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Re: [Mingw-cross-env-list] Project website design

From: Volker Grabsch
Subject: Re: [Mingw-cross-env-list] Project website design
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 13:42:53 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

Nikos Chantziaras <address@hidden> schrieb:
> This may be a weird question, but how was the project's homepage 
> created?  Is it hand-written HTML or was a design tool used?
> If yes, which?

It is hand-written HTML, designed to be as simple and readable
as possible in HTML. I treat the HTML file like any other source
file, especially in regard to a consistent "HTML coding style".

Also, note that the whole documentation is a single HTML file.
Menu entries don't link to other HTML files, instead they link
to anchors within the same document. That way, I eliminated the
need to generate a bunch of HTML files just to maintain a consistent
menu and style across the chapters. The only tricky part was to
place the menu permanently into the upper left corner, but even
that is quite simple with CSS.

Well, to be honst, there _is_ some stuff being generated, by
substituting some tags in doc/index.html:

    * the list of packages        (<table id="package-list">)
    * the list of authors         (<ul id="authors-list">)
    * the current version number  (<span class="version">)
    * the current default target  (<span class="target">)

Those are substituted on "make dist", i.e. when generating the
release package. Please have a look at the "dist" section of
mingw-cross-env's main Makefile.

Note that the project homepage is exactly the same as the
documentation, i.e. the website shows the "doc/index.html" file
of the latest release, and changes to the website are no different
from changes to other project source files - all files reside
within the same repository.

I know that this unity between project website and documentation
is quite unusual. Indeed, I originally tried to separate them
properly. But that was impossible, because there was too much
overlapping in content. Most projects solve this problem by 
introducing redundancy, i.e. by repeating parts of their documentation
on their website. I don't like that, because it introduces yet
another set of files that will eventually become outdated. I think
that this overlapping is no accident, and has a deeper cause: In
the end of the day, both the documentation and the website serve
the same purpose: to inform people about the project. So instead
of separating them, I decided to unify them. Up to now that works



Volker Grabsch
NotJustHosting GbR

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