Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (325 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] RFC: How to improve openSUSE websites

On pon, cze 17, 2019 at 11:08 PM, Vinzenz Vietzke <vinz@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hi there,

being relatively new to the openSUSE community over the past few weeks
I've been digging through websites and wiki. Quite often I stepped into
traps of unclear, misleading or just plain old content. This lead me to
the conclusion that there's urgent need of restructuring lots of things.

The following is a rough braindump strongly intended as RFC. I try to
visualize my thoughts as good as possible with screenshots.


# First sight

The website opensuse.org in overall is looking good and I really like
the coloring. But looking closer there is a lot of clutter which needs
to be restructured.

Important stuff needs to be visible at first glimpse. See the
screenshot taken on a regular FullHD monitor [1] and try to tell what's
this all about - imagining you don't know what openSUSE is. Why not
tell at first sight:
- this is a Linux distribution
- this is how it looks like
- these three things make it outstanding

Positive examples as comparison: Fedora [2], Solus [3]

I did start doing some work towards getting first mockups of website going,
but focus more on the `openSUSE` than distributions, leaving the marketing of
distros to software-o-o. I do believe this is the right direction, because if
we wanted to sell openSUSE right on the main site, we would not be able to
mention anything outside of it in enough detail. Distributions are massive in
terms of what we should actually mention about them, so software-o-o could
serve the purposes of showcasing the distributions, installation process, go
into detail about differences between Leap and Tumbleweed. It would also be
nice to have a dns rule for the distribution part of the site instead of
software-o-o/distributions, maybe something like get.openSUSE.org, so it's
shorter and easier to type by anybody that wants to share the distros (but not
the entire project) with other people ;)

# Getting information

To get more details I have to scroll quite a lot and/or click very
often in comparison to the amount of information I get in the end. The
waste of space is too high and it should be reduced. Also these
animations are quite annoying. Especially the bouncing circle when
clicking on "How to contribute" > "Code" just to show a few sentences
afterwards.

Absolutely, animations aren't just a nice eye candy there, they function very
often as a roadblock between person and information, which is not acceptable, I
would be much more in favour of splitting some stuff into subpages just to get
into enough detail about everything too.

# Consolidate information

## News

News about ongoing development and information about achievements is
one the crucial thing to be spead out widely. The "News" section on
opensuse.org is just way too small and is just drowned out by the
"Tools" and "Contribute" sections. So we should either remove it there
completely and give it a separate page (See Solus Blog [4]). Or move it
upwards on opensuse.org and make it way more prominent. At least
linking to news.opensuse.org is useless and should be stopped (even
more from a design perspective).

Currently there are way too many places just to get news. Let me
summarize it and - please correct me if I got something wrong:

1. opensuse.org
It grabs first 2-3 sentences of a post and links to it on news.o.o.

2. news.opensuse.org
This filled by Doug and (just guessing) members of news mailing list.

And news-o-o is the only official place for openSUSE news, I am hoping that new
news-o-o [1] will be able to replace the wordpress site with something that
will be way easier to contribute to through github prs. As for the news widget,
I am glad it exists, it's an easy way to learn that the project isn't dead yet
;)

3. lizards.opensuse.org
Looks exactly the same as news.o.o but consists of blog posts by devs
and dev teams. The difference to news.o.o is stated nowhere, the
reasons for this separation not made clear either.

Dead basically, I am still waiting for provo to get the stuff off there, it
tends to be a long process (also YaST team needs blog on our infra, which is
being worked on).

4. planet.opensuse.org
This looks only slightly similar to news.o.o and lizards.o.o, even the
content is different. But: why is dimstar's blog (the TW reviews) and
the Open Build Service blog listed there? Following the logic above it
should at least be in lizards.o.o if not even in news.o.o!

This is a news aggregator, from multiple contributors, it allows anybody to add
their own blog to the sources, which is why it will be replacing lizards (it's
way easier to have own blog with something like github/gitlab pages too, so it
makes more sense, while it requires less maintenance from our side, even though
it would be nice to drop python2 there too, contributors wanted!) [2].

## Website vs. Wiki

Looking at the content of opensuse.org and wiki.opensuse.org I think
there's no clear plan what to put where. My understand of a wiki is a)
collaboratively created content and b) content changing regularly. A
source for documentation if you will.

I believe the biggest mistake was separating contents between openSUSE and SDB
namespaces, when you are looking for software, you are most likely also looking
for tutorials on how to install and use said software anyway. There is no
particular reason why this needs to be in SDB articles in most cases.

The "Contribute" section on opensuse.org gives you just a few sentences
but links to a wiki page. This is unnecessary as the ways to contribute
won't hardly change very often. I assume this is mostly done due to the
fact that opensuse.org has hardly any space left for slightly more
detailed information. But that's what a website is made for. Sending
people from URL to URL without giving them a consistent layout is at
best confusing if not frustrating.

The contributions side of things is being worked on by Imad Aldoj, with a
dedicated website for helping newcomers with contributions.

Partly positive example: Fedora [5] (sat in comparison to opensuse.org)

A better example: https://whatcanidoforfedora.org/en/

That's all for now. I understand that many things have somehow grown
over the years. But as I'm willing to tackle these I am looking forward
to your comments/critics.

Regards,
vinz.

[1] https://opensuse.github.io/news-o-o/
[2] https://github.com/openSUSE/planet.opensuse.org

LCP [Stasiek]
https://lcp.world


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