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RE: Comments on Python Redesign

 
 
Tim Parkin
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      09-07-2003
Aahz:
> That said, there likely will be a subsection of python.org that is
> aimed at managers, with a more designed look and more graphics;
> someone trying to convince a specific manager could point zir into
> the subsection.


Fernando:
> A visible 'corporate' link, along with a single-level url
> www.python.org/corporate, perhaps even aliased to
> corporate.python.org) can satisfy the PHBs with minimal effort.


Please don't consider this, the majority of corporate users will find
the site themselves or through links in articles magazines, etc. so
they will still get first impressions from the main home page. If
anything we could provide a developer portal page which may be used
as a bookmark. Personally I think this is a bad idea also. What is
wrong with the information architecture / navigation on the page
proposal. Please could we move this discussion to one of the
appropriate lists aswell. I suggest python-marketing to begin with.

Fernando:
> That's why you really need to post a readable
> html site, not a png: it's almost impossible for anyone but you to
> properly judge the site with graphical screenshots. It takes a long

time to create a professional html design that is cross browser to
the extent needed for this site and also as accessibile as possible.
I am unwilling to spend this amount of time just to get some feedback
on a design that might possibly be used. To give you an idea of how
much this HTML design would cost from a consultancy (which is what
pollenation is), calculate professional rates at approx thirty two
hours work (my guess, about 1,600 or maybe $2,500). Could someone
please explain why it's impossible to judge the design of the site
without it being rendered as HTML. Perhaps the accessibility / speed
needs HTML, but not the design. Do people feel that the design would
be impossible to create as a optimal HTML entity?

Fernando:
> And since the starting thread of the discussion was a post by Tim
> himself, that seemed a perfectly fair thing to do. It may have been
> dragged here from elsewhere, but the first 'Comments ...' post was
> by Tim, and he's been responding in the discussion actively.
> As long as the comments were civil

Actually the first post wasn't by me and I only saw it as it was
mentioned in my blog, at which point I subscribed to comp.lang.python.

Fernando:
> A basic rule of design should always be: a default (www.python.org)
> value should satisfy the _majority_ of usage cases (not those with
> the most money/corporate power/whatever). Since the majority of
> visitors to the site can arguably be thought to be developers,
> _that_ is the audience the default url should target. No, a basic
> rule of design is to create something that satisfies the brief. In

this case the brief is to provide a site whose default view provides
a developer friendly page but with a heavy marketing bias. As long as
the page still satisfies the information needs of the developer then
it satsifies the brief.

David Eppstein:
>"rightly jumping all over the design"

Why are they rightly jumping all over it? Is this the purpose of
discussion? I would say people should be "right providing
constructive feedback".





 
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Fernando Perez
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      09-08-2003
Tim Parkin wrote:

> Fernando:
>> That's why you really need to post a readable
>> html site, not a png: it's almost impossible for anyone but you to
>> properly judge the site with graphical screenshots. It takes a long


> time to create a professional html design that is cross browser to
> the extent needed for this site and also as accessibile as possible.
> I am unwilling to spend this amount of time just to get some feedback
> on a design that might possibly be used. To give you an idea of how
> much this HTML design would cost from a consultancy (which is what
> pollenation is), calculate professional rates at approx thirty two
> hours work (my guess, about 1,600 or maybe $2,500). Could someone
> please explain why it's impossible to judge the design of the site
> without it being rendered as HTML. Perhaps the accessibility / speed
> needs HTML, but not the design. Do people feel that the design would
> be impossible to create as a optimal HTML entity?


Well, with an image, nobody can tell if the layout remains sensible when users
set drastically different font defaults. I, for one, use a laptop with a 14
in, 1600x1200 LCD. I have fairly large font defaults set in mozilla, and my
fonts look gorgeous (many individual pixels per letter, they read almost like
printed paper). Properly coded sites are no problem, the layout flows around
the text and it all looks just fine. But I've also seen sites where the text
splatters all over the graphical elements, because those elements assumed a
fixed pixel size that text would never exceed. Sites like that are a disaster
to read.

