[sword-devel] New SWORD website - update

Troy A. Griffitts scribe at crosswire.org
Tue Dec 30 16:40:57 MST 2008

Thanks for hearing feedback Peter and your willingness to please. :)

I like the new CrossWire menu bar much better.  Not sure of the wording. 
  I feel "Publishers" might miss the folks we want to draw to that link, 
which includes: Publishers, Outreach Ministries, and Bible Societies. 
In fact, I think the other 2 are more important to me personally. 
Developers also might miss people with no development skill but might 
want to volunteer.

And with this comment, just a word in general.  If it helps, I think 
where we differ in principle is that I put more weight, for the 
CrossWire frontpage, on making the most out of a single hit from a 
first-time visitor; more weight, I guess, than aesthetics like making 
all the projects hosted at CrossWire have a page that looks the same. 
Or removing our portfolio of apps and subdividing them into a nice 
useful software finder, as you have done.  This is why I preferred the 
old site style: basically CrossWire had only 1 main "brochure" page that 
tried to catch the eye of potential ministry partners and users.  If we 
caught their attention and won a 2nd click, then we could take them to a 
more useful site like The SWORD Project which had modules, source, 
dev-mailing list info, etc.  You are really mixing things up, which 
isn't bad in itself, but we editing wording and tweaked the strategy of 
the previous site over quite a few years, so please don't get offended 
(you have done a great job not to) when we are surprise how drastic 
things have changed.  I know I speak personally that I am excited about 
the actual features you have added and how you have cleaned up the HTML 
(except maybe the inclusion of the js hack library for old school IE 
browsers :) ).  I edited to text of the frontpage the other day and got 
my first look at your JSP and was pleasantly excited about how organized 
and easily maintainable it looks.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!

I still disagree about projects at CrossWire having the same look as the 
frontpage.  I actually DON'T WANT them to have the same look.  It shows 
that there is no effort or body of people interested in the 
sub-projects.  I would be excited for each subproject to look completely 
different and have its own personal identity showing pride and ownership 
by the team.  My perfect goal would be for projects like Bibletime, 
GnomeSword, MacSword, GoBible, et. al. to all feel they are developing 
their projects as a community together as CrossWire, and would even use 
our servers more than they do (especially now that we have hard iron in 
our NOC to facilitate heavy usage).  And with very active projects, I 
would expect individuality.

The reason the projects you cite had similar look and feel to CrossWire 
previously, is that it was easy to copy the template and fill in some 
text to get a basic site up for a low traffic project.

I realize this email doesn't give you any specific direction, but just 
want to let you have some insight as to WHY I often criticize and maybe 
help you foreknow my likely reaction before you try something.

Again GREAT WORK.  I which I had time to do little things like make the 
new toolbar have visual spacers like the old one. :)

Blessings my friend!


Peter von Kaehne wrote:
> Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
>> 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.
> We have done this already. In a sense the Wiki is now what the SWORD
> website was - the nuts and bolts section where you get the info you need
> to get to work and make things.
> So the SWORD website has been gutted and is really quite difficult to
> keep alive as a viable thing. Too little of value is left in it - apart
> from the news section and the module list. JSword is a bit of an oddity
> here as its stuff is still mostly in its own site. I have scraped the
> bottom of ~sword and came up with extremely few pages of any relevance.
> After you take out what is better covered in the wiki you are left with
> three things - an acknowldgment that SWORD is the nucleus of our
> activities, the news section and the modules. I largely would agree that
> the modules should be linked to from the CrossWire page, just like the
> software, but the concern is that we would create a rod for our own back
> - at least until we have resolved the situation around the windows self
> extracting modules and have them in a format useful for all Windwos
> frontends.
>> 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.
> Since starting to receive feedback I have again started to take the site
> at www.crosswire.org/sword/newpage apart, so it is not exactly anymore
> representative of anything. But bottomline is that I want to pursue a
> design similar to the Crosswire site - for SWORD and for CrossWire
> hosted frontends to make things unified. Frontends - look at
> www.crosswire.org/qpsword and ../flashcards, Both were sites based in
> the originl CW design, so the changes are minimal, mainly splitting
> pages and adding links to forums etc.
> Peter
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