On Wed, 23 May 2001, Christoph Rauch wrote:

> Raphael Quinet schrieb:
[...]

> > and the systems that  generate dynamic contents using horribly long URLs
> > should also be avoided (see the bad examples from Corel below).
> 
> There is always mod_rewrite. This way we can "beautify" the URLs, without
> disturbing functionality from the developer side.

Yes, of course.  But it could be even better if most of the site could
be based on static files that are generated once (by applying some
templates around the CVS files), so that the pages do not have to be
re-generated for every request.  This reduces the load on the server,
and more importantly this ensures that all pages can be cached, both
in the user's browser cache and in large caching proxies.

Most information that is provided on the gimp.org web site is static
anyway.  It does not need to be updated frequently (except for the
news section, but even that is not updated more than once per day) and
we do not need dynamic elements.  This could change if we introduce a
web-based discussion forum or some online polls, but there is already
the GUG site for that so this is not needed on the main gimp site.  So
I think that a system that generates static pages from a set of
templates would be well suited to the gimp.org web site.  As far as I
know, this is already what is done, even if it is done by a collection
of dirty hacks.

Of course, this is not a requirement.  If there is a system based on
dynamic pages that works better and is much easier to maintain, then
it is probably better than a system that loads faster but is not easy
to maintain.  The key thing is that we should be sure that five years
from now, there is still somebody who can understand how the thing
works and keep the contents up-to-date.

 >> 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.
 >
 > Looking at other pages is always a good idea to get HTML and design
 > ideas from, but the design of the new pages should be *totally
 > unique*.

Yes and no...  The web site should not look like a direct copy of some
other site, so in that way is should be unique.  But it does not need
a totally unique and impressive HTML design.  We are not trying to
impress people with what can be done in DHTML, we are trying to help
those who are using or discovering the Gimp.  Of course, it does not
harm if the site looks good in addition to providing great contents
and useful information about the Gimp, but we should not spend too
much efforts on that.

So I do not care if nobody says: "Wow, what a nice design!" when
viewing the gimp.org site, but I hope that many will say: "Wow, I did
not know that I could do this with the Gimp!" or even: "Wow, this Gimp
program seems to be easier to use and more powerful than my current
software."

-Raphael

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