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Re: Intermediate Summary: Re: website redesign proposal

From: Sebastian Reitenbach
Subject: Re: Intermediate Summary: Re: website redesign proposal
Date: Tue, 07 Jan 2014 09:23:08 +0100
User-agent: SOGoMail 2.1.1b


thank's everyone for the input so far. A bit later than anticipated, but
here is the promised summary of the tread so far:

As the discussion turned out,
there are things that need clarification before it makes sense to setup a new
web presentation. Which also gives me, and Riccardo time to improve
our web skills in the meantime ;)

As far as I can see now, decisions need to be made on the following:

* A statement is needed, and needs to be agreed on, what "proper"
   GNUstep actually is. Richard made some good suggestions:
  * Core GNUstep (make/base/gui/back)
  * Development tools (Gorm)
  * Other things that should be added as soon as they are matured:
   * THEMES, at least one for Linux/Unix-like, and one for Windows
      bundled with the core system
   * better OBJC2 support, some more proper gs-make support
   * MACUSER: a simple mac user porting mechanism is needed, either
      provide a VM, or some xcode integration, whatever would be better
  * MOBILE: implementing new/improverd graphics stuff and porting to
     android etc.
  * Breaking up GNUstep into three things:
    * GS Core (the core, supported stuff)
    * Hot future projects (worked on to become core, supported stuff)
      * i.e. Thematic
      * opal backend, core animation, etc.
    * GS Extras: additional libs and tools built on top of GNUstep, currently
       available in SVN or that only have (lousy) wiki pages ;)
      * this would include: Steptalk, GDL2, GSWeb, ProjectCenter, EasyDiff,
         webserver, webservices, simplewebkit, sqlclient, gsldap, corebase,
         GWorkspace, etc.
      * Maybe it would make sense to move some of them to GAP, at least
         the applicationsi.e. GWorkspace, PC, EasyDiff?

Citing Doug Simons description of GNUstep, that I really think fits well:
GNUstep is an open-source framework modeled on Apple's Cocoa frameworks to 
provide a cross-platform API to make it easy to create sophisticated modern 
software. Ports of OS X software to other platforms and new software 
development in Objective-C are both supported, with or without a graphical user 

Which means, basically remove all mentioning of NeXT/OPENSTEP from
the main page. Likely, most of the current Cocoa developers nowadays 
don't have an idea of what that is anyways. I suggest a history page
should clarify about those roots, and how GNU and GNUstep fits in.

* Make GAP a more central hub for GNUstep applications:
  * i.e. merge the gnustep-nonfsf project into GAP
  * and maybe the gsimageapps project too
  * point interested end users that come along on to GAP
  * GAP likely should also switch from CVS to SVN as RCS

Based on above, just citing Richard here again:
We want people to know what's there now and well supported
We want people to know what's coming soon and where they can help most
We want people to know about all the cool stuff that uses GNUstep and makes it 
look good
We also want people to join in and help rather than complaining about problems 
which aren't part of core ... keeping a clear separation ought to help with 
that.  We ought to make it explicit who is supporting what, and to what extent 
support/development is being done (and whether we are looking for a volunteer 
to support any particular thing).

When it's more clear, what GNUstep really is, and what's supported, what's
worked on, what's extra etc., then designing, structuring the contents
of the webpage is likely to become much more easier.

* As many have pointed out, the website and the wiki are there to meet
different purposes/requirements. However, the wiki contains a lot 
of old and outdated information, and really needs a cleanup.
But maybe before a cleanup is attempted, a decision must be made about
what type of contents goes into the wiki, and what goes to the

* A decision about the softwareindex. Does the softwareindex makes sense,
   or is it just more work and containing redundant information than it makes
   sense? I.e. currently, when you release a software, you have to update 
   links/version numbers on the softwares homepage, wiki, softwareindex.
   Or maybe keep the softwareindex, and maybe remove redundant information
   about applications that have a nice homepage from the wiki?
   The look and feel of the softwareindex can likely be enhanced with CSS to
   make it fit the design of the rest of the website.

Feedback the design proposal of the GNUstep website I had:
 * modelling similar to makes sense for at least a few people,
    the similar type of software is offered, and a similar type of audience
    is intended 
 * have news on the web site front page to show off 
    activities within the project.
 * The dock at the bottom I had on my design, seems to be nice, but seems to
    be too difficult to recognize as a navigation item. Proposals were to move 
    to the top, or on the side. I basically dropped it from my current 
    of design, as I also got pointed in a private mail, that Apple might have
    patents on it :(
 * I'm back to a hover menu (no panic for tablet users), I researched, and
    found it should be easy to accomodate for tablet users, and use media
    queries to give the page a different menu when viewed with a tablet, without
    the need of javascript, I only have to dig more into it.
 * The grey colors were not anticipated, so I changed it a bit more into blue
    (still, the chosen color may not please everyone, if someone could point out
     website which have nice color schemes, let me know and send links. I for 
     are still not that convinced the colors I choose are perfect ;)
 * Same to the fonts, if someone has suggestions for fonts to be used, please
    let me know ;)
 * Someone recommended to use a CMS like wordpress, but there is the question:
   * Is wordpress provided by whoever hosts the website as an option?
     * does it also get regular security updates (the security track record of 
        is not that great)
   * or if not provided, would it be possible to install it?
     * who would want to maintain/update it?
     * is there a database backend available? What kind of, mysql/postgres etc.?
     * implement a new design in it, or any other CMS?

A current incarnation of what I have now can be found here:
 * Most notably changes:
   * drop the dock from the bottom
   * grey replaced with blueish colors
   * multi-level hover menu on top with transitions
   * shadows behind images
 * The screenshots page, and also the Gorm/ProjectCenter pages are implemented
 * NOTE: It's still work in progress, and the media query to have a good 
   menu on tables is not yet there ;)

I hope I did not missed any important comment or feedback from someone.


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