the proposed logo sign up and have your say.


MDN is Mozilla's multilingual resource for web documentation. It goes back a long way. Building on the basis of the former Netscape DevEdge documentation, it was originally known as MDC standing for Mozilla Developer Center and became Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) in 2010.

MDN last had a front end redesign in 2013 and by the time of its 10th anniversary in 2015 contained 34,500 documents in 42 languages and locales. Since then the number of languages and locales has increased to 49 but the number of contributors appears to have declined dramatically - going from 20,567 in 2015 to 8,626 now.

In announcing the change of name, MDN Web Docs, Kadir Topal writes:

MDN is clearly a web documentation reference, and in no way is it a developer network.

On the current MDN site however, on the page inviting us to join the MDN community we read:

MDN (which is an abbreviation for Mozilla Developer Network) is more than a wiki: It's a community of developers working together to make MDN an outstanding resource for developers who use open Web technologies.

Topal's post continues:

“Mozilla Developer Network” simply isn’t accurate. Furthermore, pretty much no one refers to MDN as “Mozilla Developer Network.” It’s always “MDN.” However, there is a lot of love for the name “MDN” and we don’t want to get rid of all of that, which is why we’re ... keeping the iconic abbreviation and commonly used name, while no longer using the words that the acronym used to stand for. We’re not getting rid of MDN, we’re being clear about what it is – it’s MDN Web Docs.

He also provides an early look at is new logo:


Personally, I find the new name a good compromise - it preserves the familiar MDN (which is no longer going to be an acronym) and makes explicit that it is a resource centred on all aspects of the web and not just Mozilla documentation but not the stark black and white of the logo and its spindly serifed font. Let's hope the beta testers for the redesigned site manage to introduce improvements.

Noting that 95% of traffic to the current site goes to Web documentation, Topal explains how the new design will include:

splitting out the navigation for the product documentation so that MDN can be fully dedicated to helping people find the Web docs they need. We will also be investigating ways to ensure that search results direct users  to exactly what they were looking for without confusing Web and product documentation.

Already the MDN site has been experimenting with new features to help Web developers, such as putting examples at the tops of articles, and editable code snippets within articles. More experiments are to be expected and developers who are interested in the future of MDN are encouraged to get involved and provide feedback via its Discourse discussion board.

If you want to be a beta tester all you have to do is log in to your MDN account, edit your profile and select the new Beta tester checkbox. 







More Information

The Future of MDN: A Focus on Web Docs

Related Articles

Mozilla Developer Network Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Mozilla Developer Network Redesign


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 June 2017 )