Website Improvement Ideas

Justin C. Sherrill justin at
Mon Apr 14 19:49:34 PDT 2008

On Mon, April 14, 2008 7:50 pm, Christopher Rawnsley wrote:

>> 11.  Digest is moved from status to Community as it seemed more
>> fitting there, and since Bugs was already moved this allows for the
>> Status section to go away.
> I would also suggest that it be on the mainsite rather than off site.
> But I guess it is Justin's baby so it is up to him. I would consider
> renaming it to news...

I'm currently using WordPress for the Digest, which is PHP-based.  The
software itself is nice, but that underlying language isn't likely to get
run on machines anytime soon.  Perhaps using something
like Movable Type (not PHP based, somewhat more robust) would be a more
comfortable choice - it's what I used to start the Digest, and the reasons
I had switched away are no longer present.

That aside, I'd like to have the Digest on and make it
possible for others to add to it; it'd be even more interesting to have a
developer talking about why they did what they did instead of just me
linking to it.  Would I then have to stay more on topic?  I don't know,
but I hope not.

> I initiated a "redesign" of myself before writing this email. In my
> design and I have considered more about reducing the overall number of
> menu items. While this sometimes means that you have to use two clicks
> to get the same location I think that it may make things even easier.
> Interested to know other people's thoughts?

Reduction in menu items isn't a goal in and of itself; changing the design
of the site so that people can get to what they need is important.  We
show the pages with a whole pile of links that have been categorized but
all have the same visual weight and relative position.  I don't have
(recent) stats to back this up, but most of the visits are just to get
ahold of DragonFly, and that should be the shortest path possible, in
terms of mouse miles and brain effort.

> I tried my hand at redesigning the overall page as well. I'll put up
> my work up in due course to allow for a comparison but we share many
> of the same ideas about content. I think that perhaps the website
> should go that one step further and have some form of CMS that could
> be edited by anyone who doesn't particularly want to get in to the
> details of learning HTML, CSS etc.

I've suggested turning the whole site into a wiki; everything on can be produced the same way on a wiki but with less
effort in terms of creation.  Wikis tend to be messy, but with some
organizational work, it could turn out very well for us, since adding
files through CVS has turned out to be a rather high barrier for folks who
don't already know it.

More information about the Users mailing list