New website! ... not yet, really (Fwd: [28303] trunk/www)

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at
Sat Sep 1 14:11:05 PDT 2007

On Aug 30, 2007, at 11:32, Juan Manuel Palacios wrote:

> (DISCLAIMER after reading my message before hitting send: Hope it  
> doesn't come off as confrontational, that's really not my  
> intention! Rather, I want to be really sharp at pointing out our  
> shortcomings so that we can do a better job at fixing them)
> On Aug 28, 2007, at 12:33 PM, Weissmann Markus wrote:
>> I personally like the services that Apple provides for us via  
>> macosforge; with this installation we do have someone who is  
>> updating our software and caring about our server.
>> Therefore I'd rather prefer to try to modify the macosforge  
>> provided framework to meet our needs, at least as far as this is  
>> possible. We can still add a ports page and a documentation  
>> subdirectory and keep the wordpress installation etc.
> 	I'm not proposing we forego any of Mac OS Forge's services if we  
> don't strictly have to, nor that we go back to our old website  
> (certainly not that! --not because of its functionality, which was  
> good, but because of its outdated look & feel--). All I had in mind  
> when recovering trunk/www/ from the ashes is that people take a  
> good look at those pages in their rendered form to better asses  
> what we'll need and what we'll discard in a new design going forward.

Mmm.... Better asses... (I think there's an "s" missing there.... :))

> 	What I am indeed proposing is that we use the services we  
> currently have at our disposal in a dramatically improved and more  
> efficient manner. We now have on one end a wordpress front posing  
> as a sorely lacking home page for the project; and on the other  
> end, for the most part disjoint from the former, a considerably  
> disorganized trac front that, OK, is good at its main purpose of  
> tracking issue tickets and serving a source browser portal, but for  
> the rest is really inconsistent with the overall project look and  
> feel which we... eeeehhhhhhhhh, hhhhhmmmmmm, don't even have to  
> begin with!
> 	Added to that, our current layout has no space for a guide section  
> nor an "Available Ports" page providing dynamic listings our  
> software offerings, something many many users have been craving for  
> ever since we moved away from OpenDarwin. Those two areas of our  
> old site now exist mostly as independent efforts (http:// 
> & 
> macports/ports.php), so in my opinion they are even more than  
> disjoint from the two fronts listed above.
> 	We clearly need to get our act together and correct the current  
> situation by developing a unified site that does our web presence  
> the justice the project deserves. Take a look, for example, at  
> Adium's web page,, and focus on how their portal  
> integrates rather seamlessly with a blog, trac services and other  
> sections users might be interested in, both in functionality and in  
> look & feel. No need to stress what a long way a clean design like  
> that can go in making the whole web experience a valuable one...  
> something not many have expressed about our current site, if anyone...
> 	With this initiative I'm stating that we need a whole new website,  
> complete with redesigned functionality, new look & feel and, if  
> resources allow, a new project logo (& mascot ;-). We are all aware  
> that's quite a bit of an undertaking, I'm not day dreaming here, so  
> lets try to put together a protocol of how we should go about  
> finding the resources we'll need to make it all happen. Do we have  
> something we can work our way up from? Is Chris' mockup not only an  
> appealing one (it is to me), but also one that will scale up well?  
> Do we already have any volunteers that want to start coding/ 
> designing something? Do we have to go out to our user base and ask  
> people to join this task force? If so, how? What should the rules  
> look like?
> 	Before answering any of those questions, I think it would be wise  
> to asses what it is that we all want to see in a new web page, in  
> order to be able to tell anyone donating his/her time/resources:  
> "this, this and that is what we want to have". I'd now like to  
> refocus this thread on exactly that, with my personal take following:
> -) Home: a front page detailing what the project is about  
> (including a brief description of our ports tree), mission goals  
> (very brief summary of a project roadmap) and introductory text of  
> how to participate/join;
> -) Download & Installation: section describing exactly what its  
> name says;
> -) Available Ports: old ports.php page with some extensions I'll  
> explain below;
> -) Documentation: new guide with automated regen in place;
> -) Support & Development: link to our (revamped) trac portal.
> 	If you (any reader) have payed attention to trunk/www lately,  
> you'll realize I'm pretty much in line with the old web page, which  
> I do believe was good in functionality. Differing from it, though:
> -) first and foremost, of course, new look & feel and logo (and  
> project mascot? ;-) that wraps *all* of our site;
> -) blog/news section, which can be provided by our existing  
> wordpress front, but which I wouldn't be too sure on how to  
> integrate with the rest of the site (separate tab? just below the  
> introductory text in the home page? maybe someone more webdesign  
> savvy can chime in);
> -) Help section can easily be eliminated if we revamp trac's  
> welcoming page (take a look at;
> -) love Chris' idea of a sidebar, which can have a "Shortcuts"  
> section with direct links to areas we infer will be of special  
> interest to users. Chris does this but calls it "Development", and  
> I think that overlaps a tad too much with "Support & Development"  
> as a main section; I'd just call it "Shortcuts" and make it as  
> broad in scope as we like (shortcuts don't have to be developer  
> oriented only ;-). Another good example of a sidebar can be found  
> in Webkit's site (, another page I love and that I  
> think we should study to design ours;
> -) layout of "Available Ports" should be "re-thought" to allow room  
> for a "Build Status" section that will be populated with html  
> output from build log submissions, once we start our automated  
> build runs ( 
> PortLoggingProposal , which I/we will hopefully write before the  
> sun becomes a white dwarf).
> 	What says y'all? Anything obvious I'm missing? Anything obnoxious  
> about my ideas/proposal? I'd really love to get this show on the  
> road ASAP, so it would be great to get at least some feedback to  
> finally declare a "design freeze" that will allow us to set the  
> design team that will hopefully form in a defined course.
> 	Regards to all and thanks for reading this far, as always ;-)

Just wanted to quickly say "yes" to pretty much everything you wrote.  
Also, in May, I started working on a new MacPorts web site design,  
but never posted it. I'll dust it off and post what I have, and  
people can see what they think.

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