Talk:Main Page v2

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Ready to go?

ITS BEEN MOVED: Seems like everyone so far was in favor. People can still vote below and we'll take it down if necessary.

Sri Kosuri 18:07, 23 March 2006 (EST): I think we take this live. I personally would want some small changes, but I think it is pretty much good to go. We can make changes in the future. Also, I don't think it's worth spending a lot more time on... There are much bigger fish to fry in terms of content. I'll put this up tonight or tomorrow, if there are enough responses.

To be fixed

If we do want to go with something like this new page (need more people to chime in on this). There are several things that needs to be fixed.

  1. Fix or eliminate edit links. (The headers already point to the real page where the data lives anyway). The edit links could either be eliminated or point to the edit version of those same pages.
    • Austin 18:49, 20 March 2006 (EST): I eliminated the auto edit links and tried adding back manual links. I copied a template from wikipedia but it's still not quite right. Feel free to hack it.
    • Jennyn 18:47, 20 March 2006 (EST): I like this new format a lot. I say get rid of the EDIT boxes because the main page modules are rarely edited. This might also deter users from interferring with the main page, at any rate.
  2. Rename the meta section.
    • Kathleen 11:05, 21 March 2006 (EST): How about "Community"?
  3. Fix the width of the table. Do the same thing as Main Page where the table shrinks to fit the window.
  4. Possibly change the showhide extension so that instead of pointing to institution pages, the institution links show/hide the list of labs.
    • Austin 17:17, 20 March 2006 (EST): An alternative is to figure out how to do the show/hide without the extension at all. I believe it should be possible to do this easily on the wiki using css and javascript. This would provide much more flexibility in having whatever text we want to show up and removes an extension dependency.
    • Jennyn 18:54, 20 March 2006 (EST): I do agree that instead of having a link to the institution, we should just link the institution name to the SHOW link. Nice work on rearranging the columns, Reshma. Looks good!
  5. Space between Highlight icon and text.
    • Jennyn 18:58, 20 March 2006 (EST): I know this is a minor change, but we can fix more text if the space were smaller.
    • BC 20:03, 20 March 2006 (EST): Is there a way to make the white background of icons transparent? It would be nice not to have to edit an icon anytime we change the background its on. I'm just looking at the highlights icons.
      • Jennyn 21:30, 20 March 2006 (EST): Hehe, sorry, Barry, that's me. I'll change it tomorree. I'm not sure I'm too fond of the highlights in a list like that. I think the two columns were nice. I'll play around with the formatting to see what we can get.
      • BC 21:55, 20 March 2006 (EST): Yup, I prefer the two columns too.
  6. HR between text
    • Jennyn 10:00, 21 March 2006 (EST): How do we add a blue divider between the text? I know it's the <hr> tag but I don't know how to manipulate it to look like the main page. I was testing to see if we added the divider, it would keep our eyes from glazing across the "white space" in the logo and the text to the tables.
    • Austin 11:37, 21 March 2006 (EST): try using <hr class=divider> now.
  • BC 21:55, 20 March 2006 (EST): A general comment - I think v2 is better than the current main page, although they both look great. However, I feel that in some ways we are trying to hit a moving target. I can imagine the topics/links on the main page continuing to change as the site evolves, not to mention including an every growing list of labs:) As a result, I would be afraid that some of the effort in improving the page further might go to waste if there is a need to change its organization later. So I'm wondering if it might be more productive if we focus for a while on another area, such as FAQ and Help which have fallen behind the main page/community portal. What do folks think? I should add that the lessons learned in fine-tuning the main page will be beneficial in the long run anyway so I think we gain regardless of what area we work on:)
