Forum: GNU Radio GNU Radio website.

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Trond D. (Guest)
on 2007-03-03 13:55
(Received via mailing list)
Hi everyone,

I've been looking at the GNU Radio websites, and feel that there are
some improvements that could be made. The website at gnu.org looks
good, but lack up to date information, and the trac website has up to
date information, but could use some polishing. I was therefore
thinking of starting to clean up some of the pages in the wiki,
starting with the front page. I have created a new frontpage that is a
lot simpler than the previous one; I did not want to commit it
directly, since it is the public face of gnuradio, so let me think
what you think.

I am aware of that there are some scripts to convert the old wiki
pages to trac format, but that is not what I am thinking of now.

Cheers,
Eric B. (Guest)
on 2007-03-03 18:43
(Received via mailing list)
On Sat, Mar 03, 2007 at 12:54:31PM +0100, Trond D. wrote:
> what you think.
>
> I am aware of that there are some scripts to convert the old wiki
> pages to trac format, but that is not what I am thinking of now.
>
> Cheers,
> --
> Trond D.

Hi Trond, thanks for your work on the Wiki and everything else!

If we use this as the front page, how are people going to:

  Figure out how to download the code
  Figure out how to build GNU Radio

I agree that the current WikiStart page isn't beautiful, however it
does handle what I assume are the first 95% of the questions: where's
the code, how do I build it, and what about the USRP stuff?

I'm also a bit concerned about pages that provide almost no real
information, just a set of sublinks, particularly if they're in my
way of getting to what I want ;)


Also, as a general design principle, I like to minimize the number of
places where information is replicated.  If the info is in more than
one place, you can pretty much count on at least one of them being out
of date.  The reentering of the mailing list stuff comes to mind: once
on www.gnu.org and once on gnuradio.org.  In this case, I should
probably edit the referring pages on www.gnu.org to point at the wiki
pages.

I also realize that we still have some useful stuff in the old
comsec.com wiki.  Martin and I have recently done some work on the
conversion tool, and will eventually get the good stuff moved into
trac, then shutdown the the old one.


Eric
Trond D. (Guest)
on 2007-03-03 19:11
(Received via mailing list)
2007/3/3, Eric B. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid>:
> > directly, since it is the public face of gnuradio, so let me think
>
> If we use this as the front page, how are people going to:
>
>   Figure out how to download the code
>   Figure out how to build GNU Radio

The first link on my suggested page leads to a section describing
this. Maybe it should be renamed to "Get GNU Radio"? I do not think it
is a problem to store it on a separate page, since the users usually
have to go there only once (in an ideal world).

> I agree that the current WikiStart page isn't beautiful, however it
> does handle what I assume are the first 95% of the questions: where's
> the code, how do I build it, and what about the USRP stuff?

As a user who is just getting started I disagree with you on that
point. I have been exploring GNU Radio for half a year, and I think
there are three major questions that has to be anwered on the front
page:

1. How do I get this stuff?
2. How do I use it?
3. How can I get in touch with the people who created this stuff?

My main problem so far, has been digging up documentation. That's my
reason for the proposed modification. It is correct that the current
page anwers many of these question, but I just think that it is too
cluttered, which makes it hard to find what I am looking for.
Remember, web users are in a hurry.

I also think clearing up the page has a certain "marketing effect".
The cluttered front page does not give a professional look. The old
site gives a much better first impression, and I actually think that
matters when trying to reach new users.

> I'm also a bit concerned about pages that provide almost no real
> information, just a set of sublinks, particularly if they're in my
> way of getting to what I want ;)

As I said, I want documentation :), which currently is hidden behind a
small link at the bottom of the page.

>
> Also, as a general design principle, I like to minimize the number of
> places where information is replicated.  If the info is in more than
> one place, you can pretty much count on at least one of them being out
> of date.  The reentering of the mailing list stuff comes to mind: once
> on www.gnu.org and once on gnuradio.org.  In this case, I should
> probably edit the referring pages on www.gnu.org to point at the wiki
> pages.

