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From Bert Van Kets <>
Subject Re: new skin
Date Fri, 31 May 2002 08:11:47 GMT
Hi Chris,

Read mu comments in line please.

At 16:00 31/05/2002 +1000, you wrote:
>The more I've thought about what Bert has achieved the more excited I
>become. I really believe since he has designed his solution in such
>compliant and elegant way that to move the HTML into the 21st Century while
>allowing the browsers of the past to tag along is a mere single confident
>step forward.
>My first thought was that the layout should be much simpler to help this; as
>I sketched this idea some other concepts quietly just fall into place for
>me. Please don't view this as a well thought out finished design -  it is
>just thrown on to the page and is undeveloped and would be very bad to
>implement as is. This is simply a quick sketch which illustrates some
>concepts I'd like you to consider - don't be drawn to the detail.
>1. BANDING - Ignore the grey, at this stage I didn't want be concerned with
>colour, just tonality, I'll add colour later. I've used this banding to
>break the page into more distinct separate sections. starting at the top i.
>the Breadcrumb Band. ii. the Branding and Search Band  iii. the Tab Band iv.
>The Content Band
>  Navigation -  In this design the Tabs bind with the Content more
>completely. In the current design a Tab binds visually with the Menu - but
>the only connection to the Content is by Naming association. This design, by
>key-holing the selected tab to the next band binds the Tab, the Menu and the
>Content together by visual effect. The Menu and Content simply sit in white
>space and the content is given plenty of "air" so that the eye can focus
>there with less distraction.

Don't forget there's only 1 tab at the moment.  Add a few more and you will 
see that the link between the tab and the menu is a lot less pronounced.

>(It is worth pointing out that in the current design the actual Tab visuals
>are a better convention in that they "Look" like tabs and are a more quickly
>recognisable structure - however the simplicity of this new design appeals
>to me, if its function is obvious to Users)

Feel free to create a skin yourself;  As Steven already pointed out: "The 
more skins the better". It's not hard to do if you start from the current 
files.  A little knowledge of Cocoon is a must however.

>* Id like to see colour used in a less overpowering way and be used to give
>the site more "life" and "energy", I don't think the current colour says
>much to me. Is blue significant? - can other colours be tried?

Blue says "peace and tranquility" an ideal color for an informative site 
IMHO.  Please do not start to discuss the L&F of the page all over 
again.  Again, feel free to create a skin yourself.

>*I also like the idea that these header bands are completely separate HTML
>components which may be switched on and off in a trivial way without having
>to re-code. If new tools or control elements are need to be added they can
>simply be dropped into the header in their own self contained band as
>required in a straightforward way. While ultimately this approach may reach
>some barriers it may take the design forward in a more manageable, modular
>way towards Phase 3 if not beyond.

I deliberately created the page for this purpose.  Only the tabs not 
completely separated since they are merged a little into the logo-search 
band.  I had to keep those together.
There is another advantages to this system:
- The higher perceived speed since the content is split up in several 
tables.  A table is only shown when the content is read, so splitting the 
page up in several tables on top of each other gives the user "something" a 
lot faster.  I could separate the menu and the content this way too, but 
the align=left and align=right is not supported for tables by all browsers 
(Netscape again).
It generates a little bit more code, but I checked some pages and we are 
way below limits since we are not using a lot a graphics.
The home page is only 29,3KB.  The largest page, the primer page, is 
75,5KB, which is still acceptable.  Mind you, this is the TOTAL download 
size, including CSS and images.

>2. BRANDING - In a way this is the most important concept for me. The Apache
>XML Logo and the Project Logos should always stand together. It implies an
>association - the project is part of a unified entity. Instead of the
>project logo flapping about in the middle, it  should be locked in place
>proudly beside the Apache XML identity and by association her sibling

I can't agree with you totally.  The main logo is the project logo and 
putting it next to the Apache logo makes it less significant.  If you want 
to discuss this with me, lets do this off line.  But again, why don't you 
creat a skin yourself? ;-)

>I think in a simple way this device speaks to the requirement for Forrest to
>bind the other projects together with a common identity (or in my world
>"corporate style") - a simple styleguide would need to be developed so that
>Logo creation would not break design - max-height  & width spacing etc.

Agree completely.  I was also thinking of creating a skin design/creation 

>forgive ratty look of Logos I couldn't find originals - had to hack out blue
>bg for demonstration...

There's a PhotoShop file in the src/resources/ directory that 
contains the logo's in a native format. You can create every style you like.

>again don't look at detail - fonts colour etc - Just the high level concept.

This a totally different design on the same concept.  You added a few 
things to comply to WAI, but we can do that with the current design too.
I'm sure you will get a lot of comments on this.  As I said before in one 
of my previous mails: Les gouts et les couleurs, on ne discute pas (we 
don't discuss taste and color).

I do not disagree with you, I just want to avoid creating a different style 
all over again.  If you want yours to be used, create a skin (I'm nagging 
now).  I am all for optimizing the one I created, based on Stefano's design.



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