    • Austin 23:53, 20 March 2006 (EST): That's the benefit of the current v2 structure. As labs get added, they get added to the Labs page. A v2 page would use the same content but could play around with different ways of displaying it. In any case, I think you're right that if people prefer this version, that it go live before any more changes get made to the v1 page. I think only with the main page does it matter to have another copy of the page to play with. There's not much point to have a v2 of other pages.
    • RS 09:01, 21 March 2006 (EST): I'd like to fix all the above problems before it goes live. (Most of them I am not sure how to fix off the top of my head which is why I haven't done it.)
    • Jennyn 09:35, 21 March 2006 (EST): I'm not sure that any of the things that need to be fixed are big enough to delay updating the main page with the v2 page. They are things that can be fixed over time because they are currently issues on the main page. Most users won't see a big difference in the two pages because most don't edit the main page to see the source code. And the issue about the show/hide deal has always been there and once it changes, we'll all adapt.
  • Jgritton 10:40, 21 March 2006 (EST): I like the current main page better, but the consensus seems to be going the other way so if the switch is decided that's OK with me. I figured I might as well register my objections though. I like the attempt to promote the Resouces section to a more prominent location but right now it's too cramped and is a dense list where nothing really stands out--the labs section still steals the spotlight since it has color and some structure. It doesn't have enough space and should probably get a full column. The meta section, despite its odd name (should we just call it "About"?), is the most useful info for a first time visitor and is conventionally at the top left or right on a page (look for "about us" on most sites). I think it should stay in the top left. I'm a fan of the highlights and think they should be prominently displayed as they are here or in the current main page banner.
    • Jennyn 11:12, 21 March 2006 (EST): I must say, Jeff makes a good argument --I'm persuaded. Though I do agree with him that the highlights look better at the top where they are on the main page; I'm a fan of images, as I think they look friendlier than being hit by a page of text. Changing META to ABOUT sounds good to me, I think it'll bring new users to that section first rather than navigating the site for something that will tell them how to start contributing. I'd like to keep this v2 going (despite the fact that we may not ever change it to this version) simply to keep our options open to improve the format of our front page.
    • Kathleen 14:02, 21 March 2006 (EST): Apparently my comment above was too late. I like "community" rather than "about". I think "about" potentially implies unchangeable things (these are the facts of this site that will never change) whereas "community" invites participation in the pages. I may be overinterpreting, but I figured I'd share my opinion.
    • RS 14:04, 21 March 2006 (EST): Never too late with a wiki.  :)
  • Austin 10:45, 22 March 2006 (EST): It seems to me that everything here has been fixed or worked around in some way. I've updated the content from this page to include the newest content from the real main page so this page can be made live at any time.

