Could we fix the web site

Karl karl.ramberg at
Sat Jan 6 21:47:31 UTC 2007

Matthew Fulmer wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 06, 2007 at 11:50:29AM -0800, Brad Fuller wrote:
>> 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.
> I think that the website and Wiki should be combined into one
> Pier website/wiki. My experience is that the homepage for a free
> software project is mostly for beginners, and the mailing list,
> wiki, and code repository is where all the action, and hence
> developers, are. Thus, a combined wiki/website would attract the
> range of expertise you are seeking, IMHO. I sent an email about
> a Pier wiki several months ago:
> Examining Pier as an alternative to Swiki is still on my to-do
> list, but is currently the third item, after I finish my
> tutorial index and a better Swiki index page. I could bump that
> up if the community wants a better, dynamic website+wiki. If so,
> I could start working on a proposal for the new website, along
> with a migration strategy, by the end of January. 
> I am trying hard to make the Swiki pages useful
> and of high enough quality that they can be a recommended
> reference, rather than a hodge-podge of information. I would
> like the same for the website.
>> - Yet another issue is that we are but a few volunteers, and the list is 
>> getting smaller to help with the site.
> I am quite willing to cooperate and help both the web team and
> the News team, since the goals of the doc team overlap the goals
> of the other two teams. However, a wiki migration would probably
> be better handled by the web team.  There is no well-defined
> difference between the web and doc teams, as I see it.
> Technically, I don't know how well a Pier website+wiki would
> scale, since Seaside is much more demanding than Apache or
> Swiki.
>> 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.
> Well, I am still a noob, and when I first stumbled upon Squeak
> (Through Croquet), I was looking for two things primarily:
> - What is Squeak, and why does it exist when great things like
>   Python are around?
> - How do I use it?
> The first question was well answered by the current website, but
> I found nothing to really answer the second question. Honestly,
> until I started my tutorial index this past month, I thought
> there were *no* squeak beginners tutorials other than those on
> Luckily, I was wrong, and I am trying to fill that need
> with my tutorial index.
>> 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 agree. At first glance, Squeak looks like either a dead
> project (since the website, and references to it contain dead
> links and old documents) or a dead-end project (since nobody has
> ever heard of it). The Weekly squeak has helped a lot to fix the
> public image that Squeak is not dead, but is alive and growing
> in my mind. Thanks News team!
>> 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.
> I agree ;-)
>> 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.)
> I am working on the trimming. I can help with the mixing.
>> 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.
> hmm. I just noticed that already is a SmallWiki site,
> which is the predecessor to Pier. Would it be possible to just
> upgrade it or flip some bits to turn it into a wiki? I could
> definitely bring some more life into the features and
> Documentation pages, at least.
> Also, is there a way I could download the SmallWiki
> image? That would help a lot when I get around to examining a
> Swiki emigration.
>> Can you or any others help us out?
> Definitely :-)
Welcome :-) I'll try to add you to the password lists etc. (I'm not sure 
I remember how to do that...) and the swiki are different because people wanted a small, 
easy intro to the Squeakworld.

As you know the swiki is neither :-) I think it is a nice distinction. 

The documentation pages need a lot of attention, so  you are welcome to 
work on them.
I don't think we should move all content over to from the 
swiki as most users don't have access to editing and 
therefore editing will be a major obstacle.

The distinction between the doc team and web team would be that there 
were some talk about linking the doc into the image somehow. But I 
agree, we have much of the same purpose, documenting Squeak.

I'm not sure how well Pier would scale as a wiki. It is quite different 
than both Smallwiki and Swiki and it I haven't gotten used to it yet. 
Smallwiki is also quite different from Swiki.

I'm not sure how to give you a image as it contains passwords 
etc. so I can't post it publicly. Access to the server is
provided by the Box admins.

Hope we will have a good time working together.


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