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From "Jean T. Anderson" <...@bristowhill.com>
Subject Re: Holistic getting started approach
Date Fri, 03 Feb 2006 00:42:39 GMT
Daniel John Debrunner wrote:
> Looking at Stan's WMD, sorry WWD document in DERBY-913 I want to promote
>  a holistic approach to making getting started on Derby easier. Thus by
> improving various areas such as documentation, web-site, product,
> tutorials, FAQ etc. together we can gain a bigger benefit than by
> increasing individual items to make up for deficiencies in other areas.

The web site needs a huge overhaul. Here are some of the issues I've 
been mulling over.

(1) Web site content isn't trivial to update

Whether the web site is in Forrest, Maven, or Anakia (those seem to be 
the big three at Apache), it involves learning the file formats those 
products support and the build process, and this learning curve is a 
barrier.

We've had a much higher rate of contribution to the Derby Wiki.

I'd like to move as much of the highly changing information on the web 
site to the Wiki as we can. For example, I think that all of 
http://db.apache.org/derby/integrate/misc.html can be moved to the Wiki 
-- and reorganized. Some is eclipsed by 
http://wiki.apache.org/db-derby/UsesOfDerby anyhow, but there are 
categories not handled by that Wiki page.

We'll have to strike some sort of balance, though. One issue with the 
Wiki is *anyone* can update it. Anything that requires controlled 
updates by committers must stay on the web site.

(2) New users can't easily find what they need

Too many responses to posts on derby-user consist of an URL to that 
information on the web site (or, lately, even on the Wiki).

The good news is we have a lot more content than we did a year and half 
ago. The bad news is I've pretty much just shovelled it in and some of 
it's pretty tangled now.

Perhaps a master "Start Here" page would help that is specifically 
tailored for new users. It could be on the web site or the Wiki, with a 
prominent tab on the web site that goes directly to that page.

(3) It's hard to find the downloads

I'm surprised by the number of requests I get which are "where are the 
downloads?" Even though downloads are on the home tab, they clearly 
aren't visible. So make downloads its own tab?

The real estate of a web browser can accommodate only so many tabs, so 
we have to choose carefully. I'm hoping to free up some time soon to 
look more closely at each of these areas.

  -jean

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