Reordering of boxes

  • RS 14:46, 20 March 2006 (EST): I reordered the content of the boxes. Basically, I think the lab links, shared resources and community news are probably the things people should see as soon as they get to the page. There are a few more things I would like to do but need to figure out how to do them. (Where is the css file that defines the div id's?)
    1. Reintroduce the meta section. I like the meta section more than the toolbar at the top. I'm in favor of a shortened Meta section with links to about, how to join, getting started and the community portal. (partially done, needs to be shortened)
    2. Move the support OWW graphic to the side bar under toolbox (as many others have suggested previously).
  • Austin 14:52, 20 March 2006 (EST): MediaWiki:Monobook.css
  • Kathleen 14:53, 20 March 2006 (EST): Definitely like the current and proposed changes. I'd also suggest moving the Resources so it is the left-most section in order to emphasize the community a bit more than the individual labs. Eventually, I hope we can just have a link to another page that lists the labs (as I think someone else suggested previously), but for now I think the list of labs helps to validate the usefulness of the site.
    • RS 15:11, 20 March 2006 (EST): Agreed. Requires a bit more formatting changes I think since the lab list is longer than the resource list right now.
    • Austin 15:47, 20 March 2006 (EST): Not sure why it requires more formatting. I just swapped the resources/meta column with the lab column.
  • Austin 15:24, 20 March 2006 (EST): I'm in favor of renaming the Meta section if we keep it. Meta doesn't mean anything to me.
    • Kathleen 15:26, 20 March 2006 (EST) I wholeheartedly agree!
    • RS 15:37, 20 March 2006 (EST): works for me. Feel free to change if you can come up with a better name!
  • Kathleen 15:26, 20 March 2006 (EST):Also, I was helping someone find something on our lab page starting from the main page the other day. This person's instinct was to click "MIT" rather than "show" to find the lab. Do people think we should remove the links to institution websites to avoid this issue? Potentially, we could move the lab pages to institution pages (and have a link to the institute website there) and just leave the institution names on the front page. I know this has been a recurring topic of discussion, and I'm not sure if it makes sense to do this yet.
    • RS 15:37, 20 March 2006 (EST): Ideally, we would remove the show link and making the institution link the show link instead. But I don't think the extension permits this. But yeah, I don't mind removing the institution links. It would be in keeping with our (informal) policy of not permitting offsite links on the OpenWetWare main page.
    • Austin 15:45, 20 March 2006 (EST): I can make the extension do whatever we want (within reason).
    • RS 16:20, 20 March 2006 (EST): We should think about implementing this then.
  • Austin 15:58, 20 March 2006 (EST): Is there a point to the patchwork of different greens?
    • RS 16:20, 20 March 2006 (EST): To help the eye distinguish between the sections I assume.
  • RS 16:20, 20 March 2006 (EST): I just tried out moving the highlights under the community news section. Just trying it out. See what you think or revert back if you don't like it.
  • Austin 16:21, 20 March 2006 (EST): The section edit links don't really work.
  • BC 17:46, 20 March 2006 (EST): I tried putting highlights above community news, on the theory that the highlights are the cool(est) pieces of community news. If we wanted, we could now remove the community news heading and just have all of them listed under highlights.
  • Jennyn 11:20, 21 March 2006 (EST): In an attempt to bring more attention to the META (soon to be About?) section, I placed META to the top left, where it should be seen first. Labs are last, however probably still take the spotlight because of the text color and it just looks really pretty. Meta, Resources, and Labs are highlighted the most with the dark green color.

Page editability

  • Austin 09:23, 16 March 2006 (EST): Some thoughts on making this and other pages normal user editable. Having started to play with the site-wide css, that seems like the most logical way for controlling the display. If we could convert all the formatting to use css (instead of tables), that would make it much more easy to control in one place the general appearance of many pages. Secondly, it would make the source of the front page much cleaner. I don't know if there's any issues right now with us assuming that everyone will be using the monobook skin, but I doubt we want to support multiple skins right now. Another idea: instead of having a long front page with everything on it, it might make sense to have a Labs page with all the labs and then just include it from the main page. This will allow us to link directly to the Labs page if we want and it'd be easier to tell people to add their labs to that page. The same for other categories. In fact, if we want to go even one step farther, we could have a page per school, include that from the Labs page, which gets included into the main page.
  • Jennyn 10:11, 16 March 2006 (EST): Creating individual pages is a good idea to keep source code neat and consistent, however, I really like that all the information is packaged on one page. Navigating through multiple pages is sometimes tedious, and it's fun to be able to see everything at once. I may have misunderstood your idea, however, a possible sample on Main_Page_v2 might help us get a grasp of what you'd like to implement? I'm not very familiar with css, but if it makes code neater and easier, I'd like to give it a try!
  • Austin 11:03, 16 March 2006 (EST): ok I removed all font elements from v.2 page and put it into css. It's not exactly the same as the original but it's close.
  • Austin 12:01, 16 March 2006 (EST): For the other thing of splitting out into separate pages, we could then protect the main page, and prevent things like this from happening:
  • Jennyn 12:54, 16 March 2006 (EST): Yeah, that sounds cool. What about limiting main page editability to sysop or admin? I think this is how wikipedia protects their main page.
  • Austin 13:35, 17 March 2006 (EST): I've moved lots of the formatting stuff into css and separated real content into separate pages. Thus, all that's left on Main Page v2 is layout stuff (page code reduced by about a third).
  • BC 18:11, 20 March 2006 (EST):I like the idea making formatting happen in a central place. I'm a bit concerned though about going down the direction of extensively using css and moving the content to other pages. It might not be obvious to all users that they need to go edit this other page in order for stuff to appear on the page they are looking at. More generally, I'm in favor of giving editability highest priority and I'm happy to put up with a slightly less aesthetic look if that is the trade-off.

