> Summer cleaning !!!
When it's this hot I'd rather be in an air conditioned office
in front of my computer... just call me Canadian. :-)
Yhea I did not wanted to push the issue to spring thats all ;)
> I also think the web page is too cluttered.
> There is three category of people new comers, user and
Do you think this means we should really have three different
No but those group have different needs that have to be serve by the same web page.
> About the new comers : we are competing to get their attention
> and time.
> We need to be very good at it because Axiom is complex so it
> is not going to be an easy sell.
> For them it should be the principle of minimum surprise and
> maximum simplicity.
Hmmm... exactly what is it that we are trying to sell? :)
We want people time, first we want people to use Axiom and then we want people to work on Axiom.
Do you not feel that this might be quite misleading to such
new comers? After all, I do not think either of these
principles apply to Axiom - and some of the reason for this
depends on design choices that are specific to Axiom. I mean
specifically Axiom's type system.
I was thinking mainly about
the web page.
But it is true that axiom has a lot of complicated ideas and we should be clear
about their respective advantages.
People tend to use the simplest tool possible for their problem( not a bad idea in general) become familiar with it and use it more and more, at what point even if the tool is not a good fit anymore people dont know or dont see the advantage of learning a new tool that will be seen has more complex.
And I think Axiom fit in the heavy tool category.
I think this means that right up front we have to admit to
ourselves that Axiom may not have much appeal to most new
comers. But perhaps there is a class of "new comers" consisting
of experianced computer algebra users who have not had previous
exposure to Axiom. I think it is these people who might be most
receptive to the reasons why things are done "differently" in
The problem is those new comers are not "fresh" any more.
If you have been using MMA for some time, you need a good enough reason to abandon all your experience and change tool.
So we need a sell speech !!!!!!
Also another category of user is people looking for a general CAS that is open source, and even if those user may lack "sophistication" initially I think we should still try to be attractive to them and offer support.
> ( Next is a description of me looking at a project I might
> use, therefore interpret the "I want" has I really expect to
> If their is two column I will only read the left one.
> (When we discuss the web page with Ralf today I even had
about the right one I remember only the logo and
> was surprise to see link.)
Wow! That seems like a big admission to me. Is that also how
you read the newpaper and computer magazines? ;) I admit that
I also am very selective about what I read on a web page, but
not that selective...
Dead tree ???? I like only shiny moving picture where every thing comes in 30 second chunk. Honestly I read a lot of books and magazine, even newspaper when I am off the grid.
But I want to be able to scan rapidly a web page and find what might be of interest to me.
> Also I expect the "This site" to be on the top right corner.
> Our current top of the page do not make any sense, it is pure
> confusion to me.
Do you mean the line:
home contents changes issues preferences help +/-
full/simple/minimal navigator subscribe backlinks diff edit
(external edit icon)
It is obvious, isn't it? that this is the top menu bar similar
to what you see on almost all window applications?
Surely some of these menu items must also be obvious to you?
E.g. 'home', 'help', 'edit' etc.
Could you say exactly what you find confusing? Keeping in
mind that this is a wiki web site, could you suggest how we
can make it less confusing?
I honestly find this top bar terrible.
The top of the page a very expansive piece of estate.
Look at the wikipedia one, as simple as possible.
I understand it is surely the wiki default and will be difficult to change but still.
+/- ? does not work for me I imagine that it change the font size, I know how to do that on my browser and I do not expect a web site to do this for me.
? history ?issues
? discussion ?
ok if I am loghelp
? with ?
minimal this one is supper scary
is that content version terminator ?
subscribe maybe only if I click on edit ? not sure
this one will be better at the bottom
so what was change ?
One way, maybe, would be to completely hide that fact that this
is a wiki page by removing the top menu bar on the FrontPage.
For the front page I think it will be nicer especially as people can not edit it.
> Also the left menu is too long, and redundant :
> Audio/visual <http://wiki.axiom-developer.org/AxiomScreenCast>
> audio ??? not common confusing.
Really? Many web sites use audio, especially ScreenCasts.
I dont know about screen cast( I do but dont tell), also audio + CAS makes weird connection in my brain.
What about :
> Press releases <
> I have doubt the general press is going to be interested by us
> really soon.
I have in mind more specific "press" such as computer magazines
and online "news" sources such as SlashDot etc. Maybe the name
"press releases" is a bit misleading?
./ is meta content.
But computer magazine is a good idea, especially all those LinuxSomething but we will need to send them press release not wait for them to come.
> Gold Silver , the Olympics maybe ?
> What I like is a News section where I can see that a project is
Right now the best place for this is "changes" on the main menu
bar that you said was confusing to you but it is also in the
right sidebar as Whats New under This Site.
Right side does not exist for me remember :)
New should be in the 1st five on the left.
It would be nice to have a nicely formatted wiki page specifically
for this purpose but then we would need someone willing to keep it
up to date.
> (Also I like a related project link where I can see other CAS,
> I love it, I think it is fair play)
Do you mean expand the Related Sites box on the right sidebar?
> I want a "Description" two page long maximum with what is Axiom
> what is special and great
Do you mean something like
which is already accessible from several links on the current
The axiom link in the central description I never clicked on it, I will have no idea where it will lead me.
I think there should be a clear About it the top 3 on the left side.
> I want a screen shoot , yes sorry I always want a screen shoot
> even for a cmd line programs.
