[sword-devel] New SWORD website - update

Peter von Kaehne refdoc at gmx.net
Tue Dec 30 18:10:28 MST 2008

Troy A. Griffitts wrote:
> 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.

This is fair enough.

The reason i suggested this was the ongoing concern regarding
readibility on small devices. There is simply a point where a compromise
needs to be made - i.e. horizontal scrolling or line wrapping . The
previous table led to line wrapping of the long link names, the current
design will preserve long links, but will lead to horizontal scrolling
(as the previous 2 liner will do)

With this said, I think I will re-instate the long link name for the
Bible society etc link. The volunteer and developer one is interesting -
would you as a interested developer explore a "volunteer" link?
presumably yes, so "Volunteer" will capture all intended audiences and
keep the link short.

> 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. 

I guess my concern is the same as yours, but I think by making the site
easy to navigate it is better served then by the previous long scroll.

> 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. 

The real problem here, Troy, and I think I have some difficulties
getting this through to you long timers, the old SWORD website is dead.
Long live the Wiki!

When I joind CrossWire, all info ever available was on the SWORD site.
Module making, conf file layout etc took several pages. API, SVN
instructions, user documentation, how to install a module, FAQ, etc etc.
So much of this is gutted - certainly all really useful developers info
is now in the Wiki. I have long ceased to use the the SWORD site for
anything really but the occasional glimpse into the module list.

So what are we left with?

A site less then 1/3 of what it was even only a year ago, having lost a
huge part of its function, sometimes still some rudimentary duplication
of the Wiki, often quite out of date and altogether a bit of not so
pleasant decay. The close linkage of BibleCS and Sword in the site's
text was/is another problem as there are more and more credible SWORD
frontends for Windows - so once BibleCS has its info extracted and
concentrated, you are left with the module list and exactly 4 pages of
valid further content - download instructions (including SVN), a nice
"About", some minimal developers' info (you do not want to be too
effusive here as it will only too easily again be overtaken by the
realities of what we do and document on the Wiki) and the news section.
If you would follow the - quite logical - suggestion of Eeli and take
the modules into CrossWire, you would have only 4 meagre pages.

And that is the reality.

There is simply no way around the fact that the SWORD site has lost its
old function as the developer's hub. So what is left? We do need a nice
static platform to show case what we do. It should be useful to a casual
user, it should be technical enough for the budding developer, but it
should not get into the way of the wiki - as this is where we document
what and how we do actual work.

In summary we need 4 static pages for SWORD which look good, do the job
and can again collect dust in a graceful way for another 5 years. This
is what I am trying to do.

> 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.

I do not - emphatically I do not- disagree here. I do think though that
frontends which historically share the two sites' design (BibleCS,
GoBible, and Swordreader->Sword, SwordWeb, Flashcards, QPSSword -> CW)
should hop along and get the same design unless or until someone wants
to give the sites a complete makeover. And apart from Swordreader and
SwordWeb this is really unlikely. So along they should go until someone
takes them to their heart and applies a lot of TLC.

> Again GREAT WORK. 


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

Presumably a collection of   as a list item would do so and if
carefully placed would slide along gracefully when the line wraps. Worth
an experiment. My hesitation is that this kind of thing looks usually
good only in one particular size. But it is worth an experiment.


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