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Re: [gNewSense-users] Sugestion on Website

From: Sam Geeraerts
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Sugestion on Website
Date: Tue, 13 May 2008 22:48:15 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla-Thunderbird (X11/20080420)

Koh Choon Lin wrote:

I was checking at the forum, and i find that we have a rise of incoming
users (:)), most of them kind of new to the 100% free software concept.

While the purpose of gNewSense is to provide a completely free operating 
system, it is not the goal to explain in details the philosophy of free 
software. As such, I recommend linking GNU and FSF articles to provide a brief 
explanation of what free software is about. RMS's writings are more than 
sufficient and easy enough to read for even beginners to the free world.

I agree that explaining the whole philosophy is not the primary goal of gNewSense. But we do need to explain enough so that users know what this project is about. You can't just say "gNewSense is 100% Free Software. Now go read some essays about that over there [link to FSF/GNU]". People will get bored or tired (or even scared) before even attempting to read any further.

If we want to explain our goal to geeks then pages like and do a nice job, although it wouldn't hurt to put them more in the spotlight.

If we want to reach a broad audience and do some marketing, then a good look at Ubuntu is in order. It would be nice if we could come up with a short catchphrase that just about captures the essence of the project (like "Linux for Human Beings"). That should be on the front page, with some fancy design (didn't we already have a new design by the way?) and the logo. Slap some buttons on there to link to:

- Mission / Find out more: no more than 2 paragraphs explaining Free Software and it's importants in crystal clear Teletubbie terms (e.g. not even mentioning source code)
- Screenshots (not very useful of course, but everybody loves screenshots)
- Translations (ideally detect preferred language)
- Download
- News
- Community (or two links: "Get support" and "Get involved")

The people from the FSF, GNU and especially those from GNU/Linux Matters do a great job explaining about Free software. But new users are easily confused. For example, if gNewSense would point to, which points to, which points to Ubuntu, then does that mean that it's better to use Ubuntu than gNewSense? Even bringing up another website for an explanation about the project might be scary for some people. That's why I think it's better to have the basic information on our own website.

I realize that this is a lot of hard work, especially from people with creative skills. But I think it would do a lot to attract more users (and contributors).

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