Website Proposal [Was TWiki status]

Jeremy Huntwork jeremy at
Wed Dec 8 19:52:37 PST 2004

Craig Colton wrote:

>On Wednesday 08 December 2004 12:38 pm, Jeremy Huntwork wrote:
>>Jeroen Coumans wrote:
>>>I'm sending this message to find out two things:
>>>1. Are we going to proceed with deploying TWiki on the LFS website to
>>>replace the current HTML? I mean, are there no technical or political
>>>objections from the LFS project members (save a dissident voice)?
>>Ok. I wasn't sure how and when I was going to present this, or even *if*
>>I would, but after this email and several comments from various LFS team
>>members, I think it's time I bring this forward.
>>I've had several discussions with various team members about the TWiki
>>development and future conversion (mostly in irc).  In most of these
>>discussions I did my best to defend the prospect of a TWiki and the
>>benefits of using one, but often they didn't get very far.  The best
>>I've ever been able to do is say, 'just wait until the finished product
>>is done, and leave your opinions until then.'  I've come to realize
>>that, no matter what the feature set of TWiki, many neither see the need
>>to use one, nor like the prospect of doing so.  Even if it may seem to
>>some to be irrational opinions, we can't beat our current
>>contributors/developers heads into submission.  Even if our development
>>of TWiki continues and produces a beautiful and functional site, I don't
>>think we'd get there without a *lot* of pain.
>>All of the above was to show the path that led me here. One day on IRC,
>>Matthew Burgess and myself were talking, and we wondered, mostly out of
>>curiosity, how difficult it would be to re-organize the current lfs site
>>into a very simple XHTML/CSS implementation.  I don't think either of us
>>expected anything great to come out of this, or that we'd actually
>>consider propsing the resultant site to the community for use.  But as
>>we continued playing around, we found that we both rather liked what we
>>had done.
>>The goals we had with our site was that it should be clean, uncluttered,
>>readable, easily navigable, and look professional. We made use of SSI's
>>to implement a standard menu header and footer for each project.  We
>>also do a simple 'svn update' as a post-commit hook script that is
>>straightforward and works very well, of course I realize that it may be
>>complicated a bit more by the addtion of the books and news feeds, but
>>keeping the goals of simplicity in mind, we're finding that often a
>>solution presents itself.
>>Anyway, enough talk.  Here is the site:
>>It still needs to be fleshed out and to have a few features added.  But
>>I'm putting this forward publicly to allow anyone who wishes to
>>comment.  I'm bringing it up only as an *option* - I fully respect
>>everyone's current postition and right to an opinion in this regard, so,
>>personally, no feelings on the line ;)
>>Jeremy Huntwork
> does have a certain simplicity. It's a far cry, however from 
>the beauty of the present site when its firing on all cylinders. I can see 
>the wisdom in not exposing the visitor to needless clutter, but my first 
>impression (warranted or not) is that it lacks content.
Well, it does lack content in the sense that many of the pages haven't 
been completely filled out with their textual base. However, as far as a 
design perspective goes, a good design does not require a lot of fluff, 
it fact it is far better without it. Simplicity, and small touches of 
style here a there bespeak elegance and are easy on the eye. For 
example, consider when you eat at a fancy restaurant, how does your dish 
(esp your desert) come served to you? Don't you often find that it is a 
small portion of neatly arranged food in the center of a much larger 
plate? The empty space (perhaps splashed occasionally with a light 
garnish) serves to draw your attention to the food itself and make it 
more appealing.  The entire idea of this site is to make it at once 
functional, easy to read and with just enough interesting notes so that 
you aren't bored or repelled.  Granted, to that end, there may a few 
adjustments to the current style that are warranted, but by far, the 
most beautiful sites are the ones that don't try to fill every 
conceivable space with some 'nifty trick'.

Jeremy Huntwork

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