Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to openacs.org designs... opinion please

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Posted by Carl Robert Blesius on

Simon,

Here are some responses to your posts:

1. Please do not be surprised that my design is not very different from the present design. Like others in the community, I kind of like the design the way it is (although it obviously has its problems). It is also important to remember that changing the design of the site and the OpenACS Logo are two very different things. Just because a few people do not like the logo now does not mean we can ignore decisions that have been made in the past.

2. I am not going to fight for a poll Simon... I just want the process to be controlled, open, and fair. I do not want a couple of people going off to a corner somewhere to make decisions while the main discussion is taking place somewhere else.

3. Having a poll is not what I would call design by committee. There are a few people making proposals, these proposals are being openly discussed, and comments are being integrated. Placing the completed designs up for a final decision should work (it has worked in the past).

3. At this point I can not classify myself as a developer, I was drawn to the community by what might be one of the biggest projects OpenACS has seen up to this point (dotLRN). I am not interested in making a "tech- hobbiest" site. I would just like to see usability as one of the guiding principles behind the design. The content on the site now is mainly catered to the people that use the toolkit (look at the first paragraph of the index page and the forums). I argue that making the site appealing to a wider audience has more to do with case studies, demos, and content than anything else.

4. Obviously a lot of what the toolkit is has been funded by commercial interests (which is by no means unhealthy), yet OpenACS does have some roots in one of the finest academic institutions in the United States (this should not forgotten). In fact I would be willing to bet you that over the next year the largest contributions to the toolkit will be coming from academic institutions.

5. I would like the design to be less of a factor and the content be main thing that catches my eye. I want to forget about the design. I would really like to see more demos and services offered (wimpy point, uptime, etc.)... these are things that should be emphasized in the new site. Getting people to use the toolkit so they can see what it can do is much more effective than anything else. I would also like to see something like the Ars Digita Systems Journal be revived... a place for developers and non-developers alike to publish things they have created using the toolkit.

6. Finally, I would like to have a fair chance on my getting my proposed design (or lack of design... as you mention above ;-) integrated into the future site.

Carl

P.S. Jun, I by no means want to put you or Infiniteinfo "on the other side of the community", nor am I in a position to do so. I consider this healthy competition (part of this web site design is its users appeal, which is why I disagree with both your and Simon's rejection to a poll). I think the most important thing to realize is that this site is for the community and regardless of the outcome I am sure everyone is happy that something is finally happening in this area.

P.S.S. I like Tilmann's openacs.com suggestion... that is the way Zope has gone (although it will be harder here because there is not a single & quot;com" behind the "openacs")