I created a mailing list page in the wiki (MailingLists), just in case
you did not notice. I really think that the wiki is the way to go.
Static websites always get out of date; wikis makes sense in 2007 :)

--
Trond D.
Eric B. (Guest)
on 2007-03-03 20:12
(Received via mailing list)
On Sat, Mar 03, 2007 at 06:10:58PM +0100, Trond D. wrote:
> >> lot simpler than the previous one; I did not want to commit it
> >Hi Trond, thanks for your work on the Wiki and everything else!
>
> 2. How do I use it?
> 3. How can I get in touch with the people who created this stuff?

OK.  Why don't you create the page as WikiStart2, and then we can
iterate the design there.  When we're all happy, we'll move it to
WikiStart.

Another thing to think about is what do we want at http://gnuradio.org?
Maybe that's where the "marketing page" goes.  Of course we can config
apache to redirect it into the wiki somewhere.

The FSF wants us to keep some kind of presence at
www.gnu.org/software/gnuradio.  We'll have to think about what that
should be.  FYI, the FSF is pretty picky about the format of pages on
www.gnu.org.  http://www.gnu.org/server/fsf-html-style-sheet.html

Also, you can check out the source for the current
www.gnu.org/software/gnuradio web pages like this:

  $ export CVS_RSH=ssh
  $ cvs -z3 -d:pserver:removed_email_address@domain.invalid:/web/gnuradio co
gnuradio

Feel free to overhaul these pages, and send me patches (or whole new
pages).  The basic constraints are that we need some kind of presence
at http://www.gnu.org/software/gnuradio, that it's the top hit for
gnu radio in google, and that whatever's there needs to follow the FSF
guidelines.

Once that's sorted out, perhaps we ought to replicate it at
http://gnuradio.org
[Violating my own rule, I know.  I'm not sure I can get a redirect
installed at http://www.gnu.org/software/gnuradio, and JavaScript is
out.]

> My main problem so far, has been digging up documentation. That's my
> reason for the proposed modification. It is correct that the current
> page anwers many of these question, but I just think that it is too
> cluttered, which makes it hard to find what I am looking for.
> Remember, web users are in a hurry.

OK.

> I also think clearing up the page has a certain "marketing effect".
> The cluttered front page does not give a professional look. The old
> site gives a much better first impression, and I actually think that
> matters when trying to reach new users.

Good.  There's also a way to get a sidebar in Trac that we may want to
consider for the start page.

> >I'm also a bit concerned about pages that provide almost no real
> >information, just a set of sublinks, particularly if they're in my
> >way of getting to what I want ;)
>
> As I said, I want documentation :), which currently is hidden behind a
> small link at the bottom of the page.

Different strokes ;)


> Static websites always get out of date; wikis makes sense in 2007 :)
Yes I noticed, and I agree with you.  That's the reason for my comment
about pointing the links on the www.gnu.org pages to the wiki ;)

Thanks again for working on this!
I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Eric
Don W. (Guest)
on 2007-03-03 23:46
(Received via mailing list)
From: "Trond D." <removed_email_address@domain.invalid>
> 2. How do I use it?
> 3. How can I get in touch with the people who created this stuff?

Don't forget:

0. What is it?

No one who subscribes to the mailing list needs this, but anyone else
who
happens to stumble across the website (e.g., via Google) might want to
know.
All it takes is a prominent link to an appropriate page.

-- Don W.
Trond D. (Guest)
on 2007-03-04 02:56
(Received via mailing list)
2007/3/3, Don W. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid>:
> > 1. How do I get this stuff?
>
Of cause! I missed that one. But that is exactly what I think the page
at gnu.org should be. I'll get back to that later.

--
Trond D.
Trond D. (Guest)
on 2007-03-06 12:16
(Received via mailing list)
lør, 03.03.2007 kl. 10.16 -0800, skrev Eric B.:
> OK.  Why don't you create the page as WikiStart2, and then we can
> iterate the design there.  When we're all happy, we'll move it to
> WikiStart

I have created http://gnuradio.org/trac/wiki/WikiStart2. Let me know
what you think. I have tried to give an overview of what information is
available on the wiki, while keeping the size of the front page to a
reasonable size to avoid scrolling.

