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Comments on Python Redesign

 
 
Erik Max Francis
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      09-07-2003
Tim Parkin wrote:

> Perhaps the people who have commented on the site should realise it's
> a
> proposal and a work in progress.


Could someone remind me what need there is for a redesign in the first
place? Of all the Python-related efforts that one could put time into,
this seems like one of the least useful.

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Erik Max Francis && http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) && http://www.alcyone.com/max/
__ San Jose, CA, USA && 37 20 N 121 53 W && &tSftDotIotE
/ \ Then you give me that Judas Kiss / Could you hurt me more than this
\__/ Lamya
 
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Aahz
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      09-07-2003
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
David Eppstein <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>Lots of people have been rightly jumping all over the design. But
>there's something else that I think is very important in the current
>python.org front page and missing from the proposed redesign: the text
>"Welcome to the official website for the Python language."


Don't worry -- some people think that's redundant, but Guido has
Prounounced that it will stay.
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Aahz ((E-Mail Removed)) <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

This is Python. We don't care much about theory, except where it intersects
with useful practice. --Aahz
 
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A.M. Kuchling
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      09-07-2003
On Sun, 07 Sep 2003 12:51:45 -0700,
Erik Max Francis <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Could someone remind me what need there is for a redesign in the first
> place? Of all the Python-related efforts that one could put time into,


Because the current site is unattractive, jumbled, hard to navigate, and
sucks dead bunnies through a straw?

--amk
 
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Aahz
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      09-07-2003
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Erik Max Francis <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>Could someone remind me what need there is for a redesign in the first
>place? Of all the Python-related efforts that one could put time into,
>this seems like one of the least useful.


AMK's comment is a bit overdone, so here's something more understated:

The current website has a number of navigation, structural, and content
flaws resulting from the fact that it has grown organically for roughly
a decade. It is also harder to maintain than we'd prefer. Finally, it
looks a bit dated.

While we are making some progress at removing cruft, most of us involved
in the work agree that a full-scale redesign would be a Good Idea.

Part of the impetus for doing the work is to streamline the site to make
it easier for Python newcomers (and people investigating Python for
themselves or their organizations) to find the information they want or
need.
--
Aahz ((E-Mail Removed)) <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

This is Python. We don't care much about theory, except where it intersects
with useful practice. --Aahz
 
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Dave Kuhlman
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      09-07-2003
David Eppstein wrote:

> Lots of people have been rightly jumping all over the design. But
> there's something else that I think is very important in the
> current python.org front page and missing from the proposed
> redesign: the text "Welcome to the official website for the Python
> language."
>
> If one looks at the proposed redesign, it is difficult to tell
> whether Python is an application, a magazine, a business
> consulting partnership,
> or what. It is also unclear whether the site is run by the same
> people
> responsible for Python, whatever Python is. Certainly "official
> web site for programming language" is not the first thing that
> springs to mind.


Actually, from its appearance, the new design looks like it is
trying to sell me something. "Advert filters up!" It makes me
suspicious, skeptical, and cynical, as all advertising does.

I don't mean to criticize the work that's being done for the new
site. It looks like excellent work. I do mean to suggest that
perhaps its style is not what I want for the "official Python
site", and, in particular, not for the first/main page.

The new design looks great. It looks exceptionally well done.
But, instead of the official Python Web site, it would be better
suited for "The Python Advisory Board" or for "The Friends of
Python" or for whatever organization has the mission of promoting
and lobbying for Python.

Maybe if the new main page (python-main-2.html) were at the end of
a link labelled "Python advocacy" ...

And Petter Hansen wrote in a separate message:

> (*) Personally, I never thought the existing site was a big

problem,
> but then I just view the web as a simple way to search for text
> and I still use Netscape 4.7 much of the time, so I'm obviously

not
> the target for these improvements...


I think I'm in this school. I go to the Web in general and to the
Python site in particular for content, not for graphics. I think
the new design is pretty and very attractive, perhaps *too* pretty
and attractive. When I send or refer someone to a site like that,
I'd feel I'd have to warn them: "It looks like promotional
material, but don't be put off; there is really good content there
if you look for it.

I suppose you could brush me off as old fashioned and "old
school". I certainly am. I like text and content not graphics,
colors, and visual appeal. But, then I'd argue that text and
cognitive content are what's appropriate for the official Python
site.

The current main page at www.python.org is a portal and a
directory. It helps me find things that are related to Python,
things that help me with Python, things that I feel will help
others to use Python. That's why in much of the Python
documentation I write, the current www.python.org is a "must
reference". I would not feel the same about a site that contains
endorsements from famous people, even nerdy famous people that I
admire.

