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Re: PerlMonks site design

by jdporter (Canon)
on May 16, 2012 at 21:51 UTC ( #970933=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to PerlMonks site design

btw -- I'm actually a little perturbed by the comments on that reddit post. In particular, to say that the site hasn't been modernized because "No one's done the work" and especially "Plenty of people have volunteered over the years. None have delivered" is actually pretty insulting. Some of us have done tons of work to try to modernize and otherwise improve the site. Most/all of these changes have been small, "incremental" improvements. But there are impediments to making the kind of sweeping changes that most people envision. There are technical impediments, such as the rather unwieldy Everything-based engine; and there are more policy-related impediments, based primarily on fear of change by those few who hold the keys. For example, there is a deeply entrenched fear of javascript, apparently, which rules out all the AJAXy goodness you can think of.

I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.


Comment on Re: PerlMonks site design
Re^2: PerlMonks site design
by chromatic (Archbishop) on May 16, 2012 at 23:46 UTC
    Some of us have done tons of work to try to modernize and otherwise improve the site. Most/all of these changes have been small, "incremental" improvements. But there are impediments to making the kind of sweeping changes that most people envision.

    I apologize for any offense or insult my comments caused!

    I was thinking of the types of changes like "Why does it still use table-based layouts" or "Why is the CSS so grotty" or "Why can't you separate the templates from everything else?" which have the impediments you mention.

    (Like you, I've also added some incremental improvements to the site, long ages ago.)

      I'm the guilty party who both wrote and published that post on reddit.

      I didn't see any disrespect with chromatic's comment, but perhaps it's because I've researched what chromatic has already done for PM.

      I personally don't care whether PM updates with a facelift or not. I suppose I differ greatly from the new generation(s) of web users though. Kudos to the OP if they are serious about making a valiant attempt. I'm sure you'll learn quickly who to contact for what in short order if you show any decent signs of progress.

      See Restyling PerlMonks, which is where I was tracking my work to convert the site to use CSS instead of hardcoded and old-school html styling. In it, I say:

      Most importantly, someone with some sense of design and a pretty good understanding of css should define an overarching style "architecture" for the site.

      One thing you can do right away is turn off the use of tables for layout at the top several* levels of most pages. Go to Display Settings, scroll to the bottom, and turn on the three "layout * as DIV instead of TABLE" flags. Then, of course, you'll have to edit your CSS to take advantage of all the div classes and id's you'll get.

      * The number of levels of table layout affected varies, but I think it's generally between 2 and 4. And some pages are not affected by the settings at all (yet).

      I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.

        Why don't you post some example CSS to make it easier for people to try it out?

        I turned those options on to see how well the CSS-based layout works and I can't actually do that since all it does is remove the structure that used to be there. I am not going to try to write CSS to try to restore the structure; my expectation is that I would spend no small amount of time and then would still fail. But that wouldn't prove anything other than my failure at CSS.

        You surely already have some CSS. I'd love to see CSS that just restores the original structure (or nearly so). Other examples that demonstrate some small part of the flexibility CSS should offer the user would be nice as well.

        Or perhaps there are others who have switched to "div mode" and could offer their CSS.

        Thanks.

        If some CSS comes out of this that seems considered to be a reasonable starting point, then it might be good to link to that from a "?" (help) superscript near those 'div' options on Display Settings. Or perhaps such CSS should be added to the site default CSS since it would just be ignored if you don't have those DIVs turned on.

        - tye        

Re^2: PerlMonks site design
by luis.roca (Deacon) on May 21, 2012 at 02:54 UTC

    "btw -- I'm actually a little perturbed by the comments on that reddit post. In particular, to say that the site hasn't been modernized because "No one's done the work" and especially "Plenty of people have volunteered over the years. None have delivered" is actually pretty insulting."

    Having put in about 15 total hours of work on the last attempt to redesign at least the front facing (Anonymous view) part of the site I didn't find flip, uninformed comments like that surprising but annoying nonetheless. As a full time freelancer I value my time greatly so I can only imagine the annoyance to others who have put in far more hours on the site's design (and/or functionality) in one way or another even from a nodelet to a full theme. However, having looked at the people who made the comments and the forum they chose to do so makes me take it all far less seriously.

    "...the adversities born of well-placed thoughts should be considered mercies rather than misfortunes." Don Quixote

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