A couple more "fixed" news items needed?

Jeroen Coumans jeroen at linuxfromscratch.org
Thu Oct 30 15:38:40 PST 2003

Hi Bill Maltby, LFS Organizational. You said the following on 10/30/03

> My desire for them under the chef stems only from minimal eye and mouse
> movement considerations, and the the predominance mentioned earlier. So
> if my eye is drawn strongly to the news area - and mine is - then I will
> find the other projects more quickly if they are closer to where my eye
> and/or mouse is drawn to.
> Not a major thing. Like I said, I'm not GUI oriented. But I am *lazy*.

Heh. I think the other way around (I'm GUI oriented) - if there are too 
many things (images, links, headers, input boxes etc) together, I don't 
know what to pick. What is important and what not? Thus, putting the 
section links above the logo helps minimise clutter and a desoriented 
feeling from too much choice. It also helps communicating the site's 
navigational structure (well, for Western people, who read top->bottom, 
- toplevel sections ({a,b}lfs,hints)
- section indicator (logo) and search function
- section navigation/ main content/ generic navigation

I think a logical visual structure is actually more helpful for the lazy 
because they don't have to think how to operate the site and should thus 
find it more easy to get where they want.

>>> 4. I like the search stuff where it's at, but I would like a wider
>>>    "enter text..." box.

Ok, I've set it at 20, that's the maximum without overlapping the logo 
at 800x600. On a side note: I never use those boxes but use Mozilla's 
"keywords". I have the following bookmark: 
with keyword "lfs". When I type "lfs searchterm" in the adress bar, 
Mozilla automatically brings me to the search results of that query.

>>>10. For the stable and current releases, a link to the wiki errata (not
>>>    yet active AFAICT) and roadmap should be included.
>> ?
> IIRC, the wiki was to contain an errata page for stable and printed
> books. Some of the older books don't mention the errata area. So I
> presume that they would need a link from the website entry to navigate
> there. Even though the newer books will reference the wiki, a reminder
> online can't hurt.
> So, I was thinking that when the user went into the "Stable Releases"
> area and received the sorted list, maybe a link to the associated errata
> page in the wiki too might be really handy.

Ah, that makes sense.

> I do hope that all this org stuff is going to work out and the errata
> and other wiki things will be effectively maintained.

So do I, but it's harder to update a wiki then it is to send an e-mail. 
For most people, mailing is all contribution they're willing to give. I 
can't blame them...

> As to the roadmap, we will have a stable one and one in development at
> any given time. So I thought a link to both would be useful.
> But I have a conflicting thought about all this too. Don't know how
> valid it is.
> For the overall project, there are many "organizational" things.
> Roadmaps is certainly one. LFS teams is another. I don't know if it
> would be better to plan on linking to all those sorts of things from the
> eventual "Organization" link or not. My structured side says this is the
> right way to do it. My "user firendly" and "lazy side" says provide
> links with minimal navigation. Oh well. Since it is a website and a
> major function is navigation, I think a little less of the structural
> considerations and more of the ease-of-navigation and minimal traversal
> effort is more important.

Structural considerations are the basis of an easy and logical 
navigation. The navigation should be reflected in the structure. Minimal 
traversal is a layout issue, not a navigation issue. Placing all 
menulinks on the right side minimizes traversal efforts and focuses on 
content. We still need to consider the order and categorization of those 
navigational links. I think we're half-way there, the current navigation 
structure could be improved a bit. There are two considerations to 
website navigation:

- user based, ie. what different users visit the site? Each should find 
their start point relatively easy.
- task based, ie. what does the user want to do? It shouldn't take a lot 
of effort to submit a bug report or to find out where to ask for help.

Then we have to consider the information we want to give:
- we want to inform people about our organization and "products"
- we want to communicate news items for either the whole LFS community 
or for a specific section
- we want to provide easy access to static news items (news releases etc.)
- we want people to read about our "products", download them, test them, 
and provide feedback. We want them to be able to solve mistakes by using 
support documents, search facilities and communication channels.

Based on that we can decide the implementation of navigation. Besides a 
list of categorically organized links, we could consider a fly-out menu 
(I used a nice one at http://www.epa.unimaas.nl/whatisepa.html). First 
of all, we need to consider *how* we organize everything and evaluate 
the current navigation implementation. What are your thoughts on that?

Jeroen Coumans (jeroen at linuxfromscratch.org)
FAQ and Website Maintainer

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