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Re: Improvements of the website

Bastian Venthur <venthur@debian.org> wrote: [about my explanation]
> Unfortunately not :) I worked with SVN and WML for some of my own
> projects before and finally dropped it because it was too cumbersome to
> use compared with a decent wiki or a CMS.

That's fine if one's starting from a clean slate, is the only person
whose views matter and so on, but the simple fact is that html-like
markup and revision control are far more common knowledge than any
particular wiki or CMS.

One of the most difficult things about webmastering for lots of sites
now is staying on top of all the different access methods and markups.
Even a lot of the wiki-like software doesn't use wiki markup, but
something slightly different.  It's rather irritating for a 12-year
webmaster to need the reference manual open all the time: that says to
me that the system is not as usable as it should be.  There's been a
couple of times that I've given up doing something which is possible
in xhtml but not in the CMS markup - the software limits the users.

"A maze of twisty markups all different" instead of something
reasonably XMLish is a bug of wiki sites, not a feature.

Another common problem is that some CMS gets picked, installed by its
advocate and the site switched over, then the promised access for
others doesn't materialise and the site bitrots (or worse, is defaced
and the old webmasters can't restore it), but let's assume that won't
happen here.

> A wiki has also the big plus for casual translators that it has a much
> lower entry barrier. Instead of downloading the webpage via CVS and
> editing raw HTML you simply edit the web page like you already do with
> wikipedia.

So what happens about the update alerts and statistics?

There's probably scope for improving the translation framework, maybe
using something gettext-like or kyfieithu-like which more translators
are familiar with, but I think translating webmasters don't have big
problems with webmaster tools.  ICBW, so I await FJP's survey data.

By the way, I can't edit many wikipedia-like sites because of
undocumented browser dependencies (however, wikipedia itself is
editable to me, so I suspect misconfigurations).  Sometimes MVS works,
but that's a poor substitute for even CVS, let alone Git.

> [...] I'm not even a regular contributor to www-related stuff in
> Debian, I just want it to look better :) So, feel free to ignore me.

I'm only an irregular contributor.  I'd like it to look better too and
I think fixing the navigation and updating the styles is the next
step, rather than making it all a wiki or moving from one centralised
VCS to a more exclusive one.

Hope that explains better,
My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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