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August 9, 2023

Collaborating with Open Web Docs for great PWA docs

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) enable immersive app experiences across all devices and platforms. PWAs are supported across platforms, including Windows 10 and 11, and can be installed as apps from browsers including Microsoft Edge, or from the Microsoft Store.

Whether you’ve already created a Progressive Web App, or are looking to get started, the Progressive Web Apps section of the MDN Web Docs site is a great place to start or to continue learning.

The entire section has just been rewritten from the ground up, and we’re excited to share it with you. We’ve partnered with Estelle Weyl and Will Bamberg of the Open Web Docs collective to create a new set of guides, tutorials, and how-to articles that cover everything you need to know to create a great PWA. You can read more about it at the Open Web Docs blog.

What’s new in the PWA docs?

MDN’s PWA docs have been a great resource for web developers, and we saw an opportunity to refresh them to reflect new capabilities, best practices, and emerging developer and user trends beyond mobile devices. With this refresh, we wanted to ensure new content would be relevant to all developers, whatever device, platform, or browser they were targeting. After all, building an app with PWA technologies is a great way to create an amazing OS native-like experience for all your users, on desktop, mobile, and all device types, from just one codebase.

Throughout this partnership with OWD, we wrote new guides, taking readers from understanding what Progressive Web Apps are, to making them installable, supporting offline scenarios, and discovering best practices.

We also wrote many how-to articles, focusing on just specific technical aspects of PWA, and going deep into the details. For example, definining app icons, sharing data between apps, handling files, and triggering app installation.

Finally, we created an intro-level tutorial that walks through all the steps needed to create a basic PWA, from scratch. This tutorial is a great way to get started with PWAs, even if you’ve only just started with web development (you can learn more about the tutorial on the OWD blog).

These new guides, tutorials, and reference docs are now live on MDN, and we hope you’ll find them useful. We believe they’re a great complement to the PWA docs on Microsoft Learn, where you can learn how to make the most out of PWAs on Windows and Microsoft Edge, such as publish your PWAs on the Microsoft Store, or build PWAs for the sidebar in Microsoft Edge.

Collaborating for a better web

A browser is more than just an application – it provides a platform for web developers, which requires learning content and tools to empower you to achieve your vision on the web. To support this, we also build APIs, tools, products, and services for developers, such as WebView2, WebDriver for Edge, browser extension APIs, DevTools, and more. But we know that web developers can only unlock it if they have the right high-quality documentation at hand.

Documenting the web platform is a huge undertaking that requires time and expertise, and MDN Web Docs has earned a reputation over the years as the definitive place for useful, unbiased, browser-agnostic documentation for current and emerging standards-based web technologies. Because of this, Microsoft and other vendors have collaborated to support high-quality web platform documentation on MDN. Focusing on MDN’s web documentation repository is the best use of our collective time and resources to help developers succeed.

One of the ways we contribute to MDN is through sponsoring Open Web Docs. Open Web Docs is a non-profit collective that writes high-quality, browser-agnostic, community-driven, open-source documentation for web developers, including significant contributions to MDN’s documentation and browser compatibility data.

OWD employs full-time writing staff to support the development and maintenance of web platform documentation, independently of any single vendor or organization. In addition to supporting these writers, our regular meetings with the OWD team and other sponsors also provide an opportunity to compare insights on what developers need, and what trends we’re seeing in the industry, so that writing efforts can support the most relevant topics.

Developer, publishers, and other web stakeholders can learn more about OWD and MDN and how to get involved in supporting web developer documentation at the Open Web Docs site or the MDN Web Docs getting started page.