jh at oobleck.astro.cornell.edu
Mon Dec 19 13:15:56 CST 2005
Thanks for setting up the new site so quickly!
But, I think you've missed my point.
Joe Harrington proposed an overall layout like:
demos on web
demos you can run
That was not a layout proposal! It's just an unordered (and
incomplete) list of content types. Much of my concern comes from the
fact that that our engineering mindset likes to equate the two, but a
website is more than an index. I'd much rather see a front page that
is visually friendly, is not too cluttered, and is easily navigable
by newbies, yet has sufficient navigation tools to take experienced
users quickly to the "real stuff". Obviously, there are choices to
be made here; some may be hard. My point is that it's worth a
*DESIGN EFFORT* to get it right. Then, the interior site has the
traditional tabs-and-sidebars look, and sports a lot of info at once,
but still has obvious "GO HERE FIRST" signs for newbies.
I think the next thing is for interested parties to post here some
text descriptions of front page concepts. Alternatively, hang a faux
front page that you made off the main page of the wiki, with a like
like FredSmithsFrontPage. Here's my (current) idea, very subject to
It should have an attractive logo/banner, larger than the version
that will appear on top of the pages in the site.
It should have an attractive graphic made with the package (later, we
can put several of these in a random rotation, so that on each visit
you get a different one). Size of the image matters here: physically
large but quick to download is nice.
It should have a short, non-jargony, non-boasting summary paragraph.
It has to be relatively narrow, so the right-side material isn't off
the edge. It should be on the left to be read first.
It should have a moderate number of links for newbies by type of
visitor (see previously posted list). These should be down the right
side, in a column. We should eventually collect hit statistics and
promote the more-visited ones to the top of the list, and replace
Below that should be some news.
Below that should be a content listing (the key interior navigation
headers) on the right side.
No "notices" junk at the bottom.
For example, a crude text version, all parts up for discussion:
[big logo: S C I P Y]
Deutsch, Francais, Espagnol, $()#(%, [more]
Scipy is open-source software for Introductions and
mathematics, science, and engineering. demos for new users:
It runs on all popular operating Researcher/College student
systems, is quick to install, and is Teacher/Professor
free of charge. Scipy is easy enough K-12 Student
that a 12-year-old can use it to plot Media
up her math homework, but complete [more]
enough that it is depended upon by some
of the world's forefront scientists and Latest news:
engineers. If you need to manipulate Scipy 2.0 released
numbers on a computer and display the
results, click into the demos and give Quick Navigation:
Scipy a try! Download
[splufty graphic] Community
The background is black, with the area under the paragraph containing
the graphic in bold color on black background. Maybe if you click on
the graphic, you get another graphic. Leave that as an Easter egg
for the enterprising to find.
Clicking any link on this page takes you to the appropriate page of
the traditional tabs-and-sidebars site inside. The demos are
tailored to the audience. Each of the demos listed here is a tab
under Demos, inside. Likewise, clicking on "news" takes you to the
interior news area, Download, Documentation, Community likewise.
Not all interior tabs should be here, just the main ones.
All this should look clean and professional, without looking too
"produced". Language should be English, readable by a 12-year-old
(both to accomodate 12-year-olds and to be nice to non-native-English
speakers). Once we have translations, we can add them in a list
under the banner, in small type, maybe with flags.
Inside, the main page has a description that gives you the background
you need to know to use the site. For example:
Scipy is an extension to the popular [Python] language. Its
foundation is [scipy_core], which is a small package that gives
Python its basic scientific functions and the ability to manipulate
arrays of numbers. Scipy_core can be used alone to do many tasks,
or as part of full Scipy, which includes some popular application
packages. Scipy_core, full Scipy, and their support community are
hosted here. Many additional packages that use Scipy are listed,
with descriptions and links, under the "Add-ons" heading.
The "Introduction" heading has instructions for downloading and
installing the right binary package for your computer. Once you
have installed Scipy, check out the "Getting Started" area. If you
have problems, please ask a question in our community's "Just
Andrew's already onto the internal site structure. I think we need
to make the point that scipy_core can be run separately from full
scipy, but I don't think it's beneficial to have two download pages,
two FAQs, two doc pages, and so on. It will make for a lot of
rereading and clicking back and forth for new users. For the
remaining tabs, why not combine Andrew's list and mine, and try to
subset a few into one tab. For example What Is, Getting Started, and
Screenshots go under Introduction; Cookbook goes under Docs (maybe
call it "Help"?). The listing of additional software (which
shouldn't be called "Topical" anymore) should be a top-level
I'm very interested to hear from our web design experts ... Janet?
More information about the Scipy-dev