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Re: WANTED: Design for documentation (Photoshop power users!)

From: Reinhold Kainhofer
Subject: Re: WANTED: Design for documentation (Photoshop power users!)
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2008 00:23:19 +0200
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Am Sonntag, 5. Oktober 2008 schrieb Kurt Kroon:
> On 2008/10/04 7:11 PM, "Robin Bannister" <address@hidden> wrote:
> > Patrick McCarty wrote:
> >> What do you think?
> >
> > Well, I'm honoured.
> > And you are very quick off the mark.
> > In fact, you are away ahead of the others,
> > doing "higher than top" and "GNU Lilypond -" elision
> > just like that. :)
> He's "way ahead of the others" because he's working on a locally hosted
> version of these pages, which he can modify at his leisure.  

You (and all others) are free to do so, too. I actually think that would be 
the best way to work, since you can adjust the html (e.g. inserting missing 
class definitions, better box structure, etc.)

> As nice as Patrick's additions are, Reinhold -- he who actually produces
> the documentation -- might not be able to produce exactly what Patrick has
> suggested. 

Don't worry about what I'm able to do. Looking at how far the docs layout has 
come thus far, I'm confident that 

> (Unlikely, considering how much he's already done ... and the 
> fact that he's already mentioned doing something like it in several replies
> in this email thread ... but it's still possible that he won't be able to
> produce exactly what Patrick suggested.)

Actually, since Patrick is working with actual html pages and css files, he 
has already implemented anything necessary. Add that to the facts that I'm 
producing the whole sidebar "manually" in our texi2html init file, that 
texi2html is incredibly customizable and that Patrice is very helpful with 
new features in texi2html, then you'll see that there is absolutely no reason 
for doubts. Only the sky is the limit...

And we like pushing tools to the limit. I don't think anyone would have ever 
thought that one could produce pages like ours from simple texinfo files.

> > G
> > The TOC panel needs no title area (I'm repeating myself)

You are right conceptually. Patrick's latest design already took a title area 
away and instead added a navbar for the docs index.

> > H
> > The TOC panel and the navigation bars should be the same colour
> > to show the user their similarity in affordance:
> >  - they show you where you are and where you can go to
> >  - they are packed full of things to click on
> >  - unlike the main page they have no sentences/paragraphs/etc

This is always a good argument (similar things should look similar), however, 
I think in our case we can afford to use a "nicer" color in the sidebar, 
since it is already spacially separated from the contents (by having its own 
column on the left).

> > So the TOC panel is (e.g.) pale yellow all over. Navigation bars too.

The pale yellow/light brown would make the navbars almost invisible on TFT 
screens, so I think the current state is much better. Using a darker color in 
the sidebar is also not  good idea IMO, since that would look quite heavy and 
take away concentration from the main contents.

> > And yes, the "higher than top" link is up there above the toc (E in [2]).
> > And there may be room for some other links (left unexplained),
> > as shown in the attached (compressed) png.
> I do hope Reinhold is able to implement these -- they're a great idea.

Sure, the <div> for the sidebar is coded in our init script, so we have full 
control over everything that goes into the sidebar.

- -- 
- ------------------------------------------------------------------
Reinhold Kainhofer, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
email: address@hidden,
 * Financial and Actuarial Mathematics, TU Wien,
 * K Desktop Environment,, KOrganizer maintainer
 * Chorvereinigung "Jung-Wien",
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