By looking only at a static png, I (or others in a similar situation), have no
way of knowing whether your proposed design would work ok or not with our font
choices.

I had assumed you had taken a screenshot from an existing test site in your
browser. From your other posts, I'm starting to guess that you actually 'drew'
the design in a graphics program. So I don't know if it's even possible for
you to provide in short order a functional mockup.

But you said you wanted this discussion in a marketing list I just don't have
the time to subscribe to, so I won't continue to post here further. Good luck,

Fernando.
 
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Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters
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      09-08-2003
"Tim Parkin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote previously:
|Please could we move this discussion to one of the appropriate lists as
|well. I suggest python-marketing to begin with.

A marketing list is just not an appropriate forum for discussing
redesigning the main python website. The page www.python.org just
simply should not be driven primarily, or even significantly, by
"marketing" issues... it's us developers who use it, in the overwhelming
majority.

We developers should not be treated as second class Python users because
someone got the idea that the page should look like what PHBs expect.

On the other hand... it seems like an entirely different site could look
like that glossy pamphlet. Maybe something like:

http://python-business.com/

Or even:

http://enterprise.python.com/

Just as long as the main page doesn't get majorly uglified.

Yours, Lulu...

--
Keeping medicines from the bloodstreams of the sick; food from the bellies
of the hungry; books from the hands of the uneducated; technology from the
underdeveloped; and putting advocates of freedom in prisons. Intellectual
property is to the 21st century what the slave trade was to the 16th.

 
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Graham Fawcett
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      09-08-2003
Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters wrote:

>"Tim Parkin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote previously:
>|Please could we move this discussion to one of the appropriate lists as
>|well. I suggest python-marketing to begin with.
>
>A marketing list is just not an appropriate forum for discussing
>redesigning the main python website. The page www.python.org just
>simply should not be driven primarily, or even significantly, by
>"marketing" issues... it's us developers who use it, in the overwhelming
>majority.
>We developers should not be treated as second class Python users because
>someone got the idea that the page should look like what PHBs expect.
>
>


Developers will always be first-class Python users; it's a programming
language, after all. Whether they should be first-class users of
www.python.org, in my humble opinion, is questionable.

http://dev.python.org/ would fly from my fingers just as quickly as
http://www.python.org/ . As a past and present Python developer I would
feel that I had received first-class treatment through such an accord.

I believe that, indeed, the front page ought to be comforting to the
bosses, pointy-headed and otherwise. They are the least likely to go
hunting for variants on *.python*.org -- it's www or nothing if you
haven't got a technical clue. (Of course, http://www.python.com/ is
going to be their first stop, God help us all!)

And let's face it, eye-candy and smiling faces suggest that there's
money and savvy behind a thing. They suggest that the owners of the site
know business, that they bathe regularly and might even own a tie. They
offer smells of competency, viability and longeivity, and these are good
smells to offer to decision-makers. They are psychologically inviting
and reassuring to a larger audience, an audience that doesn't read
Internet RFCs at bedtime and DTDs in lieu of the morning paper.

A bounty of eye-candy and a lack of content will kill any site, of
course, but surely the marketing SIG could ensure that never happens.

Will new Python developers be dissuaded some eye-candy on the "main"
Python portal? Perhaps they will be /distracted/ for a brief moment
while they are looking for the "Developers" link. Once they know about
dev.python.org, they may never return to the main portal again. No
worries there. But they may well be delighted to know that all the
eye-candy exists, when they try to justify the use of this "unheard-of"
language to their management team. (If they want to persuade their
development/engineering team, they can always direct them to
dev.python.org.)

www.python.org for the suits and dev.python.org for the developers:
everybody wins. Let Occam's razor cut in favour of those who can follow
but the simplest technical path.

