On Wed, 23 May 2001, Michael Spunt <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> I tried some stuff ony my own, too. Maybe you would like to have a look
> at it:
> http://www.technoid.f2s.com/gimp.org/index.php
> Changing the navigation structure was the main goal here, so it differs
> from your effort.

Well, this looks interesting but I do not know if such a design is
appropriate for a Gimp site.  Your design is modern/futuristic, but
these characteristics are not directly related to image editing,
painting, or graphics in general.  Someone who comes to the site
without knowing what the Gimp is about (e.g., a Windows user who
clicked on a button "Graphics by Gimp" on some other web page) would
probably not think that she just loaded a page describing an image
editing program.  It would be better if the home page could show some
paintbrushes, color palettes, maybe some photorealistic images (but
the page should not be too "heavy"), and of course our friend Wilber.
These things could easily be associated with what the Gimp is about.

Anyway, I am not sure that a completely new design for the Gimp site
is necessary.  It would be nice, but upating the presentation is IMHO
much less urgent than updating the contents.  There are many broken
links to external sites, incomplete information for developers,
outdated descriptions of the Gimp's features, ...  If someone has the
time to update both the layout and the contents (and to keep on
maintaining the site for a while), then I am all for it.  But if
nobody has enough time to do both, then updating the layout should not
delay the long-awaited updates of the contents.

In addition to some of the things mentioned in Christoph's TODO list,
I would like to add a couple of things that should avoided for the
Gimp's web site:

* The new layout should not break the existing URLs.  Many people have
   bookmarked some pages on www.gimp.org, and many web sites have
   direct links to the download pages, to the documentation or to the
   mailing lists page.  So even if the navigation system is redesigned,
   there should still be something available from the same URLs as

* The design should be fast and clean.  It should support all browsers
   and should not make excesssive use of nested tables or JavaScript.
   The current design of www.gimp.org is OK from that point of view.
   But on the other hand, the GUG site is taking too long to render in
   Netscape 4 (2-3 seconds of delay for re-displaying any page, because
   of the nested tables).

* The site should not use cookies unless there is a real need for
   them.  For example, if the site is built with PHP then it should not
   use the session-id cookies or any other user-tracking cookies.  This
   is not needed and it annoys the users who have configured their
   browser to warn them when the server wants to set a cookie.

* The pages should be easy to bookmark and the URLs should not be too
   long.  This means that frames are forbidden, and the systems that
   generate dynamic contents using horribly long URLs should also be
   avoided (see the bad examples from Corel below).

Maybe it could be interesting to have a look at the web sites of the
companies selling similar products...  You will see that all of them
are using simple layouts: they do not try to impress people with nice
HTML tricks; instead they simply list the features of their products
and provide some simple documentation.

As an example, here are the pages that describe the new features in
the lastest version of several well-known products (looking at these
pages is also interesting for Gimp developers because they can give
lots of good ideas for new features):

Adobe - Photoshop 6.0

Jasc - Paint Shop Pro 7

Corel - CorelDRAW 10 - features

Corel - Painter 6 (previously Fractal Design, then MetaCreations)


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