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From Benoit Chesneau <>
Subject Re: website & jira
Date Wed, 18 Apr 2012 09:10:15 GMT
On Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM, Noah Slater <> wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 1:05 AM, Benoit Chesneau <>wrote:
>> To be honest I don't care about the color, I don't care about the font
>> used. I don't care to have a pretty website or not. I'm not sure I
>> like that one. It's trendy for sure. Not my problem here either.
> No offence intended, but that you don't care about these things is what
> worries me about you wanting to make changes. Our previous website looked
> very dated, and the focus of the redesign was to breath some life in to it.
> And that very much does include the colour, and the typeface, and all the
> other visual elements. So whomever takes over the site should care very
> much about these things.
> That doesn't mean that your concerns are not valid, but it suggests that
> you shouldn't be the one playing around with the design. If you look at the
> wiki page I created I said the following. "When adding a comment, please
> describe the problem. Do not describe the solution. The solution is
> something that the person with the overall vision is tasked with coming up
> with. If you provide a solution with your problem, you are confusing the
> matter, and limiting the scope of productive discussion."

You missed the point, or my english failed which is quite possible. I
used a present verb.

(Though it's true i'm not sure I like the website, too much trendy for
my eyes. But this is only personal taste and don't have to enter in

I'm only trying to solve the points I noticed. I will look at this
wiki page. Maybe we can also consider to open tickets about different
points now that there is a `website` component?

> If we try to evolve the website by having people just randomly change this,
> and randomly change that, because some small thing was bothering them, then
> we will have website that deteriorates over time. There will be no
> consistency to the changes. There will be no single vision that is
> informing the approach we take, or informing the decisions we make.
> That is why I have added each and every concern you have raised to this
> page. Because I hope that someone with an eye for design (someone who cares
> about the colours and the typefaces, to use your example) will pick this up
> and run with it, and work out what the best way forward is.

I'm fine with that. There is absolutely no rush. But on first post I
had the feeling  you were dismissing the points. I'm happy to be wrong
on that.

>> What I care on the other hand, is about the content, and the
>> information in. What could have been discussed, and may be fixed in
>> the future is which information is important. Who are we targeting.
>> There was some mails about that on the ml sometimes ago without real
>> decision on that.  Again I'm not talking about a vote or whatever. At
>> the end someone has to take a decision. The one that took the lead for
>> any reason. I'm pretty sure the website will need some edits (and
>> again i'm not speaking about design) in near future following recent
>> discussions. But it wasn't the topic of my mails.
> Agreed. I have been at the nexus of these discussions for five years now. I
> took it upon myself to get involved in launching the redesign of the
> website because I felt I cared enough, and because I felt I had enough
> knowledge about it. Of course, there were discussions, but they were
> primarily between myself and Jan and Yohie, but also with people who are
> interested in contributing in the long term. It is my hope that I can reach
> out to these people again, now, and that they will jump on board. But this
> is a slow process, and a lot if changing at the moment with CouchDB.
> Shipping 1.2.0 almost broke me. And I have been taking a little break from
> it so that I don't burn out. But I hope you can trust me when I say that
> this is not the final edit to the site for another 5 years. I want to see
> the website grow. And I want to address all the comments that we receive
> about it. But I will stress that I do not think we should be making
> alterations for every comment that we received. Knee jerks never made a
> good design.

Again agree. Minus the "knee jerk" thing. While we shouldn't accept
all changes, it should always be for a good reason. Providing feedback
isn't natural these days, so we should take in consideration any
remarks coming since they made the effort to tell us  a thing about

>> What I care now, is that i'm not inclined to use the site because I
>> don't find the information easily like I used too. And I've found the
>> same feedback from some persons around. I listed the points
>> previously. I'm now worried that we can't even suggest something is
>> wrong. It looks like it for sure.
> Of course you can suggest something is wrong! As a long time contributor to
> CouchDB, your voice is stronger than most, and of course it is listened to.
> All I am asking is that we approach this methodically, and that we do not
> think of the website like we think of the code. We're getting by just fine
> without a grand architect of CouchDB, though no doubt we could use one. But
> a good design is the product of a single vision, and we have yet to find
> that person. Again, to stress this point, I am going to be actively trying
> to find that person, and I hope you can trust me when I say that. If you
> have comments, that is brilliant. Can we please collect these on the wiki
> page I made? And can we please try to state, clearly, the problems, and
> leave the strategy up to someone else?

I will.

Just a not about the wiki. It's for now read-only by default for good
reason, and you have to ask permission to write in. This can explain
why people don't go on that  page. Asking permission is not as easy as
just authenticate to the wiki and write your text.

>> Trust? `Trust` works in both way. And if you don't trust someone
>> enough to think you can't discuss about that thing, there is a
>> problem. I personally trust you even if we never met and others in the
>> team. ANd pretty sure that we all know where to stop between
>> bikesheeding and the rest. Am I right, dunno. That's it.
> I trust you Benoît. If you ever get elected to the CouchDB PMC you will see
> that I was the person who nominated you to be voted in as a committer. ;) I
> also value and respect your opinion. I don't disagree with you that the
> link to JIRA might need some re-evaluation. I just don't want to jump the
> gun, so to speak, in rushing towards one particular solution. I want to
> someone else to own the website, and to think about all of the feedback,
> and to formulate a single, unified, approach.
Thanks :)

>> Now to list my issues with the website:
>> - easy access to the support (tickets)
>> - reading the text is difficult
>> - making some links more obvious: mailing list web browsing
>> If I'm the only one to find issues about that fine. I will try to
>> bookmark the links I need even if I dislike to work that way.
> I added all three comments to the wiki page yesterday. I agree with them
> too. (I agree with them here because you're stating them as problems, and
> not forcing specific solutions.) Hopefully, sooner rather than later,
> someone can pick these up and run with them. Until then, let's keep adding
> stuff to this wiki page so that our future contributor has an easy time
> with this.

> I would point out, as has already been pointed out, that this new design
> was not intended for the existing contributors to CouchDB. I figure that
> other people have bookmarks to JIRA like I do. I very rarely use the
> website. But that is because our website is not so much our homepage as it
> is our marketing site. It is intended to draw in new users. And indeed,
> draw in new contributors. I agree with other people that perhaps we need to
> add another section perhaps with a tutorial or something for the new users
> to balance our the big focus on getting involved. But the point remains:
> this website was not design for you, Benoît. That doesn't mean your
> opinions are invalid, or stupid, or that no body cares about them. I think
> they are all good observations.

The website shouldn't only present the product. We are an opensource
project after all. And even the notion of the product may change in
near futur (embedding).

I also think we shouldn't forget that devs or futur contributor come
also on that site to find information. Having a page not necessary on
the wiki that explain the process etc can be interesting. Or at least
a way to guide them to the right pages. Something like . Which
is on the wiki. Just pointing them directly or so would be ok.

Anyway will update the wiki about that topics. This was a short answer to above.

- benoît

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