[Twisted-Python] Proposed Website Comp

Mark A. Richman mark at markrichman.com
Sat Aug 24 22:12:27 EDT 2002

This is why I called it a "comp" - I'm not going to waste my time with
"real" HTML, CSS, etc. if you aren't going to like it...which you have
made abundantly clear.

I simply created it as a springboard for discussion, and not as a beta
of any kind.

That was 30 minutes work, not 30 hours.

- Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: twisted-python-admin at twistedmatrix.com
[mailto:twisted-python-admin at twistedmatrix.com] On Behalf Of Glyph
Sent: Saturday, August 24, 2002 6:13 PM
To: twisted-python at twistedmatrix.com; mark at markrichman.com
Subject: Re: [Twisted-Python] Proposed Website Comp

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On Sat, 24 Aug 2002 12:29:17 -0400, "Mark A. Richman"
<mark at markrichman.com> wrote:
> http://www.markrichman.com/twisted/

> Please let me know what you think.


Thanks for your contribution.  Before I get into any critique I really
want to
stress that we need the aid of Real Designers (using Real Designer tools
Fireworks and Dreamweaver)... AND our website is in need of some design
help in
order to get a flashier, more marketing-licious appearance for the stuff
executives are going to read.  Also that I'm glad you contributed
something and
I hope you're going to keep working on it :).

However, the site you submitted represents almost everything I hate
"modern" web design.  Aesthetically, it's not too unappealing (I like
primary colors, I like grid backgrounds, and I like the sorts of
fonts you've chosen for screen reading.)  Technically, the design has
all kinds
of problems, though.

* You're using antialiased text images rather than fonts.  If I really
want my
  fonts antialiased that badly, I'd use MacOS X, or Windows XP, or
  xft to do it in my browser.  You make the site immediately unusable to
  text-mode and sight-impaired browsers by doing this.  Keep in mind
  Twisted's first major application was for a radio station for the

* You're using a javascript menu to save space in the masthead, but the
  masthead is just as large (or larger, depending on font sizes) than
  original navigation control.  The javascript menu likely won't work in
  browser without a bug-for-bug compatibility with IE or Mozilla,
rendering the
  menu text unusable in a wide variety of browsers.  Twisted is popular
  open-source developers who will quite often use alternative browsers
in order
  to either test their apps or because they're simply rebellious :)

* You're using tables for all formatting, rather than CSS.  This is a
  error that most experienced web designers seem to shudder at.  I guess
  is the way that Macromedia's product will do the site by default --
CSS will
  be ignored by older and alternative browsers, but tables will often
simply be
  rendered incorrectly by them.

* Your images (thanks to table-based formatting) are split up into
  small chunks.  This will make the site unpleasant to version-control
  every design change will come with 12 new images and 8 old ones

* There appears to be Javascript in here to popup an ad window.

* The page is highly unfriendly to indexing.  With no text, lots of
  autogenerated filenames, split images, and no keywords, there's no way
  is going to find anything of value here.

I could go on, but I think you're getting the gist here.

In other words, Twisted's whole raison d'etre is *integration*, which
upon adherence not only to the letter but the spirit of protocol
and file formats.  Yes, it's possible to get browsers to do some neat
with Javascript (I am actually considering the purchase of a Javascript
right now) -- but javascript is for *applications*, not menu formatting.
it's possible to get human-readble text formatted by constructing giant
with one pixel per row.  Nevertheless, this greatly reduces the utility
of the
website to anyone who is not using *exactly* the platform that you are
using to
view it, and that "platform" is up to and including "the human eye".
non-humans (googlebot, dmoz, various link checkers) will want to read
the site,
as well as some people who cannot see, or cannot see well.

So use technologies like CSS and XML and Python and even XSLT or
whatever to
make the site as appealing as possible, but keep the presentation
separate from
the content of the site.  That content includes navigational elements as
as text -- that's the whole point of "hypertext", after all.  PageRank
not work with gopher or ftp :)

 |    <`'>    |  Glyph Lefkowitz: Travelling Sorcerer  |
 |   < _/ >   |  Lead Developer,  the Twisted project  |
 |  < ___/ >  |      http://www.twistedmatrix.com      |

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