CoffeeScriptCookbook.com: How YOU can help!

CoffeeScript is awesome. There’s a HUGE problem with The CoffeeScript Cookbook, however: it does not exist.

Want to help me fix that? Please say yes.

I just bought the domain coffeescriptcookbook.com, and I want to give it to YOU. I mean it. I want to open-source the website code and crowd-source the cookbook content. Partly because I know a lot of folks are WAY smarter than me and partly because I just don’t have enough time to make the CoffeeScript Cookbook as awesome as I need it to be.

Ideally I want to build a sort of “vettable wiki” or perhaps a very trusting git-based website, where people can submit code samples quickly and easily (but still have some way to prevent people publishing XSS attacks without any kind of safeguard). Here’s a short list of what I would like. If any of this enthuses you, please send mail to my gmail account, “ratgeyser”. [Edit: added Geoffrey Grosenbach's excellent tips]

Getting the Cookbook code/site off the ground:

  • Cookbook versioning. As of this writing, CoffeeScript is at 1.0.1. When it updates, I’d like people to be able to see in the cookbook what version introduced or changed a feature, or even to say “I’m using version x.y.z, please only show me valid recipes for that version.”
  • Syntax highlighting. Sort of obvious there, I guess.
  • Examples runnable in-browser, the same way they are on The Main CoffeeScript Website.
  • Automated recipe testing. Essentially, if you submit a recipe that’s supposed to evaluate 3 + 4, you should be able to put something like # => 7 underneath it, and if the code DOESN'T evaluate to 7, the recipe should be flagged as broken.
  • With automated recipe testing in place, we now have the ability to check a recipe against various versions of CoffeeScript. You write a recipe for version 1.1.0, and the site can immediately say "works in 1.1.0 and 1.0.2 and 1.0.1 but not in 1.0.0". Then it can add those recipes to the cookbooks for those versions. Also, when a new version of CoffeeScript is released, all recipes can be checked against it instantly, and you immediately get a working Cookbook for that version.
  • Website design that doesn't suck. I'm a programmer, I draw boxes around everything and every website I design looks like ass. And not just regular ass, I mean ass from 1996.

Contributing CoffeeScript Examples

  • Promotes good CoffeeScript style (as opposed to code that compiles but isn’t idiomatic)
  • Helps new programmers learn how to get over common roadblocks
  • Self-checkable examples where possible (see the bit above about automated testing)

Thoughts? Ideas? Offers to help? Let me know!

One thought on “CoffeeScriptCookbook.com: How YOU can help!

  1. David Brady Post author

    Geoff: Awesome! Updated the post to include your tips, and to explicitly separate the technical/hosting and teaching/stylistic concerns.

    Thanks!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s