[sword-devel] New SWORD website - update

Peter von Kaehne refdoc at gmx.net
Tue Dec 30 08:35:22 MST 2008

Chris Little wrote:
>> My last solution of a single table row works well on shallow and normal
>> screens, but causes scrolling on very narrow screens.
> I checked the crosswire.org site on a desktop with a nice large screen
> resolution, an iPhone (320x480), the same iPhone in landscape (480x320),
> and an EeePC (640x400).

As I said, I have found a solution with a a inline list which works
better on all kinds of screen designs. Better than the previous design
and better than the single file table row. I need to deploy it. Another
matter is the use of long winded top links. Some are avoidable. Some are
not. We should shorten the avoidable ones as these will always cause
some degree of breakage on whatever design we choose as soon as we move
to limited screen sizes.

Volunteers and Developers,

Bible Societies, Outreach ministries and Publishers.

A good rule for all top links is that they should be short and sweet.
Lengthy descriptions do not work well and are a turn off.

The former one could be really either - developer or volunteer, but both
together is - at least to a degree redundant. Volunteer would probably
better encapsulate the wide range of opportunities, developer in turn is
the conventional approach in most open source sites

And the triplet of Bible Societies etc could feasibly be "Publishers"
alone as this would encapsulate the particular function  we want to
address and assist. To maintain an exhaustive list of all people we want
to address there is probably not feasible. FWIW churches and
congregations are a main distributor and user of our software, but are
not listed.

>> re styling and coloring.
>> This remains a contentious issue clearly. I do not expect anyone to like
>> my design choices - though some seem to do so.
> The color scheme and overall design are another thing that were not
> broken, but got "fixed".

Actually you are mixing things up there - the color scheme of
www.crosswire.org is identical to the previous one with the exemption of
the link color which was in direct response to the color blind ness
comments I received. It works and your links which you kindly provided
to confirm this.

> CSS is another way of expressing the same information that can be
> hardcoded. I think moving to CSS is perfectly admirable (although there
> are certainly arguments against it, such as incompatibility with older
> browsers). Moving to CSS is, however, not a reason for changing design.

Moving to CSS - if you look at the CrossWire site, it has not exactly
changed a lot. I copied the previous design in much detail. My only
serious diversion of it was the move from the two liner menu to a one
liner. I am experimenting with better solutions and I think I have found
one, which does less wrapping and expands and shrinks appropriately. I
have not deployed it on CrossWire yet.

> I agree that the download section should be redesigned, but don't
> believe that it's fair to compare the old page with a new one in which
> the primary differences are removal of the module ID & a download link
> and a shrunken font. That's not due to changed styling or CSS.

Well, yes. Removing redundancy, removing forced allocations of screen
space and removing superflous links all led to change. Removing the
table construction side menu and having my own side menu in a div
instead, placed via CSS, reduced the amount of absolutely needed
horizontal space.

And yes, a fair chunk of that change is in CSS as I removed all space
allocations to the table cells from the HTML and put it into CSS, making
it possible to a) switch off the styling if mine causes difficulties and
b) improve on what I did with easy means.

> You might find this color-blindness simulator helpful:
> http://colorfilter.wickline.org/

Thanks for that link. It is very useful and confirmed that the new sites
(both CW and SWORD) work well on all relevant levels of color blindness.
- with the exception of those black on green links. I will change these.

> You raised the issue in an email to me of the CrossWire site, Sword
> site, forums, and wiki all having different designs. My position is that
> the CrossWire and Sword sites should have different designs. The Sword
> site, the forums, the bug tracker, and the customized Google search all
> have different layouts, but they have identical color schemes. (NB: I do
> think the background on the last of these should get a change for
> readability.) 

I raised this matter several times. I am firmly convinced that we should
have a single design (with variation) for all public oriented  parts of
the site. we had this already for CW and several front ends (QPSword,
Flashcards) and another for SWORD and a group of other front ends
(BibleCS, Sword reader, GoBible). To unify this would introduce more

There are few basic rules to web design and one is that you should not
needlessly confuse your visitors. Top level links are by convention
inner site links. External links are usually marked as such.

Sites which do not conform to this convention usually create in the same
token some navigation difficulties. SWORD is a subdomain of CrossWire,
it is the most important project and it features heavily on the CW pages
already.    There is simply nothing gained by creating/maintaining a
totally different image for the most important thing we do.

This is pretty typical. Different applications (like
> wikis, forums, & bug trackers) typically have different layouts 

I think the different technical background of applications is not an
adequate reason to maintain vastly different looks - at least insofar as
the externally oriented pages/applications are concerned - CW, SWORD and
Forums. Look at Ubuntu who do manage to keep a unified look for whatever
part of the site you move.

Ok. I will leave this now. I floated the site here on the list as I
needed feedback. I got plenty now. I am more than aware of many short
comings and I will get back to work.

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