>On the other hand... it seems like an entirely different site could look
>like that glossy pamphlet. Maybe something like:
>
> http://python-business.com/
>
>Or even:
>
> http://enterprise.python.com/
>
>


Again, nice idea, but the bosses will never find it unless you type in
the URL for them yourself.

Marketing-sig: For my part, I hereby grant you full privilege to do
whatever you want with the Python home page. Give me a dev site, and a
Python installation, and I can move the world; let the others surf where
they may.

Yours,

-- Graham

P.S. Not in reply to you, Lulu, but I *do* think they should offer a
boxed Python set: bundle a Python 2.3 development environment on a
CD-ROM for $299; put the standard library on another, for an extra $299.
Put in a nice pamphlet and a registration card, maybe a mouse pad with
the new "fingerprint logo" on it. Put some copper in the PSF's coffers,
and help the suits feel what we already know: that Python is so good,
it's worth paying for. My boss would buy two of 'em, after seeing what
Python has done for us!




 
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Tayss
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      09-08-2003
"Tim Parkin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed)>...
> Please don't consider this, the majority of corporate users will find
> the site themselves or through links in articles magazines, etc. so
> they will still get first impressions from the main home page. If
> anything we could provide a developer portal page which may be used
> as a bookmark. [...] What is
> wrong with the information architecture / navigation on the page
> proposal.


The new version is well-executed. Different elements contrast; most
people like seeing faces (especially when they're flush with
success)...

But as a DEVELOPER, it doesn't work for me. I hate seeing
happy-looking guys when I get out of bed with someone to bang out some
code that struck me. Announcements are trapped in their safe boxes,
which dominate their content.

What I want as a developer is in conflict with what I'd want as a
businessperson. A suit wants good /relevant/ info, that tells her
Python isn't snake oil, that it's a good investment that also conforms
to standards. Maybe a directory of consultants and supporting
software to purchase. Every so often something new, like someone
sharing Powerpoint slides that made his audience feel educated.

If the sites aren't separated, the danger is noise. The best sites
focus. Like apple.com and Google. Apple is pleasant to visit because
there are a few sharp things to announce. If you can please two
audiences with one page, you're very skilled.


- Tayssir John Gabbour
 
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Alex Martelli
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      09-08-2003
Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters wrote:

> "Tim Parkin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote previously:
> |Please could we move this discussion to one of the appropriate lists as
> |well. I suggest python-marketing to begin with.
>
> A marketing list is just not an appropriate forum for discussing
> redesigning the main python website. The page www.python.org just
> simply should not be driven primarily, or even significantly, by
> "marketing" issues... it's us developers who use it, in the overwhelming
> majority.


So, you're asserting that the target audience of the site IS and SHOULD BE
"developers". Surprise, surprise: this assertion IS "a marketing issue".
Marketing BEGINS with the identification of target audiences and the
products and services that will best meet the target audiences' need.

Many techies think of "marketing" as a dirty word because it's so often
misused as an inappropriate synonym for "selling". Using words properly,
marketing is a perfectly legitimate and important activity: identify
who you're addressing, address their needs through appropriate products
and services, communicate to them that your products and services do
address their needs, listen to their feedback and adjust your products
and services to meet their needs even better, look for other audiences
that might get their needs met by your products and services possibily
with some modifications.


Alex

 
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John J. Lee
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      09-08-2003
Graham Fawcett <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
[...]
> http://dev.python.org/ would fly from my fingers just as quickly as
> http://www.python.org/ . As a past and present Python developer I
> would feel that I had received first-class treatment through such an
> accord.

[...]

+1, FWIW


John
 
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Nick Vargish
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      09-08-2003
I really like the idea of the PSF selling boxed python distros for
around $300. People who make the business decisions _like_ spending
money on a product -- it's somehow comforting to them. Include bound
copies of the Tutorial and Library Reference, to give the box some
weight and make it clear that they are paying for something more than
a CD of "free software". (Spiral bound documents, please!)

