Anyone else think MDN code descriptions/samples suck?

Anyone else think MDN code descriptions/samples suck?

I especially had trouble understanding things like call, apply, and bind on MDN. There seems to be very little explanation written about certain topics.

Good topic.

After digging into each MDN, W3 and StackO in order to solve a problem, I usually land on a solution. But if I had to rely solely on MDN, I’d lose my mind.

I applaud the MDN team’s effort and dedication, but like the person mentioned up-thread, I make my own simplified, local wiki/slide deck/anki flash cards for the most common JS methods, statements, etc. It’s a lot of work, but I make the time.


@chadwyck242 I don’t think anyone is faulting MDN. I think the issue is just a mismatch of resources to skill level. A novice doesn’t want a lot of information, they want just the right amount of information that applies to their current context(why in person teachers are great), which I imagine is the algorithm challenge they are working on. Instead of the usual detailed document they might just want say this.

I think a great solution was what @QuincyLarson mentioned earlier, the FCC wiki. That being said it looks like I have some contributing to the wiki to do this week. If anyone wants to collaborate with me, send me a pm on gitter to @dogwaddle.

@theDigEx me too. I search once ( I try to do this anyway… ), find the best examples and answer I can, and add the solution to my notes I maintain in Notepad++. I keep a running file for HTML, another for CSS, another for Javascript etc…

This seems the optimum solution. And writing it down in note form is a well known technique to aid memory.

Man Quincy… yer all over it!! :slight_smile: Thanks for this, and yes - that’s an awesome opportunity to contribute to a great project in FCC!

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I know right?? Those guys over there at Stack are really punchy about the “subject already covered” thing lol. Pretty ruthless crowd. Forums can get kinda weird for sure - like a sub culture thing. What I do like about Stack tho - is that there are soooo many examples - lots of times you can find something that is pretty spot on to the problem at hand. But outside of those instances… yeah I agree… it can become a real time sump to browse all the various suggested answers etc.


That’s actually why I try not to use SO too much in a learning environment: I’ve had too many times when I was searching for something, rather than getting advice/direction they just give the solution.


@dogwaddle Good luck with the Wiki, I may look at it this weekend and see what @QuincyLarson was mentioning. It would be something worthwhile to contribute to, and then take that experience and contribute over at MDN someday.
Maybe people are not faulting MDN and the documentation teams, but it can come near to it. Hopefully learners know they need to be flexible and very curious when exploring a topic. MDN is certainly not the only place to turn to for help, and finding resources as a programmer is a skill unto itself, but I do think that some learning material MDN offers is being missed by some students. Maybe they need to redesign the portal for learning materials?? Who knows.

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Yeah good point for sure. Ya cant learn to code as quickly if ya don’t work through it on your own - which is really the point of the exercise.

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I feel the same, I always look up on a W3 example first, because they are so simple and simply shows the most common usage of the function you are looking for.

However I think MDN can have it’s place if you need to look further into something, but I prefer not to as it’s very dense.

Sure. Everything we write will be Creative Commons licensed. They can choose to pull some of this back in if they want.

Unfortunately, the MDN uses a wiki-type editor instead of a code repository like we are, so there’s no way I know of to simply fork the MDN, and there may not be a way for them to play back our changes on top.

I really do think the best way is for us to just write our own articles.


Sounds good! It will be nice to see how our Wiki improves :ok_hand:

Glad to see I’m not the only one who’s struggling with MDN. Like you, I prefer W3schools and StackOverflow. I also frequently (re)visit Codecademy to enlighten me (all over again and again).

This my came a bit late… however I feel I must make justice for the documentation of MDN… I now it my be a bit confusing in the beggining to understand the documentation, but i strongly encourage to spend some time to understand it.

MDN documentation my be more formal but is more accurate than say w3schools.

Here you can find a link to help you guys to understand the syntax used in MDN in CSS for example.

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I’m a professional developer and my biggest tip to new people is write about these functions in a way that you’d understand. Hop on github, make some basic blog or website and write descriptions and use cases and such. For one, you’ll be helping other new coders and it’ll help you learn.

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OMG yes a thousand times!!! I have felt the same for years! I can’t stand them. You are exactly on point. Ridiculous examples to explain a simple statement and written in the most reader-unfriendly way possible where it takes me three times longer to figure out how to use something than W3S. Ironically, W3S gets a ton of flack and gets dissed at every opportunity just about everywhere I’ve seen their name mentioned, but dammit, their examples are quick and easy!

The problem with W3S is that they aren’t really complete in their explanations and that’s where MDN wins. But geez, wading through all that mud to find the nickel barely seems worth it.

The things is though, that MDN is a reference. Great, but if that’s the case, people need to stop suggesting it as the #1 option for newbies to learn with. It’s just not. I’m not even really a real newbie and I still find it a hard read. That said, I am finding that recently, I’m getting more comfortable with it and if I’m looking for completeness, I’ll go there first.

P.S. FCC needs to add a “superlike” for things like this. LOL


MDN is extremely hard to understand. When I have something that is really important to me I copy the text and that revise it using the common words to make sense of the text, otherwise it is so confusing, as authors often while explaining a simple concept connect it to a far away advanced concept with wording that makes you feel like you never even knew English at all :disappointed_relieved:

It’s just MDN is totally beginner unfriendly. You must know the meaning of all those keywords and get its meaning in the context like: callback, arguments, index, element, thisArg

The MDN is design to be “technical” so technical that hardly anyone understand. For beginner the definition of a pre defined function usually don’t make sense. The same idea can be rewritten with simpler term and with less words, I simply don’t get these technical writer or “programmer” who need to spill big words in every sentence to feel better about themselves.

W3school has way better definition and straight forward examples.

If these same people who write the MDN are the people that defines the standard, we can see why they make so many complex idea in the name of robust when it can be written using a simple for loop.

I am just venting now. Lol

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Yeah, agree. Most of the time I found the articles on MDN are really hard for me to understand. So I need to refer to other resources to find the answer to the problem.