[Haskell-cafe] Leaner Haskell.org frontpage

Jeff Wheeler jeff at nokrev.com
Thu Jul 9 22:58:11 EDT 2009

On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 6:12 PM, Derek Elkins<derek.a.elkins at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm not a newbie and I don't use the front page terribly often, but I
> do like most of the links that are on it.  The Ruby page is certainly
> prettier, but the layout of the Haskell page is fine in my opinion;
> the difference is mainly eye-candy.  On another topic, I know people
> have expressed that they have liked the fact that the entire Haskell
> site is a wiki; this expressing openness and community involvement.

> I personally don't find the Haskell front page too cluttered and I
> think most of issue in that vein could be resolved by simply making
> sure the most important/newbie-oriented links are "above the fold" and
> appropriately emphasized/categorized as is partially done already.

I strongly feel that the homepage should be made more newbie friendly,
and I think the Ruby page has done this well, disregarding the news
section. I suspect most people who like the Ruby page see the "Ruby
is..." section as especially effective at introducing the language,
and the random snippet is a simple way to show off a bit of code
before they dive into a tutorial. Furthermore, the "Download" link is
useful, but since GHC can be complicated (and varies by platform), we
probably want to include pretty well thought-out instructions behind
the link if we include a similar feature. I also quite like the
"Participate" box on the Ruby page, which is very inviting.

Regarding the current Haskell homepage, I feel the events are given
far too high a place on the homepage. Almost no newbies will be
interested in these, and most experienced users will know of the
events via the mailing lists. The headlines below that deserve
significantly more attention, and perhaps should be updated with
greater frequency (and dated, and have RSS). The updated package list
is fine, I think.

The navigation is a bit tricky, in my opinion. To a beginner (that
doesn't know what GHC is), the two download links may be confusing,
although I suspect most would correctly assume that "Download Haskell"
was correct option. The "Find A Library" is a good link, but the
Search that follows it is awkward. There are three large search
choices for beginners: 1) the search at the top, which confusingly has
two submit buttons (with ambiguous differences to a beginner); 2) the
Search link near the top of the navigation (which links to an almost
empty page that might as well be included at the link's location); and
3) the Search link underneath the About header, which doesn't seem to
belong at all.

Jeff Wheeler

(Sorry, sent this to just Derek at first.)

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