I'm hoping that my boss will be shelling out for some Komodo Pro
licenses, partly for the above reason. The other part of the reason is
that once money is spent on something, it becomes more entrenched in
an organization. This will serve to counter the PHB attitude that "if
it costs nothing to bring in, it will cost nothing to throw out."

I'd like to support ActiveState financially, since their ActivePython
distro is a nice way to get people started with Python, without having
to tell them to install a collection of modules after they install the
interpreter. Similarly, I would like a business reason to send money
to the PSF, as asking my boss to make a PayPal donation just ain't
gonna happen.

Nick

--
# sigmask || 0.2 || 20030107 || public domain || feed this to a python
print reduce(lambda x,y+chr(ord(y)-1),' Ojdl!Wbshjti!=obwAcboefstobudi/psh?')
 
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Nick Vargish
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      09-08-2003
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (David Mertz) writes:

> Just email <(E-Mail Removed)> for details on payment/shipping.
> The first order may take an extra week for setup time (it might take a
> couple days for me to talk to my local copy-shop about printing the box
> and so on). [only *wink*ing inasmuch as I question the market, for even
> one $299 sale, I really would create something quite nice looking]


How much of this $299 would go to the PSF? And how much would go to
the David-needs-a-yacht fund? I could probably get my boss to order 4
or 5 such boxed distributions...

No-*winking*-at-all,

Nick

--
# sigmask || 0.2 || 20030107 || public domain || feed this to a python
print reduce(lambda x,y+chr(ord(y)-1),' Ojdl!Wbshjti!=obwAcboefstobudi/psh?')
 
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Dave Kuhlman
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      09-08-2003
Alex Martelli wrote:

> Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters wrote:
>
>> "Tim Parkin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
>> previously:
>> |Please could we move this discussion to one of the appropriate
>> |lists as
>> |well. I suggest python-marketing to begin with.
>>
>> A marketing list is just not an appropriate forum for discussing
>> redesigning the main python website. The page www.python.org
>> just simply should not be driven primarily, or even
>> significantly, by "marketing" issues... it's us developers who
>> use it, in the overwhelming majority.

>
> So, you're asserting that the target audience of the site IS and
> SHOULD BE
> "developers". Surprise, surprise: this assertion IS "a marketing
> issue". Marketing BEGINS with the identification of target
> audiences and the products and services that will best meet the
> target audiences' need.
>


We're not, I believe, arguing about the target audience for
Python. We're arguing about the target audience for
http://www.python.org.

Further more, saying that the choice of a target audience or that
the choice of the service and product to be provided is a
marketing issue begs the question. It just assumes that marketing
should take over decisions about the direction of a company or a
site.

> Many techies think of "marketing" as a dirty word because it's so
> often
> misused as an inappropriate synonym for "selling". Using words
> properly, marketing is a perfectly legitimate and important
> activity: identify who you're addressing, address their needs
> through appropriate products and services, communicate to them
> that your products and services do address their needs, listen to
> their feedback and adjust your products and services to meet their
> needs even better, look for other audiences that might get their
> needs met by your products and services possibily with some
> modifications.


These are all good suggestions for a Python promotion site or for a
site for a company that sells Python services.

No one is arguing that marketing and sales are illegitimate.
David Mertz has already offered to sell "Python in a box with
extras" for $299, possibly even for less if you say, "Guido sent
me". But, please don't do it at http://www.python.org.

I am on the side of those who say that the marketing and
promotion should not be done at the Python home page,
http://www.python.org. It does not seem to be the main focus at
http://www.perl.org/ nor at http://java.sun.com/. What promotion
is done at those sites (and the current Python home site) is done
through helping developers and not through paid endorsements etc.
The Java site, by the way, looks like they copied www.python.org,
then polished it and edited it for Java.

Dave

--
Dave Kuhlman
http://www.rexx.com/~dkuhlman
(E-Mail Removed)
 
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