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To: www-redesign@g.o
From: mushroomblue <mushroomblue@...>
Subject: Re: Update of
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 00:04:41 -0700
other than making the cell that contains the "donate" button the same
width as the advertisement column, it looks MUCH better.

blue ribbon. 

On Wed, 2005-11-23 at 01:40 -0500, Curtis Napier wrote:
> First of all, thank you everyone for all the feedback. Your input is 
> important and greatly appreciated.
> I should have said that the last update was not complete as far as 
> design was concerned. I was mainly looking for accessibility and 
> rendering issues on as many browsers/OS's as possible. I got that 
> feedback and fixed the issues that came up. I also implemented the rest 
> of the design so it should now be more visually appealing and better 
> match Aarons reference design. I took into consideration all of the 
> suggestions that were submitted and now ask for additional feedback to 
> ensure that my changes didn't introduce any additional 
> rendering/accessibility bugs and that the design is acceptable to as 
> many people as possible.
> If there are no more outstanding issues reported I will submit this 
> current layout for approval.
> Questions to some of the answers and suggestions that were brought up:
> The artwork is all part of the winning design. Any issues with the 
> infinity symbol should have been addressed a year ago.
> I am not the designer of this site. I am merely implementing it in the 
> XSL backend.  I am the only person working on this and I am the 
> designated official developer, the project lead is Swift and his role is 
> to offer advice, enforce design policy and generally oversee my actions 
> and help me with internal gentoo policies and procedures. The project is 
> actually owned by Infra and they (they == infra leads which is klieber 
> and ramereth as far as I know), along with Swift, have the final say on 
> everything. I welcome any and all patches that you are willing to 
> submit. All submissions will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
> Aarons reference design at is exactly that: A 
> reference. In it's current form it differs from his original submission 
> which was the winning entry and should not be considered as anything 
> else but a reference. I tried to stick to that design as much as 
> possible but some things were simply not possible.
> Aarons design uses a smaller default font, that is not acceptable from 
> an accessibility POV. The main font is at 1em and all cursory fonts 
> multipliers of 1em. The main font will remain at 1em which is the 
> standard for the accessibility guidelines. If you don't like the 
> standard font size every single graphical browser offers a font zoom 
> capability, use it.
> Aarons use of a smaller font allows more information to appear on the 
> page. This is an illusion of size. If you have your browser window set 
> to 800x600 or smaller the jumpads disappear and the page has to be 
> scrolled to see them no matter how big/small the font is. If you enlarge 
> the font on Aarons reference to the standard 1em the jumppads disappear 
> and the page must be scrolled anyway so this point is moot.
> Purple background with yellow text is hideous. Not going to happen.
> The "Locator" would require rewrites of not only the XSL but also the 
> actual xml files and is outside the scope of this project. Touching any 
> xml content file is strictly off limits, all existing xml should be 
> backwards compatible with the new design. This point is not debatable. 
> Use of a database would make this task easier while allowing backwards 
> compatibility but it will have to wait for a future update to the site 
> to be implemented.
> I actually implemented a search that used google much like the example 
> that was posted here. The search was discussed at length with the 
> project lead and it was decided that using a third party search engine 
> such as google was unacceptable. As Lance said, this will have to be 
> coordinated with infra at a later date. Gentoo is a not-for-profit but, 
> unfortunetly, it is the wrong kind of non-profit so Google will not 
> sponsor us.
> The contents of the uppermost menu are to sites that are outside the 
> website. They will stay in this location. They are green 
> to contrast with the purple background to ensure that colorblind and 
> other visually impaired people can see it. Green is the compliment to 
> purple so I am baffled that people think the combination is not 
> attractive. In Aarons preview the light purple color of these links is 
> not visible to color blind individuals thus it is unacceptable. This 
> color will not change.
> The grey menu should contain links that would be used in order of a new 
> user and that highlight the main parts of the site. I did this quickly 
> to have something there to look at. I didn't notice any good suggestions 
> to replace what is there. If you have suggestions please send them. The 
> same goes for the wording in the purple boxes, if you don't like what 
> they say submit a suggestion for each. Suggestions of "I don't like it 
> you should change it" that don't include a clearly worded replacement 
> will be ignored. The donate box is here to stay until the search 
> function is implemented.
> Graphics should be implemented in the CSS as much as possible to aid 
> future maintenance (the xsl templates are huge and not easy to maintain. 
> The least amount of editing of these files as possible is one of the 
> major goals). In text browsers that can handle graphics but don't 
> support CSS the upper left logo (which is a background image so it can 
> be put in the css) will not appear but will leave space for the missing 
> background image. I can't figure out a way around this. If you have a 
> suggestion I would appreciate it.
> Horizontal scrolling of the entire page when a code listing is wider 
> than the page only happens in IE. All other browsers understand the CSS 
