Website Proposal [Was TWiki status]

Jeremy Utley jeremy at
Wed Dec 8 19:53:04 PST 2004

Craig Colton wrote:

>On Wednesday 08 December 2004 12:38 pm, Jeremy Huntwork wrote:
>>Jeroen Coumans wrote:
>>>I'm sending this message to find out two things:
>>>1. Are we going to proceed with deploying TWiki on the LFS website to
>>>replace the current HTML? I mean, are there no technical or political
>>>objections from the LFS project members (save a dissident voice)?
>>Ok. I wasn't sure how and when I was going to present this, or even *if*
>>I would, but after this email and several comments from various LFS team
>>members, I think it's time I bring this forward.
>>I've had several discussions with various team members about the TWiki
>>development and future conversion (mostly in irc).  In most of these
>>discussions I did my best to defend the prospect of a TWiki and the
>>benefits of using one, but often they didn't get very far.  The best
>>I've ever been able to do is say, 'just wait until the finished product
>>is done, and leave your opinions until then.'  I've come to realize
>>that, no matter what the feature set of TWiki, many neither see the need
>>to use one, nor like the prospect of doing so.  Even if it may seem to
>>some to be irrational opinions, we can't beat our current
>>contributors/developers heads into submission.  Even if our development
>>of TWiki continues and produces a beautiful and functional site, I don't
>>think we'd get there without a *lot* of pain.
>>All of the above was to show the path that led me here. One day on IRC,
>>Matthew Burgess and myself were talking, and we wondered, mostly out of
>>curiosity, how difficult it would be to re-organize the current lfs site
>>into a very simple XHTML/CSS implementation.  I don't think either of us
>>expected anything great to come out of this, or that we'd actually
>>consider propsing the resultant site to the community for use.  But as
>>we continued playing around, we found that we both rather liked what we
>>had done.
>>The goals we had with our site was that it should be clean, uncluttered,
>>readable, easily navigable, and look professional. We made use of SSI's
>>to implement a standard menu header and footer for each project.  We
>>also do a simple 'svn update' as a post-commit hook script that is
>>straightforward and works very well, of course I realize that it may be
>>complicated a bit more by the addtion of the books and news feeds, but
>>keeping the goals of simplicity in mind, we're finding that often a
>>solution presents itself.
>>Anyway, enough talk.  Here is the site:
>>It still needs to be fleshed out and to have a few features added.  But
>>I'm putting this forward publicly to allow anyone who wishes to
>>comment.  I'm bringing it up only as an *option* - I fully respect
>>everyone's current postition and right to an opinion in this regard, so,
>>personally, no feelings on the line ;)
>>Jeremy Huntwork
> does have a certain simplicity. It's a far cry, however from 
>the beauty of the present site when its firing on all cylinders. I can see 
>the wisdom in not exposing the visitor to needless clutter, but my first 
>impression (warranted or not) is that it lacks content.
Beauty?  The #1 complaint I see on IRC about the website is that finding 
information is NOT intuitive.  Much of that stuff could be merged 
together into one page...the entire LFS part of the project shouldn't 
need more than 5 or 6 pages outside the book to get the information 
needed across.

>I won't get into the wiki or "not wiki" thing, but the overhaul of the website 
>a year (more?) or so ago was an ambitious and worthy project. An attempt to 
>turn the stale static page into something dynamic. Something not only 
>interesting to new visitors, but also where frequent visitors might find 
>something new.
And that's the whole problem - the website SHOULD NOT be there to 
provide information for frequent visitors - that's what being subscribed 
to the LFS mailing lists or news server is for, or that's what coming on 
IRC is for.

>These changes were accompanied with standard compliant code that incorporated 
>tasteful and clever site navigation features and colors. The fact that it is 
>complex is not suprising in this context.
Standards compliant code that broke on the most common browser today, 
and it took forever, and a lot of work by someone *NOT* part of the 
website team to fix the problem.

>Don't lose sight of the fact that the old website was overhauled for a reason. 
>I've always seen the new site as a great improvement  - I'd rather not see it 
>go back.
>Disclaimer: I am not involved in any way in active maintenence of the website.
>Anything I may say should be seen through this filter.

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