Community News Module

  • Jennyn 17:37, 15 March 2006 (EST): I've added a toolbar and incorporated the Community News to the main table. Let me know what you think .
  • RS 19:41, 15 March 2006 (EST): What about (1) moving the community news section above the Resources and Support sections since that is the part that will be changing more rapidly and (2) swapping the resources and groups section. Personally, I care more about the resources on OWW than the groups, but perhaps that's just me. I am just trying to put the most important stuff towards the top of the page so that people don't have to scroll to see it. Also, although I like the icons for getting started, community portal etc. I think they are a bit light in color. Perhaps a dark outline of the icons would make them stand out more?
  • RS 19:51, 15 March 2006 (EST): Also why have a home button on the main page? Or are we using the same header on several pages? I would rather delete the home icon and link and make the remaining ones bigger and possibly aligned within the columns. And we might want dark blue lines above and below as with the highlights. Also, I should say that I am not entirely convinced that the Meta section should be removed from the Main Page. I kind of think that section is more important than the banner we request that people put on their home pages. I feel like the strong OWW supporters (i.e. those willing to put the banner on their homepage) will find it off the OpenWetWare:Community Portal. Feel free to ignore these suggestions of course!
  • BC 20:11, 15 March 2006 (EST): I agree, I'd prefer to see Meta section stay. Maybe the horizontal "Join OWW" logo could be put into the default Skin to the left of the "Powered by Mediawiki" logo, that way it would show up on every page while not being intrusive.
  • BC 20:11, 15 March 2006 (EST): I would prefer not to put community news higher up, my personal feeling is that it isn't updated sufficiently regularly to keep it interesting since its done manually and I think that its important function can be done by the highlights section.
  • BC 20:16, 15 March 2006 (EST):I agree with Reshma's points regarding the toolbar. I also wonder if these links aren't better off staying on the sidebar. If we could make the sidebar prettier or more prominent I think that would be preferrable to adding more text to the page itself. My general preference is to minimize the amount of code we have wherever possible. If we could get those little icons on the sidebar that would be sweet, they're rather cute:)
  • Austin 21:16, 15 March 2006 (EST): I added some of the green icons to the sidebar. If we can get icons for them all, that might look cool. Either follow the css code in MediaWiki:Monobook.css or revert it.
  • Jennyn 21:53, 15 March 2006 (EST): All these sound good. This trial was just an attept to address the following requests:
  1. moving the new section so that it can be seen.
  2. doing something about the about section because it is exactly what the spill on the main page says.
  3. I personally wanted to make some cute icons that can be used for the navigation bar. And now that I know we can make icons for the nav. bar, I'll make icons for those! Yeah!

More formatting changes

  • tmt 17:43, 14 March 2006 (EST): What about changing the color of the font as per JenCC? Do we want to do this? And do we want to replace the OWW icon in the corner with the vertical shaking hands DNA? I realize that this probably has to be done on all pages at once...
  • Kathleen 17:48, 14 March 2006 (EST): Looks good to me. I say we go with this and make the other changes as we see fit/figure out how to do them. Also, is Jen CC. still tweaking with the logo or is this the final thing? We may not want to do anything too fancy if it's going to be a pain to do it again with the finalized logo.
  • RS 18:22, 14 March 2006 (EST): I've pulled Ty's and Kathleen's comments up to the top so that people would see them. In terms of the font color, I don't feel strongly either way. And we should definitely replace the icon in the corner with the vertical shaking hands emblem. But I think Kathleen is right, we want to wait til the final iteration until we do. I know that Tom added a few more comments to the OpenWetWare:Logo and Promo Poster Discussion but I am not sure if the logo is essentially frozen at this point. I'll defer to Ty on this one.

