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From Christopher Schultz <>
Subject Re: Site redesign
Date Fri, 15 Oct 2010 21:45:36 GMT

On 10/4/2010 9:00 AM, Pid wrote:
> For now: input into what people consider the most important things to
> put in the green & blue boxes at the top part of the page would be
> useful.  E.g.
> 1. what are the most important things users should look for?

* What is Tomcat (relegated to the bottom/right of the page)
* Downloads (nicely placed, but could afford to move due to other issues
* Help / Documentation*
* Search (I see this isn't in your mock-up, but is on the main site)

News is nice to have and gives readers a sense of activity, but I'm not
sure it needs to have such a large section of the screen space devoted
to it.

> 2. what are the most important things users actually look for?

Same list, IMO.

> 3. what things does the community think should be prioritised.

ASF promotes community itself, so I would have the word "community"
somewhere on the page, probably under "Getting Involved".

* Unfortunately, Tomcat has downloads and documentation for multiple
products: TC 5.5, 6.0, 7.0, connectors, native, etc. That a lot of
links. Consider presenting everything at once in a consistent format,
but labeled according to version. Maybe something like the following:

- Which Version?
- Tomcat 7.0
 - Download
 - Documentation Index
 - FAQ
 - Subversion Repo
 - Bug Database
- Tomcat 6.0
 - Download
 - Documentation Index
 - FAQ
 - Subversion Repo
 - Bug Database
- Tomcat 5.5
 - Download
 - Documentation Index
 - FAQ
 - Subversion Repo
 - Bug Database
- Older versions
 - Download archive
 - Documentation archive

Of course, lay it out in an attractive way instead of the HTML 0.9 style
I have above :)

This may be off-topic - I'm not sure how much site redesign you're
considering, and I know that lots of version-specific may remain
unchanged - but I'll give my two cents anyway.

Something I find frustrating, as a tomcat-user contributor as well as a
user of Tomcat, if the difficulty of finding a single source of
information on a particular subject.

There are many items in the "User Guide" (as in, the links to the left
of the main content when browsing a particular TC version's
documentation) that also have vital information in the "Configuration"
section. For instance, "Connectors" has a short blurb about HTTP and AJP
connectors, but has no links to the pages covering the connectors

Sometimes information for certain things is "buried" under the
Configuration section. Let's say I'm a naive user/reader and I want to
know how to make Tomcat emit an Apache httpd-style access log. I find my
version and start looking at the User Guide TOC. The only thing on that
list that makes any sense in my context is "Logging", which of course
covers application and code logging and not request logging.

From there, you're essentially lost (unless you know how to use Google
properly, which many people do not) and we get a question on the mailing
list which could have easily been answered by the documentation.

Where is the documentation on that? On the page covering configuration
of Valves, of course. For some reason (probably because it was the only
place at the time, way back when), the configuration reference for the
<Valve> component, which is pretty simple in and of itself, became the
place to dump documentation about specific valves, regardless of their use.

Logging (Access Log Valve), Security (Remote Address Filter, Remote Host
Filter, Remote IP Valve, SSO Valve, Authenticator Valves), Debugging
(Request Dumper Valve), and general hacks (WebDAV Fix Valve) are all
documented on the same page. Some of these things aren't even valves.

This is just one example. Again, it may be an issue of version-specific
documentation (for which, of course, patches are always welcome), but I
figured I'd mention something since Pid has been kind enough to
volunteer to muck around with the site in the first place.


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