Are you a web developer trying to create awesomeness using the power of code? If so, obviously, you are not alone. There are numerous talented developers like you, fighting evil monsters that wish to destroy the Internet, and at the same time using their coding skills to create a better browsing experience for the world!

However, let me ask you: what exactly is your specialization? PHP? JavaScript? Obviously CSS and HTML? Did I hear Perl, Ruby or Python?

I guess the point is clear: there are numerous languages out there, each with its own pros and cons, and as a developer, keeping up with the trends in technology can often be confusing. This is where development and design blogs come in: you simply subscribe to a blog, and that’s it! All the latest updates from the world of design and development right at your finger-tips!

However, what if, apart from updates, you need proper tutorials and theoretical info that only an encyclopedia or a wiki can provide? What if there existed a platform (not exactly a blog), which provided you with tutorials, wiki and other detailed how-to type documentation about your preferred specialization? What if you could find trustworthy documentation about PHP and CSS under one roof? Have no fear; WebPlatform is here!

So, what is it all about? Read on as we take a look!

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WebPlatform.org What, How, And Why?

Sure, I can describe WebPlatform.org using my awesome writing skills (I probably will later in this article anyway), but for now, let’s first allow the WebPlatform guys to speak for themselves:

WebPlatform.org will have accurate, up-to-date, comprehensive references and tutorials for every part of client-side development and design, with quirks and bugs revealed and explained. It will have in-depth indicators of browser support and interoperability, with links to tests for specific features.

What does it mean? Allow me to explain (I told you, I will do it anyway).

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Basically, WebPlatform is a collaboration between the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and other major web companies. It is a community centric website that will offer knowledgeable information for anyone who has anything to do with web development. Thus, if you are looking for tutorials or wiki documentation about a particular aspect of web development, WebPlatform aims to be your one-stop shop. The website has the backing of, obviously W3C, as well as Web Platform Stewards (which includes, among others, the likes of Facebook, Opera, Google, Mozilla, Nokia, Microsoft and HP). Oh yes, that’s good company to keep!

As of now, the website is still in its initial stages and thus, most of the plans are in future tense (alternatively: more awesomeness shall be coming your way; just wait and watch). The website plans to offer best practices for developers, standardization norms for various specifications, feature implementation and other related updates, as well as the ever-popular usage tutorials. Furthermore, all of this content shall be offered in a wiki format, thereby allowing the website to foster a community centric approach. Currently, the website is offering content related to SVG, CSS, HTML, JavaScript, Media Queries, WebGL, and few others. However, as time progresses, more and more topics and sub-topics are likely to be added. Also, WebPlatform has not forgotten the absolute newbies either.

We shall now take a look at two of the major segments of the website in detail.

The Documentation

As noted above, the Documentation is in wiki format and comes with a community driven model. It provides you information about using features of the Open Web, details related to platforms and devices, as well as standardization and stability norms.

Let us take a look at the HTML section, for instance. You get the usual information such as a summary and the history, quickly followed by usage guides and technical information.

Keeping in mind that the project itself is still in its Alpha stage, the progress surely seems remarkable. HTML section has sub-segments of its own, such as APIs, Attributes, Data Types, Elements, and so on. Again, apart from technical and theoretical details, there is also a section for tutorials. The tutorials, however, are not uniformly spread as of now: then again, the product itself is in its formative stages, and by the time WebPlatform reaches Beta, the tutorials section will have improved significantly.

The Forums

The forum, or the Q & A Section, lets you discuss topics related to web development with other fellow members of the community. Again, the activity level on the website is not extraordinary (you will have a hard time finding questions with over 3 replies). However, the few replies that your question will get, they will not be off-topic or misleading. In short: fewer replies, but more useful replies.

Let us pick up random question and see the level of activity on the forum. The poster had asked about adding a Lightbox plugin to an image. Three replies: each suggesting different tools, and the last one offering Fancybox over Lightbox. Compare this with any other forum, let’s say, that of WordPress.org Support. The number of replies is more or less the same (at times WordPress.org will have a higher number), but the overall quality of replies (to-the-point, and really useful) is an area where WebPlatform Q & A wins clearly!

Miscellaneous

Apart from the documentation (including tutorials) and forums, the website also offers a Chat channel as well as a developmental updates blog. I didn’t have much success getting the chat section to function properly — I guess with time, as the development progresses, the mechanism will have less bugs and more fun.

Verdict

Let’s face it: web development is a field in which you cannot exist as an island. We have had JavaScript and CoffeeScript for quite some time, and recently Microsoft added its own variant in the form of TypeScript. With such diversity, both in terms of medium and usage, a solution such as WebPlatform.org (that intends to bring about some level of uniformity in this world of development chaos) can go a long way. Furthermore, the fact that it is backed by big names (collectively, the Web Platform Stewards) goes another step in ensuring that once the product achieves a stable stage and surpasses Alpha and Beta, it will surely have many takers and followers.

Plus, with 86,000 visitors on launch day, rest assured, WebPlatform is not your ordinary start-up that perishes in oblivion soon after its inception. Lastly, just in case you are fond of social media buzzwords, see for yourself.

What do you think of this initiative? Have your say in the comments below!