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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] GNU Radio website.

From: Eric Blossom
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] GNU Radio website.
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2007 10:16:24 -0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

On Sat, Mar 03, 2007 at 06:10:58PM +0100, Trond Danielsen wrote:
> 2007/3/3, Eric Blossom <address@hidden>:
> >On Sat, Mar 03, 2007 at 12:54:31PM +0100, Trond Danielsen wrote:
> >> Hi everyone,
> >>
> >> I've been looking at the GNU Radio websites, and feel that there are
> >> some improvements that could be made. The website at gnu.org looks
> >> good, but lack up to date information, and the trac website has up to
> >> date information, but could use some polishing. I was therefore
> >> thinking of starting to clean up some of the pages in the wiki,
> >> starting with the front page. I have created a new frontpage that is a
> >> lot simpler than the previous one; I did not want to commit it
> >> directly, since it is the public face of gnuradio, so let me think
> >> what you think.
> >>
> >> I am aware of that there are some scripts to convert the old wiki
> >> pages to trac format, but that is not what I am thinking of now.
> >>
> >> Cheers,
> >> --
> >> Trond Danielsen
> >
> >Hi Trond, thanks for your work on the Wiki and everything else!
> >
> >If we use this as the front page, how are people going to:
> >
> >  Figure out how to download the code
> >  Figure out how to build GNU Radio
> The first link on my suggested page leads to a section describing
> this. Maybe it should be renamed to "Get GNU Radio"? I do not think it
> is a problem to store it on a separate page, since the users usually
> have to go there only once (in an ideal world).
> >I agree that the current WikiStart page isn't beautiful, however it
> >does handle what I assume are the first 95% of the questions: where's
> >the code, how do I build it, and what about the USRP stuff?
> As a user who is just getting started I disagree with you on that
> point. I have been exploring GNU Radio for half a year, and I think
> there are three major questions that has to be anwered on the front
> page:
> 1. How do I get this stuff?
> 2. How do I use it?
> 3. How can I get in touch with the people who created this stuff?

OK.  Why don't you create the page as WikiStart2, and then we can
iterate the design there.  When we're all happy, we'll move it to

Another thing to think about is what do we want at http://gnuradio.org?
Maybe that's where the "marketing page" goes.  Of course we can config
apache to redirect it into the wiki somewhere.

The FSF wants us to keep some kind of presence at
www.gnu.org/software/gnuradio.  We'll have to think about what that
should be.  FYI, the FSF is pretty picky about the format of pages on
www.gnu.org.  http://www.gnu.org/server/fsf-html-style-sheet.html

Also, you can check out the source for the current
www.gnu.org/software/gnuradio web pages like this:

  $ export CVS_RSH=ssh
  $ cvs -z3 -d:pserver:address@hidden:/web/gnuradio co gnuradio

Feel free to overhaul these pages, and send me patches (or whole new
pages).  The basic constraints are that we need some kind of presence
at http://www.gnu.org/software/gnuradio, that it's the top hit for 
gnu radio in google, and that whatever's there needs to follow the FSF

Once that's sorted out, perhaps we ought to replicate it at http://gnuradio.org
[Violating my own rule, I know.  I'm not sure I can get a redirect
installed at http://www.gnu.org/software/gnuradio, and JavaScript is out.]

> My main problem so far, has been digging up documentation. That's my
> reason for the proposed modification. It is correct that the current
> page anwers many of these question, but I just think that it is too
> cluttered, which makes it hard to find what I am looking for.
> Remember, web users are in a hurry.


> I also think clearing up the page has a certain "marketing effect".
> The cluttered front page does not give a professional look. The old
> site gives a much better first impression, and I actually think that
> matters when trying to reach new users.

Good.  There's also a way to get a sidebar in Trac that we may want to
consider for the start page.

> >I'm also a bit concerned about pages that provide almost no real
> >information, just a set of sublinks, particularly if they're in my
> >way of getting to what I want ;)
> As I said, I want documentation :), which currently is hidden behind a
> small link at the bottom of the page.

Different strokes ;)

> >Also, as a general design principle, I like to minimize the number of
> >places where information is replicated.  If the info is in more than
> >one place, you can pretty much count on at least one of them being out
> >of date.  The reentering of the mailing list stuff comes to mind: once
> >on www.gnu.org and once on gnuradio.org.  In this case, I should
> >probably edit the referring pages on www.gnu.org to point at the wiki
> >pages.
> I created a mailing list page in the wiki (MailingLists), just in case
> you did not notice. I really think that the wiki is the way to go.
> Static websites always get out of date; wikis makes sense in 2007 :)

Yes I noticed, and I agree with you.  That's the reason for my comment
about pointing the links on the www.gnu.org pages to the wiki ;)

Thanks again for working on this!
I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.


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