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SEUL: Re: [Freehive-list] SEUL and/or Linuxunited projects? (fwd)

On Sat, 5 Dec 1998, Roger Dingledine wrote:

> >	Just to add my two cents worth, I think the site needs to have
> >more visual consistency.  Take your home page as compared to any of the
> >other pages (except /dev/).  They look very different from one another.
> >You should at least have a look on all of the pages that is somewhat
> >derivative of the home page's look.
> That's an interesting point. We used to have frames to solve this problem
> (http://www.seul.org/index-old.html), but that didn't actually solve
> anything. :)

	<Whew>  Then I won't have to go into my fierce diatribe on why
frames are bad!  :-)

> Actually, the html itself brings up a question: on MSIE, the break between
> "SEUL" and "Simple End User Linux" at the top is lined up with the break
> between the navigation part on the left and the text part on the right. In
> most versions of netscape, it ends up not being lined up.

	The real problem is Netscape's implementation of tables.  :-)
Although you are setting up the tables the same, Netscape has a tendency
to "push" the border around if it can.  In this case, it's all of the text
in the right table cell pushing the middle border into the navigation

	One solution would be to make one table rather than two.  This
will force the table cells to line up.  You could add another row between
the two existing rows and put a &nbsp; and two <BR> tags in the cell to
add some space.  This is going to have the side effect of having table
borders connecting the other table cells where you have content.  Adding a
COLSPAN=2 to the <TD> for that row might help.

	If that's not acceptable, make a blank image (like a 1 pixel
tranparent gif) and insert it as the first or last thing in your first
cell of the second table.  Make it one pixel high and 147 pixels wide (to
be the same width as the logo).

	This should end Netscape's border "pushing."

> Also, our colors are showing up differently in different browsers (and
> I don't think this is due entirely to overloaded color tables on the
> browser side).

	You aren't using web safe colours.  If you view the pages on a
screen less than 24bits in depth, then the browser/OS will shift the
colours to whatever it feels in appropriate.  If you want web safe
colours, just double the first value of whatever you enter for your R, G,
and B values.  Example: FFBB33, AACCFF, etc.

> >	There is no navigation except on the home page.  I'd suggest
> >adding basic navigation to every page.  At least have a link to the home
> >page on every page.  Remember:  AltaVista doesn't index just home pages.
> What's an easy way to make this happen, without actually modifying all
> the pages?

	There isn't.

> Aside from that, where do you recommend I put the navigation
> info (top, left side, etc), and how much of it should there be? I've been
> slow to put that onto every page because I've wanted to give people only
> the page they asked for, rather than the page plus a lot of other info. It
> comes down to tradeoffs, I suppose.

	That depends on a number of things including your site's design
and how complicated the navigation structure is or might become.  For
something quick and dirty, you can always put it at the bottom of the
page.  I always like adding a <HR NOSHADE>, and then centering the
navigation as text links separated by either vertical bars or a &middot;.
This would be a great place for a mail link to the webmaster.  Make sure
you have it on every page.  It's easy and it makes things easy on the user
which is our goal.

> >	I'd make the link to www.linux.org on the home page open in a new
> >window.
> Good idea. I'll do that. I generally try to avoid being obnoxious to my
> viewers (I count popping up a java thingie that they didn't ask for being
> obnoxious, so I'd probably count making a new window as that too. Ah well.)

	I agree, but I feel it's needed here.  A better solution would be
to get some content for the "About Linux" section.  That way you have
control over the content and can keep them in your site.  There's no
reason you can't still link to www.linux.org within your copy.

> Do you think I should also do this for the links from our
> http://www.seul.org/what/links.html page?

	I would not.  But it really comes down to what you want to do.
Whatever you decided, be consistent throughout the site.

> >	A unified look and feel is going to do more for your site now than
> >anything.  People need to know where they are and have some means of
> >getting to your home page and top level pages from anywhere in your site.
> I've always figured they'd say to themselves "Huh. I'm sitting at the url
> http://www.seul.org/foo/bar/baz. I bet if I go pull off the /foo/bar/baz,
> then I'll probably get their home page." Am I assuming too much?

	Yes, most of the time it's too much to assume.  But ultimatly that
depends on your users. I haven't fully explored and grokked your site so I
haven't built an impression of who is going to visit. You'll know more
about this than I do.

	One reason for putting up the navigation links is for courtesy.
It's the same reason you should have a link to the webmaster on every
page.  You want to make things as painless as possible for your end user.
They are already in the process of scolling and clicking so they shouldn't
be distracted from that to manipulate URLs.

	Another reason is so that the user can orient themselves within
your site's structure.  Most people don't think in terms of URLs unlike us
hard core web people :-).  They think in terms of your site's areas.

 "Now I'm in the services section."
 "Now I'm in the support section."
 "Now I'm in the products section."


Anyway, we can talk more about this off the list.  I'd be glad to help you
out with your site, just let me know.

Matt Perry | matt at primefactor dot com
"After ecstasy, laundry." - Zen writing