[Lumiera] website redesign status

Ichthyostega prg at ichthyostega.de
Mon Apr 9 18:25:32 CEST 2012

Am 09.04.2012 15:29, schrieb Wouter Verwijlen:
> Second question: is any work being done to complete the redesigned website? 
> At staging.lumiera.org is a nearly-complete template from what I can see. A 
> while ago I delved into the GIT branch and found out that it was structured 
> in a real confusing way. I drew a scheme to propose a simplification of the 
> structure

Hi Wouter,

thanks for bringing up this topic again. You're right, we should
try to push that effort ahead somehow. The Design made by Francesco
is just to nice for subjecting it to bit rot unused.

There are two kinds of complications with the structure.

(1) Core documentation and "other website stuff"
    We wanted the core documentation to be in-tree with the source
    code. The benefits of this seemed obvious at that time. You check
    out one thing and have all you need to code right here on your
    hard disk. And you can check in documentation with the same
    commit as the corresponding code changes. Which gives another
    user / dev an opportunity to notice the presence and the
    location of the relevant pieces of documentation when
    investigating a code change in the Git history.

    The downside is that Git never forgets anything. Which means,
    that any binary content (read images) leads to continued bloat
    of the Repository. This led us to the conclusion, that we wanted
    a separate tree for "the typical website stuff". If this repo
    grows to 100MB, then be it (or ditch it and archive it and
    start out fresh).

    Thus, currently, the /documentation/..." subtree of the
    website structure is served from the /doc subdirectory of the
    Source code tree and hooked in with a kind of symlink (plus
    the necessary trickery on behalf of the navigation menu).

    The obvious downside of this setup is that we get two different
    Git repositories to back the website, and you just need to know
    which one to consult for changing some context.

    Corrently, only the "website" Git repo is branched for the
    staging / redesign.

    Repo: lumiera-website, Branch: master -> top level LIVE website
    Repo: lumiera-documentation Branch master -> documentation

    Repo: lumiera-website, Branch: staging -> top level new design

(2) The discussion about the page orientation.
    Last year, when we discussed that stuff, there was a large fraction
    of people claiming that a "contemporary" website can't use this
    sidebar navigation. They showed lots of examples how a website
    perceived as "modern" needs to look. In most cases, there are
    just (very few) navigation points arranged horizontally. If
    at all. Information heavy content and structure seems to be
    perceived as "uncool" and limiting.

    In this discussion, we (the core devs) made clear that basically
    we don't care, as long as we can access and use our information heavy
    content. Since we have already hundreds of pages several layers deep
    and that section is expected to grow heavily, it is clear, that we
    just need some kind of tree-like navigation (plus a cross-link
    feature, which we're lacking currently, plus a detector for
    broken links, which we're lacking too right now).

    This lead to the compromise to design the first layer primary based
    on marketing concerns and utilise a different, information content
    centric layout for 90% of the content.

> Apart from the technical structure we need to look at how we want
> third-level (and lower) pages to be accessed. The current solution in staging
> shows an alternate layout with the menu-tree on the left. I personally think
> it's confusing to switch layout from section to section. I suggest using the 
> sidebar to show lower-level navigation.

Ah ok. So your proposal would be to put the top level into a horizontal
bar, with the entries: Project, Documentation, Build/Install, Contribute,
Devs Vault.

Would these then also be repeated in the tree navigation?
Project, Documentation and Devs Vault are the roots of larger subtrees.

Some time ago, we had long, heavy (and very tiresome) discussions about
the general navigation structure, and backbone how to organise our
content. The result is the structure currently in use.

I must admit, that I am very happy with that structure. It works quite
smooth when working with the actual content. But, I also must admit
that it seemingly is not so optimally chosen from a marketing
POV. You need to understand the rationale, then it works well.

Kind regards,

Hermann V

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