[sword-devel] New SWORD website - update

Eeli Kaikkonen eekaikko at mail.student.oulu.fi
Tue Dec 30 11:42:10 MST 2008

Peter von Kaehne wrote:
> 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.

I agree. It's difficult to find good ones, but not impossible.

> 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 with Peter here. The change is not dramatic and it's almost only 
for better. Some things need tuning, but it's never perfect anyways.

>> 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
> clarity.

I agree. The SWORD Project is a special case. But I think, as has also 
been suggested by some, that we could move most of the developer section 
to the wiki. It doesn't necessarily have to have similar design to the 
CrossWire pages which are meant for outsiders.

If we think what people are searching for, it is: Bible software, text 
modules. If the software list was already using the CrossWire looks so 
should the module list. The module list should definitely be taken away 
from the engine pages. Peter is doing the right thing there, though I 
agree with Chris that the new blueprint is not necessarily more useful 
or more user friendly than the old one. But it's a good start.

> 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.


> 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.

On the other hand, most of the websites don't have strictly unified look 
between different techologies. It's OK to have separate main pages, 
developer wiki and user forums.

--Eeli Kaikkonen

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