[CentOS-docs] Wiki deuglification Part I

Thu Oct 4 16:51:36 UTC 2007
Dag Wieers <dag at centos.org>

On Thu, 4 Oct 2007, Ralph Angenendt wrote:

> Dag Wieers wrote:
> > On Wed, 3 Oct 2007, Ralph Angenendt wrote:
> > I liked it already over the current one ! But:
> >
> >  - I do not like the colors all that much, I prefer something more sober
> >    and professional
> Hey, you began with the colors on the current wiki >;)
> But on the other hand - what are "professional" colors?

Not to many different colors and more importantly, not everything in
different colors :)

I didn't mean professional colors, I meant that the look and feel should
be somewhat more sober and professional. The artwork and colors should not
distract you from the content, the content should be enjoyable to read.
(not look dull because of the theme)

> >  - I would go for normal (default) colors for links (and underline them)
> I like it the way it is - underline them if the mouse hovers over them.
> It helps still being readable if links occur in larger texts -
> underlining them hinders the reading flow (in my opinion).

I can suppress my personal opinion on this :)

> >  - I do think a menu/sidebar that follows some structure of the site is
> >    important, also to house some other info like events and blog posts
> I absolutely *do* hate side bars (like MedaWiki has them). But as I
> said: The table hosting "current events" has it's own css class, so it
> should be possible to move it around on the page - and to give it a
> different look. I've done it as a table, as that is the *only* place I
> can tell the wiki to use css style sheets while editing text - see
> <http://wiki-m.centos.org/HelpOnTables>.
> There might be plugins for something similar, I haven't looked yet.

Even though you may dislike side bars, I still feel it is important for
someone that ends up on a single page via Google, that he has something to
guide him out of the page to other content.

If I absolutely hate something about Wikis in general, it is that there
never is any structure from a single page's view. You can see from where
it is linked, but you do not know whether it is relevant (or deemed

At least a generic structure gives a visitor (of one of the wiki-pages) a
clear idea of what other kind of content is available and it might help
him to actually Download CentOS, or look at what other documentation is in
the Wiki.

Which is the primary task of a Wiki. Making all of the content available.

So sorry that you hate sidebars, but we definitely need some structure,
because most people that cannot work with a Wiki end up leaving the
page where he ended up via Google. Missing out on everything else that is

> > If you visit without being logged in:
> >
> >  - I would remove the Tabs (RecentChanges, FindPage, SiteNavigation,
> >    HelpContents)
> I'd keep at least SiteNavigation and RecentChanges

Ok, look at it from a complete other view.

You search on Google about Yum and CentOS. You end up on:


If you click on either SiteNavigation or RecentChanges, as a user that is
interested in more information, you are lost.

SiteNavigation is completely not related to the content of the page. It
offers less than the search-box offers.

RecentChanges is not relevant for someone visiting the page. We offer in
the 'HEAD' view of that page everything we deem important. RecentChanges
if only useful for people that edit that page or are interested in
improving that page. You need to log in for that, so it is completely
useless to the average visitor.

In fact, and I repeat myself, if you end up on that Yum page as a normal
visitor, you are lost. If you are lucky you are using the Uppity extension
in firefox and you go Up. And going Up or doing a Search is the only thing
you can do.

At least we should have a menu somewhere that offers choice and guidance.

 * Index

 - Download
 - Documentation
 - Contribute
 - Promote
 - Donate
 - About

 * Search

What I also like is something that allows you to go up. In this case it
could be:

	Wiki » Documentation » Package Management » Yum

To help you find related information.

> >  - I am not a proponent for showing 'MoinMoin powered, Python powered,
> >    Valid HTML 4.01' on every webpage. The wiki is not for geeks. There is
> >    little value in showing it on every page.
> This is the space where I'd like to put the Creative Commons stuff.

That indeed seems more relevant :)

What I didn't mention yet is that the Google Adsense is eating away 20% of
my viewable screen area (I have a 1024x768 resolution) and I think that is
totally unacceptable. Together with the logo and Wiki title you loose 50%
of the screen.


I do not even see the *real* content of the front-page. And you don't want
to have a side-bar ?? Compare this to other frontpages:


The content is accessible without having to scroll. I can automatically
start to read.

I understand the need to earn something with Google Adsense, but it should
not intervene with the most important goal of a Wiki. Using this 20% for
ads, and another 30% for logo and title definitely makes the Wiki very
unattractive and appaling to me.

If we really do need to make money, there are (in my opinion) better
alternatives to maximise profit. (Selling business CDs, creating a CentOS
Association people can become member of, like Drupal has, branded goods)

And the website looks like one of those parked domain websites full of
adds with not content, not something I would like to be associated with.

--   dag wieers,  dag at centos.org,  http://dag.wieers.com/   --
[Any errors in spelling, tact or fact are transmission errors]