[WF-Infra] Infra Meeting: October

HansHäggström hans.haggstrom at helsinki.fi
Wed Oct 24 08:45:00 PDT 2001


At 07:38 2001-10-24, Chord wrote:


>>Site Structure
>>""""""""""""""""
>>
>>So, as I proposed in an earlier email to infra@, we could move the areas 
>>under developers/
>>to the top level, and get these top level areas for the website:
>>
>>- Project
>>- Games
>>- Downloads
>>- Content
>>- Engineering
>>- Resources
>>- Infrastructure
>>
>>The structure of the areas themselves is relatively clear currently, and 
>>is less critical anway
>>than the top level structure.
>>
>>Here's the most common directory structures that could be used by 
>>different products / projects on the site:
>>
>>Area -> Sub-area -> Project -> Project part -> Page
>>Area -> Sub-area -> Project -> Page
>
>As an FYI thing, the developer menu was set aside
>from the newbie menu specifically because the more
>broad 'topic' links that we had originally left newbies
>confused as to where they should head first. We were
>constantly told that the site needed to be more newbie
>friendly.The ensuing discussion revealed that the average
>newbie or passerby is looking for a specific set of information,
>all of which is located in the top level of that site layout.
>Putting developer links top level again will put us back
>into the situation of having too many obscure topics for
>a newbie to choose from when hitting the site for the
>first time. The information they desire is not readily,
>immediately and obviously available.

True.
On the other hand, it will also give newbies a more complete idea of what 
the site contains.
And it will hopefully be a bit clearer as a result of slight renaming, so 
that the area
names should hopefully not be as obscure as before.

Also, I think ease and speed of navigation by mediocre to advanced users is
more important at this point than very easy accessibility for first time 
visitors.

The idea, IIRC, was to create a www.worldforge.com site eventually with is 
more
directed towards players, and keep the www.worldforge.org geared towards
interested developers, people interested in the development progress, and so on
(and have www.worldforge.net directed towards listing available servers, 
and probably
also instructions for setting up new servers).

We could go with a players.worldforge.org, servers.worldforge.org, etc 
approach too,
if it feels clearer.  Anyhow, that is not yet needed.

We should list things of interest to newcomers on the front page too.
Here's a suggestion about the contents of the front page (from an earlier 
mail on general@):

------------
* The WorldForge logo
* An one line explanation of what WF is, as on the old web page:
"The WorldForge Project is developing a complete system for massively 
multiplayer online roleplaying games."
* Link to the project about page, which explains WFs goals, philosophy, and 
background.
http://moria.mit.edu:8080/wf/project/intro/
The page is good at explaining what WF is all about, a very common question.
* Link to the newbie guide
* Link to a screenshot page, with screenshots from the different clients 
and games,
and also from the servers (even if that is just some text on a console).
* A link a download page, that contains a list or links to all our downloads.
* A link the FAQ, when we get it working.
* Perhaps a link to IRC and to the CGI IRC client.
* The 3-5 latest news items with medium or high importance.
* A _more news_ link that leads to the news page (below the news)
* A list of the 3-5 next upcoming events or meetings, when we get the event 
scheduler to work.
(could show a few past meetings too, with meeting logs and summaries).
* A _more events_ link that leads to the events page (below the events)

The links could be presented textually (for example: "Check out the 
_Introduction to WorldForge_ for a
description of the project, the _Newbie Guide_ if you would like to join 
us, and the _Screenshots_
page for a look at our achievements"), or as a bulleted or iconified list 
or as a rectangular table.
I think a list with some text in addition to the link might work best. 
Icons and text might be nice too.
-----------


As for the 2D style menu used in the current developer section, with 
subcategories
listed under every major category,  I think that is a good way to speed up 
navigation.
Only we should automatically include the visible subfolders of an area in 
this menu,
instead of adding them by hand.  That way it doesn't get out of date, or 
have links that
lead to some unexpected place, when it seems like it would lead to a 
subfolder of the area.

A problem here is that some areas have a lot of subfolders, and the 2D menu 
could
become somewhat tall.

One solution would be to use a smaller font, another to only list the N 
first entries
and give the folders sort properties to sort them by importance, and yet 
another
solution would be to make it possible to expand a simple 1D area menu to 
the 2D menu
in some way.




>Secondly, the proposal for the subareas of the site is
>essentially what is in place and planned for the current
>layout. I'm not saying keep the current layout, that is
>all up to whoever. However, such plans were previously
>discussed and laid out in a general manner in the infra
>section of the wiki site should anyone care to peruse
>those and use them as a groundwork from which to build.


*nod*
I'm not suggesting changing the structure below the top level.
I know it received a lot of thought during the website migration,
and I think it's good.

The different structure paths I listed were more an effort to try to find
out typical paths to documents on the current site, to get
some idea of it's structure and topology.



>         - Chord


-- 
Hans Häggström (aka zzorn)
http://www.iki.fi/zzorn/
"Share and Enjoy" - Cirius Cybernetics corp. - THHGTTG




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