Eep. I have over 150k of mail about the gimp webpage now. Here's a
first reply to _some_ of it:

On Wed, May 23, 2001 at 04:20:00AM -0400, Michael Spunt wrote:
> I tried some stuff ony my own, too. Maybe you would like to have a
> look at it:

That's a neat design, but you're doing all this funky stylesheet stuff
that leaves me with a bad font! Please don't change my font on me!
Also, what's with this?
A query in the URL for a static document??

On Sat, May 19, 2001 at 09:09:55AM +0200, Raphael Quinet wrote:
> 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.

I have purposely _not_ applied any significant design to the stuff
I've been working on - I'm expecting someone to come up with a better
one, eventually. I've just chosen the general geometry of the page.
Just a matter of changing a few template files.

> 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 developers, outdated descriptions of the Gimp's features, ...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.

Design and contents are two completely separate things in my world. I
suppose I could rearrange my templates to look more like the current
site :)

> 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, 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
>    today.

Yes, mod_rewrite can do this. I am into directory hierarchies and
organizing information, but I agree that we should not break any
existing URLs.

> * 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 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).

I think my stuff is pretty quick - works in Lynx and w3m quite nicely,

> * 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).

Very much agreed.

On Wed, May 23, 2001 at 02:46:24PM +0200, 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.

Actually, in my system, all of my URLs are _already_ nice and
clean, with full functionality. :)


Why _create_ ugly URLs? Why not just make them pretty in the first place?

On Wed, May 23, 2001 at 03:32:13PM +0200, Raphael Quinet wrote:
> > > 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.

My stuff does this :)

> Most information that is provided on the 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
> web site.  As far as I know, this is already what is done, even if
> it is done by a collection of dirty hacks.

Yes, and I believe that my hacks are a little bit less dirty, and
easier for content editors to work with.

Feel free to explore stuff at:

> So I do not care if nobody says: "Wow, what a nice design!" when
> viewing the 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."

For example: I have a GIMP process on wilber that generates title
images, and of course they are only made the first time a new page is
loaded. I think that's pretty nifty. Can Photoshop do that? :)

On Wed, May 23, 2001 at 10:23:57AM -0500, Miles O'Neal wrote:
> I know, I know.  Since we're probably going to rewrite the site in
> something less arcane and more known, now is the ideal time to
> revamp the look and feel.  Let's just make sure it's worth the
> effort, and we don't lose things - like the top notch menu system,
> etc.

What do you think of the nav at

On Wed, May 23, 2001 at 02:35:28PM -0400, Adrian Likins wrote:
> I'm not picky about the backend, the language, the look, etc. I
> think the primary goal should be to make it easy to keep the content
> up to date, and make adding/editing content as easy as possible. The
> perceived difficulty in keeping content up to date was the downfall
> of the old site.

I like to think that the stuff I've thrown together satisifes these
goals quite well. The template language is purposely limited - in
particular, it's not Turing complete (unless you count the Perl

The navigation is generated by a script that traverses all of the
static pages (plus pages from the database!), so adding a page is a
simple matter of making a new file and putting some content in it.
Right now the navigation generator has to be run manually but there's
no reason it couldn't be run as a cron job or whenever someone checks
a new file into CVS.

Anyway if you want to stare at the code or the raw input pages they're
all visible at:



   Tom Rathborne     [EMAIL PROTECTED]   |
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