[pydotorg-www] project plan

Michael Foord mfoord at python.org
Wed Apr 21 20:50:12 CEST 2010

On 21/04/2010 20:23, Steve Holden wrote:
> 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.

That sounds great. And your following comments about the lack of any 
coherent information design in the python.org website I also agree with. 
Pulling all that together into shape is a huge task and you have my 
thanks for undertaking it.

There are various suggestions that have been made that are great but 
could be divided into sub-tasks and either run in parallel or left for 
later. Including (but not limited to):

* Supporting user annotations of the Python documentation
* Supporting translations of the Python documentation
* Providing a home and services for Python user groups (workshops / 
conferences etc)
* Updating / rewriting the tutorial
* Through the web maintenance of the jobs board (may be urgent but is a 
separate problem all the same)
* IT infrastructure around PyPI and security comncerns

However there are some issues that need to be part of any core changes:

* Clear navigation paths for the major groups of users
* Support for mobile devices
* Accessibility
* Ability to seamlessly style the wiki with any new look (or replacing 
the wiki altogether and migrating content)
* Clear (and easy) system for maintaining / updating the website and 
creating new content

That is what I have pulled out from recent discussions anyway.

All the best,

Michael Foord

> 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
>    http://python.org/psf/
> Clicking on "PSF Details&  Contacting the PSF" takes you to
>    http://python.org/psf/#psf-details-contacting-the-psf
> where you then click on "Please see About the Python Software
> Foundation." to get to
>    http://python.org/psf/about/
> where you then have to identify and click on "How do I reach the PSF?"
> to get to
>    http://python.org/psf/about/#how-do-i-reach-the-psf
> 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.
> regards
>   Steve


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