[python-advocacy] How programming language webpages should be designed

Carl Karsten carl at personnelware.com
Tue Nov 10 20:59:27 CET 2009

On Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 12:28 PM, Aahz <aahz at pythoncraft.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 09, 2009, Paul Boddie wrote:
>> To an extent, the simple programs page comes to the rescue again,
>> here. I disagree with Aahz about real-estate on the front page:
>> showing the very thing the site is about is far more important
>> than having testimonials, for example (important though they are),
>> occupying large areas of the page.
> Far more important for whom?  If you agree that testimonials are
> important, saying that code examples are "far more important" implies
> that you think that code examples are more important than everything
> else on that page, including the left navbar links and the news items.
> I have to strongly disagree with that.
> But assuming you're simply engaging in hyperbole, I repeat what I said
> earlier: go ahead and create a sample front page replacing the
> testimonials with code samples.  Until someone is willing to invest the
> effort into writing HTML, I think we're arguing in a vacuum.

I am willing to invest the effort if it was likely it would be used,
which right now it seems more unlikely given the conflicting goals.
but I think that satisfies your requirement, so there is a point in
the discussion (I don't think it is an argument until 2 people have
strong conflicting opinions, and so far I am not seeing that.)

I do agree with the group that thinks there should be code on the
opening page.  I am not sure what the rest of that group thinks, but I
am in favor of replacing quite a bit of what is currently the 'first
view' (center, above the fold, what people are going to read before
they click away.)

But I also think I have a different view of the goal of the first view
than others, especially whoever did  the current layout.

Given that, I think we need to talk about goals before bothering with
implementation, like "put code on the page."

I see 4 groups of people that should be considered: (list is in
alphabetic order to obscure any sense of importance, which I am
undecided on)

1. potential python developers - need to write something, get to pick
the tools, wondering what python has to offer, maybe considering a
career choice.
2. python developers (old and new, but the choice has been made)
3. python users (I have an python app, I need help making it run)
4. technical management that gets to pick tools for a team

I have no problem catering to all 4 groups, but each groups needs are
fairly different and much like pycon talk selection, there are more
options than there is room for, so we have to figure out what to cut.

Personally, I think we should give as much as we can to 1 and 4, so 2
and 3  get one link each: "developers" and something like "help me
make my python app run" or "my app broke" (thats the only reason I can
see #3 coming to the site.)

1 and 4 are groups we want to motivate.  we have many motivational
things to offer, some will apply to both groups, but most wont apply
 For instance, when asked "why Django?" Keyton Weissinger said:
"There are better, more technically beautiful architectures out there,
I find Django to be simple to use an amazingly well documented.  I
don't get into infrastructure debates, other people care, I don't."
http://pyatl.blip.tv/file/2794179/ 26:03

I actually picked Turbo Gears because I was one of those people who
cared,  but switched when asked to do some Django work.  Cash isn't
everything, for instance I turned down doing PeopleSoft (very high
paying) and MsSQL work.

> Side note: the webmaster team is always looking for volunteers.....
> --
> Aahz (aahz at pythoncraft.com)           <*>         http://www.pythoncraft.com/
> [on old computer technologies and programmers]  "Fancy tail fins on a
> brand new '59 Cadillac didn't mean throwing out a whole generation of
> mechanics who started with model As."  --Andrew Dalke
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Carl K

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