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Re: [gNewSense-users] new homepage 1st draft

From: Sam Geeraerts
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] new homepage 1st draft
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 2008 20:15:23 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla-Thunderbird (X11/20080509)

Graziano Sorbaioli wrote:
Hash: SHA1

Sam Geeraerts wrote:

Is this going to be a page on its own as a replacement for what is now (which think is pretty good: nice colors, rounded
corners, button-style links, simple lay-out) or will it be like a skin
for Pmwiki?

I designed it to be a replacement for the actual main page.
Many people on the list and on the forum thought the current one needed
a redesign to include better/more options and layout.

I don't look at the forum so much, but I remember a lot of praise for Matt Lee's design on this list, with a few suggestions for tweaks here and there.

Anyway someone suggested to fully redesign my draft page and someone
suggested we can use it for later pages.

You decide. :)
I only contributed as I could because I don't like to suggest or
complain without doing anything.

I'm not the only one in this community, so I don't think it's my call to make. I'm not at all saying your work is bad or useless. I just think that it sucks that currently the style of our homepage doesn't match that of the rest of the website. If we want to make this right there are two options:

1. Keep a homepage (either the current one or a new one) and match Pmwiki's style to it.

2. Have as our homepage (like we used to), make it feel more like a homepage (structure and style) and so restyle the rest of Pmwiki with it. (There has been a suggestion for a different Pmwiki layout a few months ago).

So if you happened to know something about Pmwiki templates, that could come in handy.

FSF and other campaigns deal with important issues, but I think we
should leave campaigning to the campaigners. gNewSense is about building
a free operating system. We can emphasize the freedom aspect by giving a
short explanation of the concept and why we do it and leave the rest to
the FSF which we can link to in a prominent way (I would say plain big
logo is better than "Join the FSF" thingy, which is only temporary)

I can delete the "join fsf" part, no problem.
What do you suggest to do with the layout?
Maintain the two columns or return back to full widht page?

Please let's talk together about this too.

I don't mind a two column layout in principle, I just don't know what to put in a second column. In my previous e-mail I wasn't just talking about "Join the FSF", but also about GNU and Defective By Design. It just seems a bit random. I think it's better to keep the homepage focused to stuff directly related to gNewSense.

I guess "This project is run with the assistance of the Free Software Foundation." + logo would be a could candidate to put in a second column. But if that's going to be the only item in there it's better to leave it at the bottom. I'm not sure where to leave the search field on a full width page, though.

Hm, the more I think about it, the more I'm in favor of tweaking the current homepage instead of creating a whole new one.

The menu items move when a link changes from unvisited to visited.

I can't see anything moving.
menu items are white text on light blue background when non visited AND
when visited.
The only change I can see is that the underlined disappear when the
cursor is over them.

I had a closer look with DOM Inspector. Non-visited links follow CSS style rule ".menu a:link", which has a padding-right-value of 5px. Visited links don't follow any style in your stylesheet, and so have no padding. You can see the text jump to the left if you middle-click a menu item to open in a new tab in the background.

See attached screenshot.

The links in the text would be better emphasized if they were separate
from it, in a bulleted list or (like in the current homepage)

The link you are talking about are already present in the menu so I
don't see the need for make them present in a single separated section.

The links "free software" and "join the gNewSense community" are not present in the menu. If they were then the links in the text would be redundant.

Dark-blue visited links on a dark-blue background is not so good for

I don't see them changing.

See screenshot.

I haven't seen your original design, but the logo is now too blended
into the menu bar, IMHO. I'm thinking some kind of 3D or halo effect
would improve this?

I like the result very much and would leave it this way imho.

Download menu item should point to a download page (with options for
mirrors, bittorrent, some explanation, ...).

the current download button on the main page of gnewsense points to our
last version so I did it the same way.

Search = Google? I'm not a big fan.

the other option htdig would require us to implement something in the
server and mainting it and so on.
Would you like to do this?

If not, the google option could be a good starting option.

Sure, but if there are alternatives I think we should look at them. The best option would be if Pmwiki's own search functionality would work, but it seems that the developers are not very responsive to our issues. It looks like has its own CGI script, maybe we can use that. In the end, I guess it's up to Brian Brazil, especially if it involves extra maintenance.

PNG image

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