[Thunar-dev] Another Website update

Benedikt Meurer benedikt.meurer at unix-ag.uni-siegen.de
Fri Sep 2 13:16:50 CEST 2005

Nick Schermer wrote:
> I understand every body if working on it's own piece of Xfce,
> (and loves to share that with the entire world)
> but it would be nice if everything can be monitored from one website, so
> when you enter xfce.org <http://xfce.org> you can see Jasper's new
> layout of the panel,
> Benny is working hard on Thunar/libexo, etc. etc.

That's what bar.foo-projects.org is about.

>  - 1 forum for Xfce with categories/forums for all Xfce projects (
> forum.xfce.org <http://forum.xfce.org>).

Ok, this looks reasonable.

>    - 1 large blog for each of the Xfce components.
>      blog.xfce.org/thunar <http://blog.xfce.org/thunar>,
> blog.xfce.org/panel <http://blog.xfce.org/panel>, blog.xfce.org/orage
> <http://blog.xfce.org/orage> ../xffm etc.

Well, we can setup additional Planets, but I don't see the need for more

>    - every project has it's own website, thunar.xfce.org
> <http://thunar.xfce.org> panel.xfce.org <http://panel.xfce.org>, but
> everything
>      in 1 style/theme. Including it's own blog, news etc. like what
> we're not creating for
>      the new Thunar release,

Uhm, no. I prefer different styles. One-size-fits-all was never the
philosophy of Xfce.

>  - 1 documentation including everything about xfce and it's components
> (search able)
>  - All downloads/snapshots in one section.
>  - Everything else (links, credits, screenshots)
>  - A main page (xfce.org <http://xfce.org>) with latest news (from all
> sub sites/blogs), announcements.

I'm pretty sure that the result won't be very user friendly. For
example, take the GNOME Developer Home Page: The goal was/is to get all
developer information into one website. While there's certainly a good
amount of information, it's very hard to find something (except for the
API references) w/o using google. E.g. I recently discovered that
there's a page that describes gtkdoc usage in detail somewhere inside
the website. Really, I never saw that before. Discovered through an
unrelated google search. If I had known that a few years ago, I could
have saved the time going through the gtkdoc scripts and templates to
understand how the system works.

Ok, so what I'm about to say here: Large websites with a lot of
information are good in certain ways (e.g. your page rank will be better
usually, etc.), but no matter what you, you'll always degrease the
usability in some way or the other.

Let's consider a typical use case: User A wants to download Thunar and
try it. So he fires up google, "Thunar Installation",
thunar.xfce.org/installation.php first match, click, there. Now he's
presented with a small (ok, relatively small) Thunar subpage, that tells
exactly what he needs to know. The menu on the left/right/top/bottom
shows links to other Thunar topics. Just exactly what he was looking
for, in a simple, usable form.

Now imagine, we'd have a gnome.org-like or even KDE.org-like website
structure. Then maybe the first hit in the search engine will bring up
xfce.org/installation.php, which contains 'generic' installation
instructions, that don't match 1:1 for Thunar (there's stuff like
desktop-file-utils, shared-mime-info, etc, that other Xfce components
don't rely on, but needs special setup). And even worse, all the menus
on the page display stuff unrelated to Thunar (e.g. Xfce, Xffm,
Terminal, Mousepad or whatever). I tend to feel a bit lost in these
cases and asking myself what did the website maintainer smoke when he
created the page.

This is like with other software areas: You can have killer apps, with
every little bit in one large package, or you can have small apps that
solve exactly one problem, nothing more nothing less, and are best at
solving this problem. Personally I prefer the latter, and I guess that's
what most of us do, as that's actually the reason to prefer Xfce over
KDE or Gnome or whatever.

> Mmm i think I'll get a lot of comments about this, but that's my vision
> about how
> this website could be in the future. Maybe good for the 4.4 release.
> I'll keep working on
> the Thuar website for it's first release, just something to talk about :P.

If the problem is maintaince, then how about setting up a single Typo3
instance to host the various sites?

> Greets, Xerverius


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