[IAEP] New sugarlabs website

David Farning dfarning at sugarlabs.org
Fri Mar 13 16:25:27 EDT 2009

On Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 9:56 AM, Eben Eliason <eben.eliason at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 7:50 AM, Bernie Innocenti <bernie at codewiz.org> wrote:
>> Sean DALY wrote:
>>> This is a good solution since people clicking on "wiki" from the intro
>>> part of the site (which they will perceive as the "main" or "intro"
>>> section) arrive at wiki.sugarlabs.org; while people who get lost in
>>> the wiki will know they are in the wiki from the URL and will seek to
>>> get back to the "main" site.
>> We're depicting he wiki as if it was a maze of twisty little
>> passages, all alike :-)
> Well, it is kind of like a maze.  Only sometimes there are *no*
> passages at all, and you have to climb over walls to get to the info
> you need. (See below for clarification.)

It doesn't take much to qualify as a maze for casual readers.  This is
not an insult to casual views. Rather, is is an observation of the
amount of information competing for a viewers attention.

When things settle down, I would like to get google analytic running
for the static portion of the site to see how the click through and
bounce rate compare with the wiki.

>> If it seems so confusing, we should work on improving usability
>> rather than helping people escape from it.  I can't believe
>> average people can't get used to Mediawiki, since the #2 most
>> popular web site in the world is also based on it.
> That's true, but the one you have in mind is distinctly different
> because it thrives on the flatness of its content hierarchy. Wikis are
> relatively poor for hierarchical content.  Dave et al. have done a
> great job building a sensible hierarchy on our wiki, but I've been
> meaning to bring up some problems with it, actually.
> In general, I find that there is fairly poor inter-level linking.
> That is, it's not actually very browsable.  I can *never* find the
> release notes.  There's no link from the Development Team page to the
> release page, and there aren't even links from the release page to the
> notes for particular releases. The hierarchy is there, and logical,
> but you still have to remember the whole path....there's no
> discoverability.

To a large extent, this is a matter of attracting and engaging wiki
gardeners to tend the various sections of the wiki:)  As the project
usefulness an visibility increases, I feel pretty comfortable that
some of those gardeners will start showing up.

> I think as a rule we should make sure that any given page with a
> number of related sub-pages has an index of sorts which exposes the
> next-level-down to make browsing as natural as searching.  In other
> words, every sub-page should have (at least) an incoming link from its
> parent page, so the tree of all pages is connected in a browsable way.
> (We get a link from the sub-page back to the parent page—all
> ancestors, actually—for free.)

Does anyone know how to do this in mediawiki?

> There's also search, of course, but wiki search isn't always that
> great.  And, for that matter, the search field on the wiki is
> currently halfway down the page, where I can't see it without
> scrolling.  If we want people to find things that way, we should at
> least push it to the top of the sidebar so that they needn't search
> for the search field!

Search is currently pretty nonfunctional because mediawiki can not
search within words.  So we need to get rid of the CamelCase as soon
as possiable:(

> - Eben
>>> Other fixes that are necessary for smooth integration:
>>> * The wiki logo needs to link to the intro or "main"
>> Ok.
>>> * The menu bar at the top of the wiki should start with "main" or
>>> "introduction" before "wiki", and link to the homepage
>> Ok, I have a bug open for that.
>>> * The wiki landing page http://sugarlabs.org/go/Main_Page in becoming
>>> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Main_Page will be clearly understood as
>>> the main page for the wiki, but the title text needs to be updated to
>>> reflect that: "Sugar Labs/Welcome to Sugar Labs" -> "Sugar
>>> Labs/Welcome to the Sugar Labs wiki"
>> It's currently the opposite: wiki.sugarlabs.org becomes sugarlabs.org.
>> I'm not entirely against making this change, but the rationale for it
>> shouldn't be protecting visitors from inadvertently seeing the wiki.
> Not "inadvertently".  The static page is meant to be a portal to
> specific useful areas of the wiki for individuals of varied
> backgrounds.  I think we'd much rather target them directly if we can,
> regardless of how usable the wiki is.  It's a convenience, rather than
> a protection.
>>> It's not a big problem that the wiki landing page has some redundant
>>> material with the intro; streamlining can be done later. But these
>>> navigation problems need to be fixed as soon as possible. I am very
>>> concerned about this, I brought it up a week ago but I had assumed it
>>> was only a technical oversight. It's very important we get our message
>>> out.
>> I agree, but so far none of these points has been impeding users from
>> finding the static web site by typing a canonical "www.sugarlabs.org"
>> URL like you'd do for any other web site.
>> --
>>   // Bernie Innocenti - http://www.codewiz.org/
>>  \X/  Sugar Labs       - http://www.sugarlabs.org/
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