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Re: [Gnumed-devel] Web Site

From: David Grant
Subject: Re: [Gnumed-devel] Web Site
Date: Tue, 03 Feb 2004 22:07:03 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-GB; rv:1.5) Gecko/20040107

Tony Lembke wrote:

(Ian Haywood)

My only nitpick is the FAQs: the text appears as one huge paragraph, although its formatted properly when you click on "More..." This text is the summary, just far too long, is there any way to shorten it?

I have fixed up the FAQ page.

(David Grant)

I agree.

Hang on, David : ), I'm confused. The complaint above was that there is too much of an article on the index page, which should be shortened in a summary. You can't at the same time suggest we have one large file with the whole article :)

Ian's complaint was about the FAQ which I agreed with. But my ideal solution would be something completely different than the "...more..." system.

I also think there is an overuse of these "...more..." things all over the site. I don't think this is a great UI technique, and involves too much clicking.

I'd rather just see either everything in one HTML file, or a bunch of hyperlinks linking to the individual things (news, FAQ) not this "...more..." thing.

Actually, I disagree. Jacob Nielsen is fairly adamant in his guidelines that the correct way to have a news index on a home page is to have the headlines and a short precis with a 'more... ' link so that users can know what they will get when they click on a link. When we get more contributors to News : ) it will be impractical to have one long page,although with the current system it is certainly easy to have all the news on one page.

I prefer something like, or, or In kmymoney's case they have all the news right there no clicking. I like that. In's case, you can click to read the whole "announcement". On you can click to read the "full story". The gnumed says things like "On Dec. 13th 2003 the first German Gnumed conference took place in Leipzig, Germany. 9 people attended the meeting on Saturday. The group consisted of four Gnumed hackers, people from related open sou..." It's not a complete set of thoughts which I think it should be. My first wish would be for it to cut off after sentences, not in mid-sentence. My second wish would be to have two articles, one a summary and the other the whole article. The summary should be allowed to be arbitrary in length, depending on how long it takes to summarize the news item.

I think this is probably more like what Jacob Nielsen had in mind. I'm glad you know about this guy. I had never heard of him.

Sorry I didn't specify exactly what I had in mind before. Instead I said: "I'd rather just see either everything in one HTML file, or a bunch of hyperlinks linking to the individual things (news, FAQ) not this "...more..." thing." The reason I said that was because those are probably the easiest to implement.

I'd also really like to see a phpbb ( forums system instead of the current forums. It could be customized to our current colour scheme. It's probably fairly easy to install. Features that I like are, ability to see headers only be default, and ability to receive emails when someone replies to a thread you are watching, and many more...

Currently, there is the ability to allow user comments to be posted at the bottom of each article. You can subscribe to this so that you will be notified by email if someone else posts a comment - and you can reply to their comment by email and it will be posted on the web page. The author of a page selects whether this Discussion opportunity is enabled or not by simply checking a checkbox when he adds the page to the Wiki. One advantage of this that any comments posted are automatically included in the main site index and are therefore searchable.

I'm still getting familar with the system, but I'll look into it.

This system is really designed for annotating pages rather than as a stand alone forum, and I could add phpbb if desired. It may be unwise to add a forum if there are not many postings and the development team do not check regularly as it all can look rather empty.

Yes it does make more sense for annotating pages as opposed to a full fledged forum. My stance would be, that if traffic ever starts to increase on the current forums, or if we feel a strong need to have a forum that we go with phpbb.



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David J. Grant
M.A.Sc. Candidate in Electrical Engineering
a-Si and Integrated Circuits Lab
University of Waterloo
Room DC3707
519-888-4567 x2872

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