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Re: Fw: Design of Debian web site

For those of you who don't know, I am the current webmaster for Debian.
I just heard of this thread yesterday and was going to read the debian-user
archive, but won't bother as the discussion has been moved. Future replies
will not go to debian-user so subscribe to debian-www if you are interested in

Thomas Apel wrote:
> Concerning the topic I think the most important thing about the Debian
> www site is its content. Besides this it should be fast-loading and easy
> to use with any browser.
> But I also think that a good design is a nice thing AND possible without
> loosing the above attributes. Good design does not necessarily mean
> frames, tons of graphics or java animations.
If you had been involved in previous discussions, you would know that
the developers felt very strongly that there should be NO forms or java
on the pages and that the amount of graphics should be minimized.
Tables are well enough supported now that there is no problem in using them.

> Who is interested in what I think of might have a look at:
> http://www.koeln.netsurf.de/~thomas.apel/debian/index.html
> Although this is a pretty simple page compared to many other sites I
> could even imagine a more simple page without tables.
The page you designed is very much along the lines I had been thinking about.
Many people have been complaining (and just as many complimenting) the site.
I have encouraged every person who has written complaining about the site to
offer suggestions and not a single one has actually come back with anything
constructive. Thank you for your effort.

I have been working on getting all the mirrors set up so we can easily handle
multiple languages (will be done using content negotiation). It was originally
hoped that the pages would be translated by the release of 2.0. As that
doesn't appear likely, it would be best to make these modifications before
a major translation effort to minimize the work of the translators.

Here are some points that should be addressed/discussed:

  Should we only redesign the top page, or modify all the pages to use frames
  (in particular the left margin or top frame to ease moving around the site)?
  My feeling is to leave the other pages as is.

  There should be a place for the Debian logo (do not start a discussion on
  the quality of the logo. This will be discussed somewhere else).

  Should we use style sheets?

  Is there any point in keeping the site index? I inherited it and have (sort of)
  maintained it, but don't see the point.

  There needs to be space at the bottom for the logo of the site sponsor.

  After the pages are translated, there will be links at the bottom to
  access the page in specific languages. This is for those who don't set up
  the preferred_language variable in their browser.

  FYI, it has been my intention to have the actual web pages generated using m4.
  This would allow us to have a generic header and footer (for each language)
  and have time stamps be generated automatically. Modifying the header or
  footer in the past has been a royal pain as every page had to be changed by

  Is it necessary to have both the left frame and titlebar links?

  A few specific changes:
     We go International -> Debian goes International  (We doesn't work well here)
     Bug Tracking -> Bug Tracking System

Jay Treacy

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