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Re: GNUstep Site Redesign

From: Jesse Ross
Subject: Re: GNUstep Site Redesign
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 08:16:20 -0600

First of all, hello! I'm not sure how I got roped into this, but I did a new site design, and am working on converting it to HTML (and PHP) right now. The response overall was quite positive, so we're moving forward with it (as far as I can tell -- I got no one telling me 'no').

"Stefan Bidigaray" <address@hidden> wrote:
> Just FYI, I think it would make more sense if this discussed the redesign in
> this ML.
> Here's a summary of what's been discussed so far:

Yeah, it would be nice if the poor sods who get to maintain it get
some chance to comment... ;-) Where was the past discussion? 

It happened on discuss-gnustep, most recently under the subject Site Redesign. Also, it was never my intention to throw work on anyone, hence my own conversion of the site to HTML/CSS/PHP. I'm also willing to do much of the maintenance of it, if need be.

Some of
the menu ordering decisions look a bit odd ("Donations" under
"Support"?), so I'd be interested to see the reasons.

I wanted to limit the number of top level items -- Support is perhaps the wrong word... maybe Contribute? Or maybe we need to split those up to two items: Support (for Bugs and Contact info), and Contribute (for Donations and How to get involved). Donations shouldn't be a top-level item though -- it should fall under a general "giving back" category, like Contribute.

> This is the current mock up by Jesse (feel free to comment on it):

Looks good as a graphic and it looks like it should convert to
xhtml/css fairly well. 

Yep -- the translation is going smoothly so far.

Question: "Recent Commits" only shows one
commit, so isn't it mistitled? 

Not if we allow for some sort of _javascript_ cycling of commit messages, say the last 5 or so. Also, by making it plural and linking to the Status page (or a subsection of the News page, as Stefan suggested), we show that there has been a lot of activity recently (which was one of our prime motives for the site redesign).

Also, will most front page users know
what a "commit" is anyway?  Are we keeping one front page for all, or
having a front news page, a user-home and a devel-home?

GNUstep is, at its core, a developer tool and environment. And we need to appeal to developers in order to get more apps built, in order to get more users and mind- and market-share. Developers will likely know what commits are, and if they don't, they can click and see "Oh, they're adding a lot of new stuff... daily!", which is the impression that we want to give. We want people to know that GNUstep is an active, alive project.

The front page news will be pulling from the News section, which will be just a Planet installation (assuming we can get Python installed, or find a PHP version). Planet is a feed aggregator ( ), and we want to pull all the disparate GNUstep-related blogs under a single site, in order to show users that we are alive, and we have developers working on things. The front page news will just show the last 5 entries on the News page, which will be the last 5 things posted to the blogs we pull from -- and we just need to determine which blogs those are. Chances are some of the content will be very technical, some will be about new app releases, and some will be examples of work in progress stuff -- no separation of "developers" or "users".

I'm a little puzzled why "Get Started" is repeated and I wonder
where/how the body text is coming from, but I expect those have been
discussed already too.

The Header version of Get Started is swappable -- we could put anything that we want to focus on there. Or, if we want it to always to get a Get Started page, we could use different terminology. I'm still working through that.

> Adam pointed out that we will need to contact Manuel Guesdon (
> address@hidden) as well as address@hidden (their website is in
> French, do we need a French speaking person to make contact) for information
> on the available software.  We can probably do this while we're deciding
> what is needed, and also by someone that understands about web site
> design/programming.

No, I don't think so - they speak pretty good English.  S'il y a
besoin, je traduiserai.  IIRC, the current site supports PHP, but
anything else (databases or whatever) will need a request.

I sent an email off to him yesterday... we'll see what we hear back. At there very least, yes, we need PHP. And Python perhaps, for the Planet installation. We shouldn't need a db though, unless Planet requires it.


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