> scroll:auto tag and will only scroll the actual code listing. The same 
> applies to inline images within the page contents. IE is broken but I 
> did everything I could to make it behave the same as other browsers. 
> This is one issue that IE is simply broken on and there is nothing I can 
> do to fix that. Javascript fixes are available but the use of Javascript 
> is strictly forbidden. Javascript is not debatable.
> Redundant links to important pages such as the Handbook and Documention 
> only serve to make them easier for a user to locate. They will remain 
> for the time being unless someone can come up with a good reason to 
> remove them other than "I don't like it".
> The <hr /> tags in the Handbook navigation are contained within the 
> handbook xsl template. Touching that file is outside my scope.
> The redesign test site is not a full mirror. I added the security index 
> page so we could see what it looks like.
> The site is not XHTML it is HTML-4.01 Transitional and it passes the w3c 
> validator. Manually overriding HTML-4.01 Transitional in the w3c 
> validator is not required and any errors that it reports if you do this 
> will not be addressed. If you can come up with a good technical reason 
> why doing this would benefit anyone I will address it.
> Navigation and useability studies are beyond my scope. These issues 
> should have been addressed a year ago.
> The left hand navigation column is dead. No amount of beating this dead 
> horse will resurrect it. The jumppads will remain at the bottom and 
> appear on all non-documentation pages so that those links are accessible 
> as much as possible.
> <base href> is not needed for this site to function properly. If you 
> want to save the page locally you are free to do so and add the tag 
> yourself for your local copy.
> The CSS is only 12k. Why would shaving 4k off of it to make it 8k make a 
> difference to anyone?
> The site is dynamically generated with XSL/XML all the pages end in 
> .xml. There are no plans to change it to .xhtml now or in the future.
> The image on the about page is within the content xml file and not 
> within the XSL template. Touching about.xml or any other xml content 
> file is outside my scope.
> GLEP 10 is outside my scope.
> The jumppads have alt text. They always have. They pop up as tool tips 
> on every browser I have tested. If they aren't for you please submit 
> your browser version and OS and I will look into it.
> The blue text that represents code was darkened for accessibility 
> issues. It will not change.
> In Aarons preview the search box and the ads column are placed with a 
> Position:absolute and has it's size set. At resolutions below 800x600 
> this makes the ads overlap the content and the search box overlap the 
> box to the left on every browser. When content is scarce the ads overlap 
> the footer. This is not fixable given the current state of css support 
> in the various browsers. After many many many long hours of research and 
> experimentation I decided that we would have to resort to a table for 
> the ads column and include the search (now donate) box within the div 
> that contains the four purple boxes with a % width to fix this issue. I 
> lowered the % width of the donate box and increased the others to bring 
> it more inline with Aarons original design. It's not perfect but it's 
> close enough.
> Accessibilty guidelines say that all text links should be underlined. I 
> made an exception for the grey menu bar for aesthetic purposes but will 
> not make an exception for any other links.
> and all domains owned by the Gentoo Foundation should render 
> correctly in all browsers that are still in general use. IE5 on the mac 
> is still a valid browser and will be supported as much as possible.
> Summary and authors are important and should be prominently displayed 
> before the actual content. On the current design they are on the right 
> in a tiny column that wraps every two words. This is unacceptable. These 
> items will stay at the top for now unless someone can come up with a 
> place to put them that makes sense, looks good, allows the summary to be 
> seen on top and not below the content (because a summary should be above 
> the content otherwise why have a summary if you have to scroll past the 
> content to see it?). The handbook is the only page that has a large list 
> of authors and authors only appear on the first page so this should not 
> be a problem.
> Here is a list of items that have changed since my last post:
> *menu code was changed from a floated block list to a simple inline div 
> with non-breaking spaces. This should fix the IE5 on Mac issue.
> *Background color for content was made light grey with black text for 
> better visibility of the text. Bright monitors should no longer be a 
> problem.
> *background color of the ads was made darker to contrast with the 
> content area. Decorative header was added.
> *white space was collapsed as much as possible.
> *all extraneous information and decorative news headers were removed 
> from the front page to help readability and to bring focus to the 
> information. This includes the cow image and text. Overwhelming amounts 
> of information on the front page should no longer be a problem. This 
> also brings the jumppads closer to the top so new users will be better 
> able to spot them.
> *table headers were centered and data cells left justified.
> *table borders are now collapsed and only 1px thick. They are no longer 
> ugly.
> *removed the BOLD from the design credit in the footer. This wasn't 
> supposed to be BOLD in the first place, probably a mistake on my part.
> *The purple boxes below the grey menu bar now only appear on the main index.
> *news poster date and submitter color changed to match Aarons design
> *added a filter that removes the author and date if they are missing or 
> script generated.
> *removed redundant doc title
> *removed the donation button image and replaced it with a simple button.

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