I haven't had the time yet to look at the gnu.org website, but I've got
it on my TODO list.

--
Trond D. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid>
Martin D. (Guest)
on 2007-03-07 00:08
(Received via mailing list)
Trond D. wrote:
> reasonable size to avoid scrolling.
Looking good.

I would add a heading "Full Documentation Index" or "Wiki Index" with a
link to http://gnuradio.org/trac/wiki/TitleIndex under Documentation

Greetings,
Martin
Eric B. (Guest)
on 2007-09-26 01:08
(Received via mailing list)
On Sat, Mar 03, 2007 at 10:42:49AM -0800, Johnathan C. wrote:
>
> > Once that's sorted out, perhaps we ought to replicate it at
> > http://gnuradio.org [Violating my own rule, I know.  I'm not sure I
> > can get a redirect installed at http://www.gnu.org/software/gnuradio,
> >  and JavaScript is out.]
>
> Personally, I'd rather install Wikimedia on gnuradio.org and just use
> Trac for repository browsing and tickets.  There are far more effective
> spam control modules for Wikimedia than Trac, as well as more
> sophisticated math rendering, attachment/inline controls, revision
> control, user accounts, etc.

Seems like a lot of work, possible confusion, and we lose all the
trac integration with the wiki.

It looks like there's a desire for two things:

  - A nice looking "marketing page" (which could be static)
  - And the place where we're really getting all the work done (Trac)


> > Good.  There's also a way to get a sidebar in Trac that we may want
> > to consider for the start page.
>
> We may have to upgrade Trac to do this (I'm not opposed, but its effort
> and potential for breakage/downtime.)

Can we reuse the Table of Contents magic command.  E.g.,
http://gnuradio.org/trac/wiki/TracGuide

Eric
Trond D. (Guest)
on 2007-09-26 01:08
(Received via mailing list)
2007/3/3, Eric B. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid>:
> > it doesn't really provide a great deal of assistance in doing so.
> > control, user accounts, etc.
>
> Seems like a lot of work, possible confusion, and we lose all the
> trac integration with the wiki.

I agree! A full blown mediawiki installation for a simple site as the
gnu.org site, would be overkill IMO.

>
> It looks like there's a desire for two things:
>
>   - A nice looking "marketing page" (which could be static)

I have checked out the sources for the gnu.org site, and will look
into it tomorrow, and hopefully come up with some ideas and a proposal
in a couple of days.

>   - And the place where we're really getting all the work done (Trac)

Exactly! This is sort of how I picture things:

gnu.org:
- Welcome/introduction/what is gnuradio and SDR?
- Use cases/glossy examples ( think marketing :) ).
- How do I get this? -> Point to wiki at gnuradio.org

gnuradio.org
* Getting started:
  - download
  - requirements
  -install: Distro specific and generic
* Getting help
  - commercial support and training.
* Get in touch
  - mailing lists
  - irc (yes, you can actually find some of us on #gnuradio on
freenode.net )
* Documentation
  - API
  - Examples (practical, not the shiny ones on gnu.org)
  - Suggested readings.
  - List of talks, presentations and videos.
* Contribute (already on gnu.org)

Puh, thats about it (concider this a note-to-self(r) and others :) )

At last, thank you for all the feedback. I hope that you find this
useful and that it will help bring GNU Radio to a larger group of
people!

--
Trond D.
Trond D. (Guest)
on 2007-09-26 01:10
(Received via mailing list)
2007/3/6, Martin D. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid>:
>
> I would add a heading "Full Documentation Index" or "Wiki Index" with a  link to 
http://gnuradio.org/trac/wiki/TitleIndex under Documentation.
Good idea! I had that in mind earlier, but somehow it must have slipped.

--
Trond D.
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