I would like to request that the new site, whatever its style,
give me as much help as possible finding what I need in order to
use Python. I'd want the site designer to look at every piece of
that page and ask: Will this help someone find what they need
about Python?

This new design looks great to me. But, it is not the official
Python Web site. It is the site for some company trying to sell
Python services or Python tools or something.

Look at the Google directory page (http://www.google.com/dirhp).
(It's actually built on the ODP: Open Directory Project, dmoz.org).
You'll see maximum nutrition and minimum calories. It's very
plain, and very popular. People know it will help them find what
they want, and they trust it, at least I do.

On the other hand, having several pages that show the kind of
graphical interface that can be constructed with wxPython, pygtk,
etc seems like a good idea to me.

Hope I haven't been uncivil. I apologize in advance, if I seem to
have been. And, thanks much for the work that the new site
designers have done.

Dave

--
Dave Kuhlman
http://www.rexx.com/~dkuhlman
(E-Mail Removed)
 
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Erik Max Francis
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      09-07-2003
Aahz wrote:

> The current website has a number of navigation, structural, and
> content
> flaws resulting from the fact that it has grown organically for
> roughly
> a decade. It is also harder to maintain than we'd prefer. Finally,
> it
> looks a bit dated.


That sounds like what's warranted is a reorganization, not necessarily a
redesign.

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Erik Max Francis && (E-Mail Removed) && http://www.alcyone.com/max/
__ San Jose, CA, USA && 37 20 N 121 53 W && &tSftDotIotE
/ \ I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man.
\__/ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (the evening before his assassination)
 
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John J. Lee
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      09-07-2003
(E-Mail Removed) (Aahz) writes:

> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> Erik Max Francis <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >
> >Could someone remind me what need there is for a redesign in the first
> >place? Of all the Python-related efforts that one could put time into,
> >this seems like one of the least useful.

>
> AMK's comment is a bit overdone, so here's something more understated:

[snip]

Whatever. Just don't get rid of all those cute skewed Python logos in
all the different typefaces. All sensible people will agree that
that's clearly the most important aspect of the site


John
 
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John J. Lee
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      09-07-2003
Peter Hansen <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> Tim Parkin wrote:
> >
> > As a side note, I haven't been to any school of 'control the user
> > experience'. Furthermore I think making comments such as accusing me of
> > having a 'childish ego' and being 'arrogant' are IMO extremely
> > disrespectful and I would appreciate an apology. I am quite hurt and
> > dissapointed to see such coments on what I had considered a respectable
> > forum for discussion although I'm sure they are not representative.

>
> On behalf of those with the nasty fingers today, I apologize. Tim,
> they must have missed the relatively clear warnings that these
> are *mockups*, and posted for discussion purposes. I agree also
> that harsh public criticism without constructive comments is
> wholly unwarranted, and out of order around here, not to mention
> (thankfully) rather atypical.

[...]

Me too. Haven't followed the discussion closely or looked at the
mockup, but some of the responses looked way over the top.

I hope this doesn't stop you continuing with your efforts, Tim. Some
people here do appreciate the work you're putting in.


John
 
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Aahz
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      09-07-2003
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, John J. Lee <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>Whatever. Just don't get rid of all those cute skewed Python logos in
>all the different typefaces. All sensible people will agree that
>that's clearly the most important aspect of the site


Although the decision isn't final, that's actually one of the prime
targets. Sorry.
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Aahz ((E-Mail Removed)) <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

This is Python. We don't care much about theory, except where it intersects
with useful practice. --Aahz
 
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Bengt Richter
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      09-08-2003
On Sun, 07 Sep 2003 14:12:08 -0700, Dave Kuhlman <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>David Eppstein wrote:
>

[...]

[...]

Thanks, both, for saving me a bunch of typing

It looks slick, but not really technically slick in a way
that would lead me to expectations about Python, just
eye-candy/we-spend-more-on-advertising-than-research
kind of slick (though for largely irrelevant photos, I
prefer pretty things and/or great photography

So, yeah, ad-shields-up was my reaction too, sorry. A prominent
notice like "this site prepared and served with free Python-scripted
software" might alter the impact and create some Python-linkage from
the appearance. (Of course it would have to be true, otherwise what's
being sold? Photoshop?

My frame of mind going to python.org is pleasant anticipation
like walking into an engineering library or technical reading room
I'm familiar with. By all means put notices there to direct
people to events and places of interest, but don't put on a facade
that makes my library feel like a commercial lobby

Let those be separate buildings. Too bad python.com is apparently, um, taken.

My 2 cents..
Maybe I'd get used to it, but that is my first reaction. Nice work, really,
but not for my old technical library building

Regards,
Bengt Richter
 
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