New Web Pages

Ethan Blanton elb at
Fri Aug 10 09:33:34 EDT 2007

Kevin M Stange spake unto us the following wisdom:
> Okay, I've gotten the pages working properly with IE 7, IE 6, and
> everything else (since everything else worked by default).  Please check
> out the work in progress and give me feedback! :)


> Since the pages are pretty much done, if we want to replace what's there
> we can probably do so at any time.  Of files currently at, I
> need to figure out what must be kept and either check it into MTN or at
> least not move it out of the way.  I will probably need some advise here.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean, here; I don't see the harm in
moving everything that's there out of the way, and just dumping these
pages in.  We don't want to *destroy* what's there, just yet, but it
can be shoved aside, I think.

> It's also time for me to start making some of the "magic" pages work in
> some more dynamic ways.  I have in my memory that the following things
> need to be done:
> 1) Javascript detection of platform to display custom download links on
> the home page.  Is this something that should also be displayed on the
> main downloads page, instead of the list of links (or how do we want
> this to work?)

Personally, I think the front page should be "magic", and the download
page should, at most, rearrange its links so that the user's primary
platform is on top.  I hate sites where I have to dig because they
mis-guessed what platform I wanted (like, say, I'm downloading files
to install on my Linux machine from my wife's Mac).  However, I'm more
or less ambivalent to any decisions here.

> 2) The news!  Where is news supposed to appear on the main page?  Right
> now, on the current live site, it looks kind of ugly or misplaced.  It
> won't fit on the talk bubble the way the images are designed, though I
> can probably rework them if needed, though the space available would
> still be limited (or face a giant talk bubble).

I think the main page talk bubble is intended not to show a news
article from the news page, but a single sentence like "Pidgin 2.1.0
is out!".

> a) Do we want any kind of CMS, or should we go back to the flat text
> file as in Gaim's old home page?  We could store the news in some other
> format as well.  I'm trying to decide how best to handle updates.  If we
> use a static format, we could have a cron or manual script to run to
> rebuild the news pages, since they don't really need to be dynamic.  We
> still need to be able to aggregate news feeds from blogs, making dynamic
> stuff easier, but heavier on resources, so some kind of static idea
> might be worth considering.

I think the plan is that the main Pidgin news feed will also be a
blog, and that the news page will just be a set of aggregators with
various feeds.  This doesn't need to be particularly dynamic, though;
there's no reason we can't build the aggregated blogs with some sort
of cron job.  I think this is what does, actually.

> b) What is the page structure we want for the news section?  Should
> there be "news" and "blogs" as there are now?  Should the default page
> be "latest news" and contain only news, and not blogs, or what?

My opinion is that the news tab should be Pidgin news, and that there
should be a secondary blogs tab.  This keeps higher-level Pidgin news
from scrolling off the screen during periods of mad development
blogging.  :-)

> c) We can certainly aggregate content from other places by RSS or
> otherwise, but what RSS feeds should we provide to visitors?  What items
> should they contain and how/where should they be able to reach them?  I
> can put a tag on the whole site which references a main rss feed so
> browsers find it automatically.

I see no reason to aggregate anything from off-site, except for any
developer blogs which are hosted elsewhere (I think Luke's is, for

> 3) The donations page(s)!  Where does this page even go?  How will it
> work?  Does this need to be registration-based?  If so, could it tie
> into trac accounts to make things less complicated?

Pass.  ;-)


The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no remedy
for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes.
		-- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
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