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Re: [Texmacs-dev] TeXmacs web site

From: Alvaro Tejero Cantero
Subject: Re: [Texmacs-dev] TeXmacs web site
Date: 04 Oct 2003 14:22:13 -0400

El sáb, 04-10-2003 a las 07:00, Joris van der Hoeven escribió:
> Hi *,
> I attached a tarball for the very first and incomplete version of
> the new TeXmacs website, which will be developed soon at TeXmacs-doc.
> Please take a quick look if you have time; any suggestions are welcome,
> especially those on the main organization of the web-pages.

Hi Joris,

At a first glance, the double bar at the top seems a little confusing to
me. Is it a second hierarchical level? If so I would appreciate the two
hierarchical levels to be one next to other and the use of color and/or
indentation to indicate the relation between the two.

I cannot spare me the feeling that the whole site was and is overly
complex. I would remove strictly anything non-essential. As it is going
to be under Version Control, I would also batch some pages together, so
as to reduce the amount of clicking to get to anything actually useful.

We also must avoid wholescreen long lines. It is painful to read the
looooooong lines of the exported html.

Also, I expect from any free sw project to give me a short description
on the main page with links _in the text_ to downloading,
changes/readme's, and documentation.

eg. TeXmacs is the next generation in dynamic typesetting and at the
same time your way to a complete integrated scientific environment. Try
the last stable version [download link, changes], and share your
thoughts with us [feedback link]. You can get help to get started in
this [tutorial]. If you feel in the mood of taking part in the exciting
development of state-of-the art software, join the team [mailing lists,
savannah page].

I would put some texts in the main page with examples of "what texmacs
can do for you".

No need to say that I would move the Mhz limitations and such technical
details into the FAQ. I would move to the FAQ also many other remarks
which are unessential to the "three click visit" to a free sw project we
all do. I would eradicate mentions to the wiki (either we do something
about it or we close it), merge the help pages into only one (where you
say that help can be provided by donating, translating or writing
documentation, bug reporting, wish formalization (TeXmacs Improvement
Proposals), Scheme code, C++ code, plugins...

In the contact section the warning for people writing to tm seems to me
overemphasized. I would just put that contributing means sharing in the
terms of the license of the website. I would remove all the stuff about
legally gathering data from webpages. That's frightening and only
necessary if problems arise. Or put it in a site policy greyed link at
the end of the page.

As a conclusion, I don't have a clear mind on anything but this: the
website should be as simple as we can. Else there's information
pollution and people skim instead of reading. (I highly advise to read

I would please ask everybody to send a link or two to free sw projects
with "useful webpages". That way we can draw inspiration from good
examples of site design geared at the community.

Something standard that works: http://pyx.sourceforge.net/

On a personal note, I don't like very much the gleesons (I don't think
many people likes them). I think texmacs could use a new color set as
well, and I have always thought that we should one day (better sooner
than later) to find a name which is not as confusing as the present one
for everybody. We could do so with the help of users. In that way we
would find not only a good name but perhaps also a good logo (see
http://meta.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_logos_(1-25) , I'm sure
some of the authors would be happy if we asked them to design for TM).
Now TeXmacs seems to be some kind of genetically engineered GNU ;).

Doing it all in TM means (now) not having many characteristics which
could be desirable for a web site, such as forms, forums, RSS... Also
the proper subset of HTML has to be used, and I don't know if there will
be CSS support someday... How's search going to be implemented? Links to
tm documents don't translate into links to html documents, so navigation
of the html output is broken. As the nav buttons are missing, you cannot
either navigate the tm version.

As a historical note (because I guess you're not interested in this),

I had prepared a different approach for the webpages: they had a link at
the top "edit me with TeXmacs" and if you clicked (with the proper
configuration, but no more difficult than CVS, certainly) and you had
permissions (for example, you belonged to the CAS group) you could edit
the webpages directly and save. This was seamlessly DAV compatible,
could be upgraded to full version control, had an easier interface for
newbies than cvs and allowed still to put some elements not-from-texmacs
in the webpages that might be useful. I believe many more people would
contribute. You could also edit the raw html by hand.
As a drawback: the source had to be in htm (Tm just loaded in html and
saved again to html). I do not see why this is bad (since lots of tools
exist for html and it's more flexible in a web context) but I also guess
you are against this, Joris. 
I attach a screenshot.

Well, sorry for the long mail.

Álvaro Tejero Cantero

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