A couple more "fixed" news items needed?

Bill Maltby, LFS Organizational bill at nospam.dot
Fri Oct 31 11:18:46 PST 2003

On Fri, 31 Oct 2003, Jeroen Coumans wrote:

> Hi Bill Maltby, LFS Organizational. You said the following on 10/30/03
> 18:11:
> > My desire for them under the chef stems only from minimal eye and mouse
> ><snip>

> > 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

> 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.

I can really have no strong objection to it, other than my personal
preferences, which do/should not weigh heavily in the face of the
considerations you mention.

Stick with your style and thanks for hearing me out.

> >>> 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:
> http://search.linuxfromscratch.org/index.cgi?metaname=swishdefault&sort=swishrank&query=%s
> with keyword "lfs". When I type "lfs searchterm" in the adress bar,
> Mozilla automatically brings me to the search results of that query.

When I get Moz installed, I expect to be able to do things much
differently in many areas. It's just a slow (re)building process here.


> > 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...

It's a matter of added value. The wiki content needs to achieve a
"critical mass" such that a user (more experienced with LFS, anyway)
will know that a visit to the wiki will likely give faster more complete
results in a specific area than the alternatives available to them. My
assumption is that this will occur in only two ways: dedicated
development of the info content there by team members (and others,
hopefully) and time.

So all those supporting it's use need to be active in building it up.
I'm using it for the Org stuff and plan to add some notes about various
build items when I finish this BLFS pass.

A stronger lobbying effort would probably be spurious noise until we get
some substantial amount content that is not easily discovered via other

> > 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?

I really think you have a better handle on the issues, relative to what
needs to happen on the website, than I do. But, to try an answer what
you bring up, here is a brief view of my thoughts.

>From the info side I see Organization of the project and Product of the
project. Keeping in mind all you have passed on to me over these several
posts, I don't see any major changes in the website to the organization
of the product presentation or it's navigation (just a couple of
shortcuts we mentioned).

Within the project, anything that is not a "deliverable" might belong in
Organization: the organization docs, team lists, info about how we do
things, and roadmaps. Things that are "deliverable", books, support
forums, ...  are all product.

Another way to determine it: if X was removed, does the user lose
substantial capability? Book - yes. Support forums - yes. Organization
docs - no. Roadmap - (qualified) no. Teams list - no.

Within Organization, it seems to me that the usual visitor is mostly
curious and has esssentially only three tasks: read-all-about-it,
volunteer, and comment.

While in that hierarchy, ideas, curiosity, etc. may cause an urge to
jump to another leg in that hierarchy and it sounds like that "fly-out"
menu might be just the ticket. But only if we are so complex (I don't
*think* we are) that a few simple links would not do. As example of how
my mind works on these, the wiki top level of Orgnization offers links
to the roadmap and lfs teams. Further down in the organization docs,
some are offered again, in context.

I hope this has been useful.

Bill Maltby,
LFS Organizational
Use fixed above line to mail me direct

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