[pydotorg-www] project plan

Steve Holden steve at holdenweb.com
Wed Apr 21 20:23:03 CEST 2010

Michael Foord wrote:
> On 21/04/2010 18:31, Richard Leland wrote:
>> [snip...]
>>             * (Extensibility) I'm not sure what you're after here.  I
>>         think you need
>>               to expand, maybe give an example.
>> Steve mentioned the possibility of adding some APIs for accessing
>> python.org <http://python.org> content - perhaps allowing users to
>> create their own apps - PyPI browsing on iPhone, user group meeting
>> widgets, calendars, release notes, etc. This one would have to be more
>> thought through for sure.
> Having different stylesheets for different devices would be nice -
> Wordpress has a nice plugin that does this and works well. A minimum
> requirement would be that the design should work well on a range of
> browsers *and* devices, however that is done.
> I'm not *convinced* about the idea of giving python.org an API without
> some clear usecases - an API to do what? I'm not sure that an API for
> adding content is *particularly* useful, but if some real usecases can
> be shown then maybe. :-) If we have support for local user groups and
> conferences then things like calendars etc sounds good however.

I wasn't so much suggesting that "an API be designed", but that for
certain point applications (e.g. "Add details of your next user group
meeting to all necessary content areas") we could provide point APIs.

One of the principles of information design is that the same information
should be accessible in multiple ways. At the moment we can't even add
site content and have the update automatically noted in the news section
(or some other automatically-produced section of the site). All or most
correlations have to be created manually, inevitably leading to error
when it is done, and usually ensuring that it simply isn't done.

The current content maintenance mechanism constrains our site structure
horribly at times. One task that I find gallingly, ridiculously
complicated is simply finding out how to contact the PSF. Start at


Clicking on "PSF Details & Contacting the PSF" takes you to


where you then click on "Please see About the Python Software
Foundation." to get to


where you then have to identify and click on "How do I reach the PSF?"
to get to


where you finally see the information you want. While as developers we
are all too happy to talk about software "use cases", too often there
seems to be an assumption that all web site users are the same. They
aren't. As a web professional this screams "incompetence" to me, and the
site appears to be the way it is because there is no simple way to store
that information once and re-use it wherever it is needed.

This is insane, and similar idiocies are doubtless repeated elsewhere.
Anyone who says we can't do better than that has no future in web
development ;-). To change things demands that we look critically at the
site from the point of view of our various categories of user.

I have done some research into the current information architecture, and
have passed the results along to Rich, who is better placed than me to
make use of it. There's a lot to do.

Steve Holden           +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
See PyCon Talks from Atlanta 2010  http://pycon.blip.tv/
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