It's time for me to respond to the posts re the site design of linux.ie,
rather than give the impression that I couldn't be bothered.
I chatted with Donncha about this stuff, so the comments inline are
a combination of ours.
#From: John Kelly [mailto:john at frontend.ie]
#Sent: 03 November 2000 15:25
#Subject: RE: [Webdev] We Got Four Shamrocks Like!
#No offense to Ken Guest and the rest of the linux.ie webteam, but the
#linux.ie site has been showing it's age for a long time now.
None taken, but yearly changes of design just for the sake of it?
Tweaking the current design is open to discussion, changing it
completely is not. (I don't see the point in creating loadsa
work to do just for the sake of it.)
I will certainly veto any ideas to put in client side scripting,
frames or cute little animations.
Ever since I started doing work on the ILUG website it's been with
one main principle in mind:
* Any browser on any OS should be able to render the pages in
a consistent manner making it easy for people to read the
content rather than frustrated with having to download yet more
Just stating this for clarification, that's all; not taking
any of this personally B^) !
Mind you, I've been chatting things over with Donncha, and
there will be changes to the current design of linux.ie,
they just won't be radical.
#There's a lot
#of content getting lost in there, because of confusing way the
#done. An example would be the LDAP presentation someone gave
#at one of the
#meetings (LAID?). There's a copy of it online, on linux.ie..
#remember the author being praised for it. I can't find it.
#means it was removed, I don't know.
It never was there. I certainly don't remember putting it into the
site and a "find . | xargs grep -i ldap" showed nothing except for
archived posts to the mailing lists.
As far as new content is concerned, the main page has had the following
text on it for the last good while:
If you'd like to write something for this website, or would like to suggest
an idea about linux.ie, please email the webmaster team (without .nospam at
Nobody ever does!
I will be getting in contact with those that gave talks
at the Dublin Meetings et al so to publish articles based on
their talks (their notes really I suppose) on the site.
#The design itself is confusing. The 'navigation bar' (for
#want of a better
#term) over the left is a barrage of words in bold, making it awkward to
#read. I believe this is the point that the reviewer was
#trying to make,
#that to a person inexperienced with linux, the site isn't particularly
The sidebar to the left is going to change as will the apparent
structure of the site from the current "shallow and not very well
structure" to a "slightly deeper but better categorised and thus easier to
find what you are looking for" design.
Directly linked pages might have a sitemap of the relevant section. The link
that was just clicked on the side bar should be highlighted somehow, but
still clickable. Clicking on any of the sitemap links brings you into the
article or subsection.
When a user goes into a subsection we have two choices..
We can either have a nice "you are here" sort of chain at the top of the
Articles :: Linux In Industry :: TradeSignals.com
Or, have a series os links at the top of the page, below the logo..
Articles :: Linux In Industry : Reviews : Tutorials
Clicking on one of the links highlights it, but it should still be
Highlights should be done by identifiers, not colours or bolding or
the link. Perhaps putting ** around the link or something..
Also, I'm playing around with slight changes to the color scheme at the
http://new-www.linux.ie/ken.html is a change to an old prototype (which the
current 'live' design is a variant of), to make the page contents distinct
from the sidebar to the left and the shortcuts to the top.
and http://new-www.linux.ie/ken2.html is a change to just make the sidebar
distinct from the rest.
(I'm not even remotely thinking of going back to that old logo or design,
those pages are just for trying out color schemes, that's all).
Which seems better, changing the background color of the 'specific content'
of the page, or changing the background color of the sidebar?
Just to clarify on this point, there won't be any color coding to
identify where you are in the site (as that wouldn't help much
for people reading via lynx of their favourite pda net browser.
#Oh, while we're at it, the "search archives" utility is
#horribly slow too.
It is brutally slow, isn't it?
The script for it doesn't index the pages and I've been meaning to
do something about this for quite some time.
The replacement needs to
index pages without duplicating them (the mailing list archives are big
without duplicating them for the search engine).
allow for content of the presented page to be in a file seperate from the
.html markup page
(to clarify, the vast majority of the pages on www.linux.ie (excluding
have the actual content in a seperate file which is #included into the
sent down from the server when the .html file is requested by a
body tag is in a seperate file (including the 'cork.linux.ie
galway.... header at the
top of the page)
sidebar/navigation is in a seperate file.
section specific additions to the side bar are also in seperate
I did try swish++ and a few other engines but they all make needless copies
of the pages
that they index.
At the moment, what really needs to be done are:
1/ Much better search engine required, must meet constraints as
In short: we need something that indexes the website by calling URLs
of the site. HTDig should suffice, but Donncha thinks that has a
restrictive license. There's no way we can get away without creating
kind of keyword database, requiring storage but it'll be fast :) We
make the indexing engine ignore the really large mbox files of the
lists (There are some HUGE text files on the server that have all
the text of
each mailing list in one page..)
2/ configurable sitemap generator required.
Configurable to degree of indicating what directories are to be
3/ nominate maintainers for specific sections. for example (this is
and purely speculation) Justin Mason might want to maintain the
4/ Section maintenance done through web front end - minimize need to
ssh in to lugh.
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