Post new color scheme

In favor:

  • Jasonk 15:44, 14 March 2006 (EST): Looks great. I agree with Reshma about highlights bar.
  • RS 15:46, 14 March 2006 (EST): I like it too. Though I personally don't think we need the bar saying highlights. I think it is self-explanatory. Probably a thin blue line there is a good idea though just to divide things up.
    • Jennyn 15:51, 14 March 2006 (EST): I deleted the Highlights part of the bar. I originally put it there because Barry mentioned that new users might not know what that is, so if any confusion arises, we can always put it back.
  • Jgritton 15:54, 14 March 2006 (EST): I like it also. I put the description in bold since it was a bit hard to read the blue text on a white background.
    • Jennyn 16:03, 14 March 2006 (EST): Jeff, I changed the color to the purple, bolded the first word, and the font to Tahoma. I think it is easier to read now. Revert back if anyone disagrees.
  • Smeister 17:23, 14 March 2006 (EST): Looks great! Excellent job, guys! Can't wait to have this as the front page - it is getting me all excited even though I did not even contribute! :)
  • tmt 17:20, 14 March 2006 (EST): I like it. Is there any way to add some white space between the columns? JenCC told me that she feels that this space is very important, and I agree that it does look a lot better (see here). Also, how hard is it to change the skin (or whatever) so that the space around the page is blue like in JenCC's design?
    • Jennyn 17:35, 14 March 2006 (EST): I added the space between the modules. I'm not sure how to add them just between the columns, though. And if anyone has access to change the skin, let us know!
    • tmt 17:43, 14 March 2006 (EST): What about changing the color of the font as per JenCC? Do we want to do this? And do we want to replace the OWW icon in the corner with the vertical shaking hands DNA? I realize that this probably has to be done on all pages at once...
  • Kathleen 17:48, 14 March 2006 (EST): Looks good to me. I say we go with this and make the other changes as we see fit/figure out how to do them. Also, is Jen CC. still tweaking with the logo or is this the final thing? We may not want to do anything too fancy if it's going to be a pain to do it again with the finalized logo.
  • Jennyn 17:55, 14 March 2006 (EST): When I get a go that this is JenCC's final logo, I'll change it to this and then we can continue to modify it as we need to (i.e. the current emblem needs to be removed). Can we add the new emblem to all the other pages and not the main page?
    • Jennyn 18:06, 14 March 2006 (EST): Nevermind, I was too excited and just changed it. Plus, there's a large consensus for posting. If we have any other revisions, they can be made accordingly.
  • BC 20:22, 15 March 2006 (EST): I like the new color scheme including the blue of the default Skin. I really like the way the corner logo blends from white to blue. My only concern is that the blue can clash with the color's people use on their group pages. Here are some options to deal with this, not sure what is best.
    1. "We're biologists, we don't care if colors clash."
    2. Make the blue "less blue" so it blends in better with group page colors.
    3. Stick with the current color since it looks nice and let groups modify their color if they are concerned about the clash.
  • reid 12:02, 16 March 2006 (EST): I noticed that the blue at the edge of the logo image doeasn't match the surrounding blue of the page (at least on my computer). Is the image saved with an embedded color profile?
    • reid 13:36, 16 March 2006 (EST): Ok, I just tried it with Firefox (on OS X, I was using Safari before) and it looks fine, so it probably is a color profile problem.


Old Design

  • I really, really like this design. Although, I would probably want to wait on popping labs into sepearte university pages until there are enough to warrant it. MIT probably has enough, but everyone else is being relegated to a university page without a community to support that page. I think while we can maintain one "community space" for listing all the labs we should do it, when it becomes too cumbersome then we should go to listing universities, when that becomes too cumbersome... it will be a good problem to have. --JK
  • Rather than linking to Labs:University_Name, is there a problem with just linking to University_Name? This maybe makes more sense if the page has more than just labs listed on it. --Devin
    • I agree Devin. You should feel free to make these changes yourself. --Sri Kosuri 22:13, 20 December 2005 (EST)
    • removed the 'Labs:' except for the UChicago one for now, since I noticed that Devin had that deliminator in other pages as well --JK