I wonder why it did not seem obvious to you to click "Audio/visual"?
Could you suggest a change of wording that would have made this
Audio/visual seem weird to me, I will expected this from an artist web page.
I am trying hard here not to appear defensive or
I am exaggerating a lot my critics.
I am serious that we badly need suggestions on how
to word things so that the purpose is obvious on first reading.
I know that this might be difficult to achieve for all people
reading this web site from around the world, but we should at
Yes sadly first impression is critical.
Right now the only static screen shots that we have are for
Axiom with TeXmacs.
It would be great if someone could take the time to contribute
a few more.
Martin had some nice one I think.
> And then I want a Download with maybe some binary but for sure
> a tgz of the source. I will grab it, type ./configure, make,
> make install and try.
The 'Download' link on the FrontPage does lead quite quickly
to binary and source code tgz. How can we improve that?
That is something I have been talking about with a friend. There is two things actually.
The subsection in the left menu do not show as such they should be a bit decalled or have some small bullet point.
And all the four title do not feel has link because every think you might expect from them is detailed bellow.
I am not sure I am clear on this one.
Maybe we could give a try to this for a few day get rid of them no big Documentation/Discussion/... the color should carry enough information.
And download should be above discussion.
Also testing does not convey best the idea of trying, and it should be "online try" to emphasize it is not some sort of demo/download.
What about I give it a try :
I am not sure about bib
On the left just the logo without colored frame around them.
Stats on the bottom
News should be able to fit in the front page.
And most important Axiom completely lack visual identity !!!
I am not suggesting that we change the logo, I like it ok, but it should be made larger.
Almost banner size with a catch phrase.
> Then I am going to look for a good introduction. And I hate
> it when people give me choice I want the one and definitive
> introduction. I will read between 5 and 20 pages max. Any
> document that go over 100 pages will scare me to death.
I have to agree that we lack a good introduction. But "the one
and definitive introduction" is rather hard to write for Axiom
I think. Perhaps you would be willing to create a draft? Maybe
we can try to write such an introduction in a collaborative
Cant I just criticize it ? I will have a lot of free time in a month I will give it a try.
> A good indicator for me is if I feel ok to print it.
> And if I survive I will look for more advanced material.
> For the axiom user. We should not expect him to subscribe to
> the mailing list.
I find that a rather surprising statement. As a user of new
open source software that is one of the first things that I
expect to have to do. One of the things that people repeatedly
claim for open source software is that the email lists of most
open source projects is a much better source of help and
information that any traditional help resource for commercial
Send a mail maybe, subscribe I doubt so, do you subscribe to
? bash ? apache ? gcc ? perl ? and so on
> He will go to the web page to solve his problems and get new
> version. Here it is good FAQ, oriented tutorial, documentation
> and search able mail list. Subscribing to a mailing list is a
> big step, we should not expect people to do it.
I agree that the current Axiom tutorial information could be
much better organized. Do you have any suggestions about how
to do this?
I havent think about it much yet sorry.
What I personally like is programming tutorial for programmer.
On the Axiom Wiki it is also possible for users to "subscribe"
to specific web pages. Did you notice the word 'subscribe' in
the top menu line? This allows people to automatically receive
notices of new or changed web pages without having to subscribe
to the email list. Do you think this is a useful feature?
No I hate it, getting a mail when somebody correct some spelling mistake.
And worse of all it is opt out !!! ( I think)
What I like is a release mailing list, when I get at maximum every 3 month a mail telling me about a new version or some special events. He has to be very low traffic.
> For active user/ contributors/ developer what is needed is a
> collaboration tool, I have no answer for that.
Axiom Wiki? Or do you mean that what we have now does work as
a collaboration tool?
I mean online collaboration tools in general is a very difficult subject, and I dont even have very good questions about it.
> Personally I find the wiki difficult to use, it seem a big mess
> to me and I spend a lot of time looking for documents I saw
> before and know should be somewhere.
I am surprised that you say "what is needed is a collaboration
tool" and then you say immediately after that you find the wiki
difficult to use. I wonder what you have in mind when you say
A wiki with a better organisation ;)
> It lack structure and search will not replace that, in general
> giving a name to your problem is the difficult part.
Of course there are alternatives to search such as the Site Map
and Site Index links on the right sidebar. But I agree in general
that the structure of the web pages on the Axiom Wiki web site
could be improved.
I did try to make some progress toward improving this structure
by introducing the new Up/Down navigation links on the left side
of each page (except FrontPage). My intention is to make the
structure of the pages more obvious and more useful for "navigating"
(i.e. manually searching) through the web site. Do you think that
Yes, a nice tree, where every think is accessible from the 1st page in some meaning full way( easy to say).
> When you look at the tree structure you see a big mess and all
> the bugs !
Well, it is not really a tree structure. Each page can be linked
to several pages both "up" and "down". So it is really a lattice
(to a mathematician) or an ontology (to at least one branch of
I want a spanning tree.
When you say "all the bugs" do you mean the issue tracker pages?
These to not appear in most of the links on the left sidebar.
Or do you mean when you look it the overall structure under
'contents'? Because we have over 300 such issue reports (
the same number as all other contents of the web site), these
do tend to dominate any listing of contents. Perhaps we need a
way to suppress these from the main contents list and only
show them on a more detailed contents list?
That will be very nice indeed, do you think it can be easily done ?