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Re: New website -- what do we lack?

From: Julian Foad <julian.foad_at_wandisco.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 11:34:40 +0000

On Thu, 2010-01-21 at 17:23 -0500, C. Michael Pilato wrote:
> Has anyone besides Hyrum, Mark P. and myself taken a look at the new website
> from a layout perspective? What stands between us and the day when we
> remove that yellow banner and "commit to" this thing?
>
> * There is still some content unfinished. The "Getting Involved" page,
> for example.
>
> * The developer resources area is ... weak. Need to drop the c-api and
> javahl docs from the site/publish/dev directory and link to nightly
> generated versions of those instead. Need to link to the Subversion
> Community Guide. Etc.
>
> * There is no shortage of broken links to be fixed.
>
> * What else?
>

I've been thinking about how to make entry easy for both newcomers and
regulars. Here's the resulting ideas.

* On the main page:

Let's tell the visitor...

  - what the project is (and what it is not).

  - what this web site is, and why I should want to be here: who it is
aimed at, what I should expect to find here, and what I should look
elsewhere for.

  - what each main section in the nav pane is about. As a first-time or
infrequent visitor, I want an overview of the web site content so I can
then use the nav menu to quickly find my way to the main sections that
I've read about here, and not have to study the nav menu and guess
exactly what each link means in order to decide where to go. In
particular, each of the "Getting Subversion" and "Community" headings
needs an overview before a first-time visitor is ready to follow a
sub-heading link. I think each overview should be in a section on the
main page, but it could alternatively be in a separate page. Either way,
the heading should link to it.

  - Some status updates, such as the News section; I don't mind this
being at the top, but it shouldn't be the only thing on the main page.

So, something like (and I've put this in what I think is a good
ordering):

[[[

  Welcome to the official web site of Apache Subversion, the popular
open-source version control system.

  *News*

  ...

  *What is this web site?*

  This site is the central place where you can find and learn about
Subversion and where you are a part of the community of Subversion users
and developers. Users can learn about Subversion, download it, report
bugs, and access the mailing lists and other community support
resources... Developers can get involved in new features, bug
fixing, ...

  *About Subversion*

  Subversion is [# like you already have it ... more than a compelling
replacement for CVS ...]

  [# overview of the About section of the nav pane]
  Find out about Subversion's [Features], read the [Documentation] or
[Frequently Asked Questions], and see our completely out of date [Road
Map]. These are also linked from the navigation pane on the left.

  [# an introduction to Subversion's wider community]
  You may well be interested in [TortoiseSvn] which gives a nice Windows
interface to Subversion, or one of the [many other] clients, plug-ins or
alternative server systems that exist too. All of those are separate
projects that work together with Apache Subversion to create a richer
Subversion system.

  [# an important clarification]
  The name "Apache Subversion" means "Subversion, which is a member of
the Apache Software Foundation (ASF)". Subversion can and often does
make use of the Apache httpd web server, but it doesn't have to, and the
name "Apache Subversion" does not refer to that.

  *Community*

  [# a brief overview of the community and its interactions - mailing
lists etc. - acting partly as a guide to that section of the nav pane]

  *Getting Subversion*

  [# a brief overview of different ways of getting Subversion and of
browsing its source code, acting partly as a guide to that section of
the nav pane]

]]]

* The nav pane is fine, but in addition each main heading in it should
link to the corresponding section of the main page.

* In the two different "Source code" sections, add cross-links so that
if the visitor is looking for ViewVC access to the source but finds the
source tarballs section, or vice versa, he or she will be able to find
the other.

* In the "Subversion Community Guide" section, add "(formerly known as
'hacking')" so that existing community members can find it by searching.

* In the "Checking Out Subversion" section, add "If you need further
guidance on checking out and using a Subversion working copy, please see
the "..." section of the book: <...>".

- Julian
Received on 2010-01-22 12:35:23 CET

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