[ZWeb] NZO / Plone / etc

george donnelly list@zettai.net
Thu, 20 Feb 2003 09:25:40 -0500

[Paul Everitt wrote (paul@eurozope.org) on 2/20/03 5:49 AM]
> If you agree, then I propose that we pick a time to meet in #nzo on
> irc.freenode.net and lodge some collector entries that we then assign to
> ourselves.

Ok, sounds good. I can set aside some time to work on this tomorrow or

> <title>Zope.org Home - Open Source Application Server</title>
> ...for the homepage?

That's an excellent start. I think we should drop in Content Management
System after that, like this:

<title>Zope.org Home - Open Source Application Server, Content Management
System </title>

Or alternatively, identify the competitors and target their keywords. ;) Key
Question: What searches do we want zope.org to come up in the top 5 for?

>> On navigation: the top 5-9 sections of the site should be identified and be
>> prominently and redundantly navigable. The left-side navigation box is
>> excellent and I think an abbreviated site map should be at the bottom of all
>> the pages and i think we should consider a nav bar across the top, running
>> under the logo and search box.
> I'm not sure I understand about the "bottom of all pages" and nav bar part.

wrt to the abbreviated site map, i mean that it should go in the footer, at
the very bottom of every page, to facilitate navigaton. Something in a
roughly similar vein as these sites have (tho a bit more abbreviated):


wrt to the nav bar, i mean a a horizontol bar that runs across the screen
below the logo and has a link to each of the top, 5-9 site sections.
Something like what zope.com has but with less sections and in a bigger

>> Why are there two Documentation sections? I think they should be merged.
> Welcome to the long-postponed IA discussion. :^)

I'm guessing ZC or someone wants to distinguish between the "official" and
the community-contrbuted (tho there's not that much distinction here). But I
think for the user, especially the new user, 2 sections for "the same thing"
is confusing and can cause some loss of confidence in the site.

Looking at it from the POV of the user, documentation is documentation and
you don't care if ZC or zopeboy101 wrote it (well, in most cases at least).
>> Let's put News and Members in here.
> Let's also agree on a limit.  What is the maximum number of items?

I think 5-9 top level sections is a good number, in fact i would say 7 max.
>From my days as a teacher I remember reading research multiple times about
how our short term memory can only hold between 5-9 items at any one time.
IA and Usability reaearch makes use of this hypothesis as well.

>> 4. Javascript:
>> I think the javascript stuff should be dumped. It slows things down and its
>> hard to make this work reliably across all platforms. Also, I suspect the
>> main user of zope.org is the developer and and developers do not seem to be
>> javascript fans.
> I disagree with this last hypothesis.  Look at:
> http://devedge.netscape.com/viewsource/2003/devedge-redesign/

I'm not a big user of that site but I would hazard the guess that its
audience is mainly html/css/js people. Their tech section is basically all
client-side technology ( http://devedge.netscape.com/central/ ).

So I think their audience is still different from zope.org's.

> Their site has a similar target audience as ours, and the audience uses
> the site in similar ways.  (In fact, we could probably learn a lot from
> that site and that page).

I would definitely like to implement CSS layout, which is what they have
done. And their design is attractive, so I would agree that we can learn a
lot from them.

> We should be careful about JS, but we shouldn't banish it.  Rather, it
> shouldn't be *required* to reach resources.

Can we turn it off by default? Really my main problem is that it slows down
page rendering and so people who just look at the Big PictureTM conclude
that "Zope is slow".

>> 5. Input Buttons:
>> The input buttons look weird to me, like caved in. I think one thing that
>> would help is giving them some padding so they're not so cramped. Also
>> perhaps giving them a background color that better distinguishes them from
>> the white background, perhaps a darker gray with white text or the blue
>> that's in the header and white text.
> Hmm, they don't look caved to me, and they have a background color.
> We'll have to investigate this more...

Perhaps its just my browser (IE5.1.6/Mac). Right now I'm rooting for making
them blue background with white text.

>> Let's put the actual comment form on the page. To have to wait for an extra
>> screen to load before you can input your comments seems wasteful of time and
>> an unnecessary barrier. Let's do it the way everyone else does it. I think
>> it would be good to offer this as a tab as well along with View and State
>> etc.
> I'm not sure I agree that this is the way everyone does it.  It seems
> that many blog sites are moving to a model where clicking on "comments"
> pops up a separate browser window.

I don't read blogs as much as I used to but the way I remember this is that
many blogs used to host in places where they couldn't install any software
or write any useful code (either due to lack of knowledge or lack of
access). ie they hosted as cheap as possible.

A service sprung up to host/provide commenting service for these blogs and
this is how they did it because it was much easier to put a remote link on a
page than to put a remote form on a page.

my example is metafilter.com (gotta be logged in tho).

> Doing it this way can also help performance, as we can cache longer.

So do we really want to sarifice usability for performance?

Hmm, MySQL.com does it the same way as NZO...., perhaps it is more

>> 8. Tag Line:
>> Zope.org has not tag line. It needs a short and prominently placed
>> description of 8 words or less because the word "Zope" does not give me
>> people any clue as to what Zope is or does.
> Would this be part of the graphic?  If so, it might need approval from
> ZC.  If not, where would you like it?

Well, a tag line usually does go up around there, where the graphic is...

Its really not clear to a new user what zope is and that is important.

> I think display of news was something that received a lot of talk but
> not much action last year. :^)  I'd like it to look exactly like ZopeZen
> and other sites, there's a pretty common pattern to follow.

Sounds good.

>> I'd also like to implement that blog here that I was selling before. ;)
> Which blog?

The one that i was pushing a while back as a workflow/more digestable
version of Zope News.
>> 13. FrontPage
>> I would opt for a 3 or 4 column front page that has information
>> from/pointers to all of the sections along with a short 1 paragraph intro.
> Getting from that two-line paragraph, and into reality, will take some
> more work. :^)

I see Sidnei made some change to the frontpage overnight. A definite
improvment. I'm willing to put some work in here.

> We should drop the link to the Zope book at Amazon.  It's wrong to push
> one book versus another book.

Given the work put in by the community-at-large without pay into the Zope
book, I'm not sure I agree. I think promoting the one official book that has
heavy input from the community is a way of valuing the community and saying
> I agree.  I propose that you and I just start doing some things, once we
> are allowed to do so.  We should pick one very easy thing and get it
> done, just to overcome inertia.

Sounds good. How about navigation/site sections? perhaps not terribly easy
but its something that needs to get settled before doing some other stuff.

Are there any other sections that should be added? or removed? Is there some
reason why we can't merge the two documentation sections? dump members for
now? add downloads?

george donnelly - http://zettai.net/ - "We Love Newbies" :)
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