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Re: Re: SEUL: Target for rough outline for SEUL website

On Sat, 16 Oct 1999, Ian Bicking wrote:
> On Sat, Oct 16, 1999 at 01:52:18PM +0000, Doug Loss wrote:
> > I think the initial SEUL page (not seul-edu) should more obviously indicate
> > that SEUL isn't a monolithic project but is more an "umbrella" of
subsections that
> > all have similar goals.  Perhaps it could use the "town" metaphor...
> I think that's taking the metaphor too far.  I'm afraid it will get in
> the way of the usability of the site.  We should be careful -- there are
> far too many unusable websites out there, and some of the most unusable
> computer programs are the ones that take metaphors too far.  I just got
> a fax program with this new modem, where it looks like a fax machine...
> and the program is just horrible, like the terrible horrible that only
> the programs that come with hardware can be horrible.
> Mmm... but this is putting the wagon before the horse.  I think we should
> focus on content.  Maybe mark things up semantically, then we can go back
> and make a different look as we care, or even multiple simultaneous looks
> for different audiences, or whatever.  But "Kontent is King", as I like
> to say. 
Understand that I made the proposal to get some debate on the organization of
the site, and specifically took an extreme position.  Personally, I tend to be a
content-first, graceful-degradation, Bobby-certified kind of guy when it comes
to web sites.  From what I hear here from Ian and Roger, that's kind of where
many of us are.  Frankly, I'm happy that my proposal wasn't eagerly taken to heart.

> The seul-edu website doesn't have a whole lot of content yet, but I think
> there are a few directions we have open to us.  The application database
> is definitely one.  Some forums, or maybe web-to-mailing-list gateways...
> I like the push nature of mailing lists, so I'd hate to rely too terribly
> much on the web for communication, and I think a lot of other people
> feel the same way (though others feel quite the contrary...)  Some
> support options -- HOWTOs (maybe with extra annotation), case studies (!),
> but also some live people.  Again, mailing lists are perfect here, but
> the addition of some gateways to the web would be useful too.
These are good ideas.  I'd like to hear more ideas of what should be on the
site before we decide just what to do.  Sort of a brainstorming session, where all
ideas get out and are later culled and combined into something useable.

> We could also have generally useful resources.  One thing a lot of schools
> could use is a good homepage for their browsers.  As in, the page that
> comes up when they start the browser.  Something simple (long-to-render
> homepages are a bad idea), with lots of resources and such, ready to be
> customized for the school.
> Anyway, these aren't necessarily Linux-specific -- just about anything
> that is centered on the web is fairly OS neutral -- but they are helpful,
> and more importantly, could attract non-Linux people so that they explore
> more.
I think it's important to remember that for seul-edu at least, we are trying to
serve two different communities--the Linux community and the educational
community.  This idea would serve the educational community without specifically
urging LInux on them, but it wouldn't specifically lock Linux out either, as most
commercial edsoftware seems to.  I think it's a good idea, especially if we try to
make the connection of common attitudes toward sharing knowledge that both the
Linux and educational communities share.

> Underneith the specific goal of Linux in the schools, most everyone on
> seul-edu wants to improve education in general, and computer education
> in particular.  We share the belief that Linux is part of that.  So
> are other things, and if anyone in the community has something else they
> want to share, then seul-edu would be well served to help them share it.
> I don't think there needs to be a compromise, really... I'm not sure what
> the solution is, but I feel like there should be a layout that is attractive,
> degrades to something usable on old or text browsers, doesn't distract,
> creates a sense of place, and expresses a look that is professional, 
> personal, and educational all together.
Is Michael Viron on this list?  If not, he needs to be.  I'll check, and invite
him to join if he's not already here.

Doug Loss            Always acknowledge a fault.  This will throw
dloss@csrlink.net    those in authority off their guard and give
(570) 326-3987       you the opportunity to commit more.
                        Mark Twain