[pydotorg-www] project plan
skip at pobox.com
skip at pobox.com
Wed Apr 21 17:11:10 CEST 2010
My feedback on Rich's outline document so far:
* (Agility) I don't think the site content is difficult to update. It
is in a fairly simple to read/write text format. Except when brain
cramps get in my way, updating the site generally involves little more
than editing the text and checking in the changed file(s). Switching
to some kind of through-the-web editing system would be massive
overkill in my opinion.
As for the appearance, I lean more toward the simple Google end of the
spectrum when it comes to website appearance, and I detest websites
peg my computer's CPU. I do, however, think that whatever appearance
you settle on should be used in the wiki as well. They are two sides
of the same coin in my mind.
* (Involvement) I agree that more involvement by the community would be
beneficial. Frequently when the site has lagged behind content-wise I
think it's because it contained content which was naturally dynamic.
In several instances we have moved content to the wiki so the
community can keep that content up-to-date.
Regarding the wiki, while more community involvement is worthwhile,
wikis can devolve into little more than a "bag of pages". I think
some effort to provide overall structure to the wiki would be
worthwhile. Deciding if/when to cull data from the wiki would also be
helpful. (For example, frequently people create personal home pages
on the wiki which contain nothing more than their email address - I
guess that's the default with the home page template.)
There are certain parts of the site which I think should not be turned
over to a broader audience, however. In particular, download/release
content, news and job postings should be fairly tightly controlled in
my mind. I hope the reasons for tight control of download/release
content are obvious.
The job board seems to be a well-used part of the site, at least based
on the number of posting requests I've seen and notes about taking
down postings because positions have been filled. There is a fair
amount of give-and-take at times between Martin and the people posting
job announcements to help the submitters get their posts into
reasonable form and with appropriate content. (At least once a month
I would suspect that postings with no apparent Python relevance are
sent to the jobs address.) The job board is a good marketing tool for
Python the language. I think it would be a shame if the high quality
of the content was diluted by lack of oversight.
News postings fall into a similar category as a marketing tool. "Wow,
look at all the Python events!" There is limited space on the site
for news items. There appears to be room for five to seven items
"above the fold" given the current layout. While I think it would be
nice if more events could be posted, that is limited real estate.
OTOH, maybe all news items could be submitted and will go out in the
RSS feed, while only the most important are tagged for display on the
Another area where we could use some help is in squashing/redirecting
old content. Fairly frequently email arrives at the webmaster address
referring to old pages from previous incarnations of the website which
have broken links or are simply badly outdated. In almost all cases I
think we should redirect to a page in the current website or wiki.
Simply identifying old content would be a significant project. It
would be great if the larger community could help identify old pages
and a suitable redirect target. The folks who twiddle the bits on the
web server config could set up the necessary redirection and take down
the old page.
* (Localization) I would like to see some way to highlight local user
group meetings. I realize that's somewhat at odds with my comments
above about news items. It might be worthwhile to also offer storage/
display/indexing space for presentations from local user group talks.
* (Extensibility) I'm not sure what you're after here. I think you need
to expand, maybe give an example.
* (Accessibility) Traditionally, aside from the main Python tutorial
(which assumes some programming background) tutorial information for
complete novice programmers has been left up to the broader community,
then referenced from the main site or the wiki.
(Thinking out loud here...)
- I wonder if the PSF might consider funding a competent technical
writer with essentially no programming experience to learn the
language and produce a good tutorial aimed at complete novices.
- Allowing the community to annotate the online documentation (though
still keeping the actual documentation content "in-house" - sort of
midway between a closed site and fully editable wiki) might be an
excellent way to improve it. Users could point out errors, add
examples, maybe even easily suggest ways to restructure signficant
parts for easier use.
- Would Google App Engine be a suitable environment for an interactive
* (Presentation) As I indicated above I prefer a "lighter" look and
feel. Sidebars can be handy, but we seem to have taken them to an
extreme. With both constant-width left and right sidebars on the
front page you lose anywhere from one third to one half of the space
available to display actual content. That said, I am all for
highlighting activities such as GSoC (maybe displayed as a thin banner
across the top of the page?). I think you could move the "... uses
Python" box to the bottom of the left-hand sidebar, eliminate the
"What they are saying..." altogether, and merge the "Using Python
For..." box into the left-hand sidebar as a dynamic hierarchical menu.
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