Could we fix the web site

Brad Fuller brad at
Sat Jan 6 19:50:29 UTC 2007

stephane ducasse wrote:
> Karl
> really I'm quite annoyed. I cannot tell you all the story behind my 
> mail but this is not a simple idiot remark.
> Can't we get the welcome paragraph in the first place?
> Should I really totally boycott Squeak?
> Don't you understand that we are in a world where people communicate 
> and judge on form?
> News Feed as a title of the first item of the page that describes 
> squeak is not a smart choice. For somehow not knowing at all
> what squeak is about and that does not really care about getting 
> involved but just want to give a glance.
First let me say that I'm delighted that others care about what the 
website looks like!

I assume that visitors with varying degrees of expertise visit the top page. I think the question we should ask is what 
information should we deliver, and how should we deliver that 
information, to be the best service for the visitors. There are a few 
issue here that make this a challenge for us. I'm sure there are more.

- First, I don't think we know who those visitors are. For instance, 
what is their expertise level and why they are at What are 
they searching for?

- Another issue is should the site be a dynamic site, or a site where 
the information doesn't necessarily change much.

- Yet another issue is that we are but a few volunteers, and the list is 
getting smaller to help with the site.

I take away from these recent posts that you believe the visitors are 
are new to squeak and are searching to find out more. Is that right? My 
answer is I just don't know who they are.

To me, static web sites show a stale and static life of the 
organization. That might not be what is really going on underneath the 
hood, but it looks like that to the visitors. If there is no life, 
people tend to believe it's either an old site with old content, or the 
site authors don't care or have the time to update the site. If visitors 
find this, they turn away and look elsewhere. I could be wrong, but If 
I'm not, this is something we don't want to occur.

I'd like to make a place where all levels of expertise visit 
regularly. For old timers, they get the news they want. For those 
seeking to find out what squeak is about, they see a vibrant community 
and an aggressive and interesting development of squeak. One way to do 
that is to build a dynamic presence.  Dynamic news feeds provides a 
small portion of this. If the site was integrated with an up-to-date, 
ever changing wiki, that would certainly help people who are looking for 
technical answers keep coming back. And, it would assist beginners too.

My belief is that we need a proper mix of 1) news, 2) well trimmed, 
up-to-date technical information (wiki) and 3) a comprehensive 
introduction to squeak (which is what the site is right now, but it too 
needs to be trimmed better.)

Since this is a volunteer organization, and most of us don't have time 
to build a site that is dynamic as I'm recommending, I suggested feeding 
the front site with something that was of interest to others and was 
dynamic. That's all.

Can you or any others help us out?

> Then there are 5 typos in the following text. So the fact that we do 
> not control (or may be somebody edited the text and the list by hand)
>  what is published there would push us to be cautious and not put it 
> up front.
>     "Croquet Edit and Create 3d Objects
> Howard Stearns reciently replyed to a question from Mathieu. I thought 
> I’d reporduce his response here. Howard give a lot of very good 
> information about Croquet support for third party tools...."
We do control it. It's the news guys. They can just fix their typos and 
it'll be fine.
> So what I suggest is to swap the welcome and the news feeds. I think 
> that this is important.

Anyone else agree?

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