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From Berin Loritsch <blorit...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Forrest (a.k.a. xml.apache.org 2.0)
Date Mon, 17 Dec 2001 13:39:20 GMT
Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:

> GOALS
> -----
> 
> 1) Speed: current xml.apache.org is slow. Empirical studies on learning
> processes indicate that if a page takes more than 10 seconds on a 56Kbs
> modem, the cognitive experience is degrated.


Not to mention that users simply go somewhere else....


> 
> 2) Coherence: current xml.apache.org is extremely incoherent. Again,
> it's easy to understand that lack of coherence between subprojects docs
> is perceived (and sometimes reflects!) lack of cooperation.


This is pretty evident.  There is also no standard heirarchy of docs,
and some projects don't even publish the API docs!


> 
> 3) Navigation: the navigation experience on current xml.apache.org is a
> nightmare. There is no way to perceive the basic elements of spatial
> navigation: where am I? where can I go? how do I go back? how do I go
> there?


The proposed navigation is pretty cool.  Well thought out.


> 
> 4) Depth: the current xml.apache.org page layout forces a flat hierarchy
> of levels. The current Cocoon documentation somewhat extends this, but
> the visual look doesn't reflect the notion. Visual codes are extremely
> important to allow a easy and immediate navigation even at the deepest
> level.


Yep.  This is exacerbated by the fact that people question "Where are the
docs?"  When there were something like 20 links reduced down to 4 (each new
link is a more well thought out documentation type such as Installation,
tutorial/how to use it, developer's docs, etc.)


> 
> 5) Usefulness: xml.apache.org contains powerful software but it's not
> powerful in itself. It should be a window on the information useful for
> both users and developers, along with friendly behavior, such as
> print-friendly versions of the single pages and of the whole
> per-subproject documentation, pagination of long articles,
> site-restricted search, graphs of project-related data and so on.
> 
> 6) Simplicity: xml.apache.org is done by volunteers, on all levels.
> Nobody is directly paid to do this. Not even myself. So, if the above
> goals are met, but the system is not simple and immediate to use for
> those who have to maintain and update the information, the result is
> void over a short period of time.


I think this is the biggest complaint--and one why only simple to use
tools like JAXP compliant XML and XSLT processors get wide distribution.

> 
> 3) layout
> ---------
> 
> The layout previously proposed on this list was a solution to the speed
> problem but I couldn't adapt it to the depth needs identified in the
> rest of the goals.
> 
> So, I resurrected my rusty web design skills and came up with the layout
> you find attached. I've tested it on IE 5.5, NS 4.78 and Moz 0.9.5 on
> win2k. 


It looks great.  I like the layout even more.

-- 

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
  deserve neither liberty nor safety."
                 - Benjamin Franklin


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