[rfc] website improvements

Matthew Revell matthew.revell at canonical.com
Tue Jan 15 17:58:46 GMT 2008

On 11/01/2008, Martin Pool <mbp at sourcefrog.net> wrote:
> I realized, that part of the problem here is just that I don't have
> filesystem permission to change the theme files or moin setup on that
> machine myself.  So I am always saying "I'll ask someone to fix that",
> even for technically trivial changes as you pointed out above.  I had
> also discounted doing improvements through the moin api.
> There is value in having net-facing machines locked down but this
> seems a bit too much...  At any rate it's not an inherent problem with
> the software.
> So, rethinking this, maybe a better approach is to get access to
> change the wiki theme, get pretty_docs or something similar
> reactivated, and write some scripts that poke data into the wiki to
> automate things.

I support anything that would solve bottlenecks on improving the look
of the site but I still think there's an argument for separating the
main website - i.e. Bazaar's shop window - from the general wiki.

Our aims for both parts of the site are sufficiently different that I
think we need to handle them separately:

 * "Shop window": promote Bazaar, allow people to download, offer
comparisons, publish news, offer testimonials, etc.
 * Wiki: develop docs, provide non-core docs, and anything else the
community wants.

Separating the shop window from the wiki will, I believe, reduce the
potential for confusion amongst people new to Bazaar and make both
more effective.

I've seen some good examples of clean simple shop window type websites
for projects aimed at a similar audience to Bazaar's:

 * Ruby - http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/
 * Django (although I find this overly busy) - http://www.djangoproject.com/
 * Entertainer - http://www.entertainer-project.com/

I particularly like the Ruby website because it succinctly summarises
what Ruby is, provides obvious but non-distracting links to important
next destinations for visitors - e.g. downloads, getting started,
testimonials, and so on. The main thing I'm not so keen on is that the
news isn't clearly flagged as such.

If we had a shop-window website, I think it should be locked down and
have a simple before-publication review process. With a declared wiki,
people know the deal. However, the shop window site's content needs to
be uber-reliable as I believe its visitors will be less forgiving of
mistakes or unpolished content.

I don't really have an opinion on what we should use to manage such a
shop-window website. However, I agree with your comments Martin that
it shouldn't have the wiki paraphernalia, if it happens to be wiki

Something I'd like to see would be a "Ten things you must know about
Bazaar" tour. It'd highlight and explain (high level) the ten features
that  make Bazaar special and it would be a smart, polished tour. I'm
working on something similar for Launchpad.

Matthew Revell - talk to me about Launchpad
Join us in #launchpad on irc.freenode.net

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