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Re: New Debian Site

I am very happy everyone took this very seriously. I understand that implementing a new
CMS would be a way to arduous job, so I think I will try to work on a new CSS (since I saw
that the html file looks easy to work on, being well organised) to see if I can make a
new interesting proposal as a start off on which we could then work on.

I only have one question: why does the site have different CSSs for each section? I have
not gone through all the CSSs but they all look the same, is this correct? Could somebody
maybe explain to me how it works?

I will get back to you as soon as possible,
many thanks,
Augusto Frausin

On 10/16/06, Frans Pop < elendil@planet.nl> wrote:
(Please delete text irrelevant to your reply from the mail you reply to.)

On Monday 16 October 2006 21:33, HXC wrote:
> Fait enough. In my opinion only more reason to start exploring the
> possibilities. One can wonder why it is not possible for Debian to the
> same as other Linux distributions ( e.g. Gentoo)  with their websites.
> The way I was thaught in university is to start with the problem and to
> finish with looking for causes and possible solutions. At the moment I
> am under the impression that noone is investigating the possibilities
> of the Debian website and if that is the case it is too bad.

There have been loads of previous discussions, both on this list and other
lists (like debian-project). Please start by searching for those and
reading through them to get a solid base; suggest you go back at least 2
years: things said then should still be valid.

There are also some documents that can be found about the subject, for
example on the wiki:

Last year/early this year a long series of fairly structural, but mostly
technical changes were made by Jutta Wrage. Look for how she worked. She
was mostly successful in implementing her ideas.

Your solution should support the following:
- maintenance by a large group of people who don't necesarily have a lot
  of knowledge about website maintenance, markup and CMS tools
- translation infrastructure
  - http://www.debian.org/devel/website/uptodate
  - http://www.debian.org/devel/website/stats/
  - http://www.debian.org/devel/website/stats/tr.html
- text based browsers (lynx, (e)links, w3m)
- accessibility (for visually impaired people)
- searching (weak point of current site)
- automatically generated content; some examples:
  - http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/
    (both news items and links to images)
  - http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/installmanual
  - http://www.debian.org/intro/organization
- release management: preparing new content that is not yet displayed, but
  can be easily activated by a simple switch in a central location (very
  important when there is a new release of Debian)

Funnily enough, the current website meets most of these goals quite well.

When you make a proposal, the best thing to do is to create a mockup that
covers at least parts of the existing website so that people can test and

As Steve already said, modernization of the website and improving its
structure has been often talked about and is a daunting task.
Be prepared for loads of criticism of your proposals and to deal with that
constructively instead of taking it as a personal attack.
Best of luck and thanks in advance for your efforts, however it eventually
turns out.


Augusto Frausin
webmaster & server admin @ itm5.net

Via Panizza 11
20144, Milan

tel: 02 43911692
cell: 3493925166
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