[Haskell-cafe] haskell.org: what can be improved causing what efforts?

Marc Weber marco-oweber at gmx.de
Fri Jul 10 15:51:36 EDT 2009

(I wrote this two days ago.. unfortunately I missed that my new client
didnt't sent it at all)

Not wasting so much space on top for wiki space

competition to get a new design:
+1, but is it feasable? Is there enough man power to implement it?
    Moving wiki content again?
    This is much more work than just embedding a new logo.

code snippet: no hello world please. That's not a way to judge a
language! But: a random haskell one line snippet with explanation would
be cool.

If a redesign causes too much work what about adding one eye catcher which
everyone who wants to learn haskell will find immediately but won't
disturb users who are used to the current design?
Eg adding "start learning / tutorial" above "Download Haskell"
would be enough. On that page you can tell the new user about
everything (irc, mailinglists, ...)

Another nice thing which could be done is adding a JS snippet scrolling
down some pixpels so that the wiki header gets hidden.

My comments about the design focusing on newcomers still preseving
current content:

current design:

|                          TOP                                 |
|  left side                                        right side |
| LEFT BAR |                                                   |
|          |                 CONTENT                           |

If you're not used to this kind of "white is important" design you end
up reading these words:

left side
    Haskell: great, but nonsense because you are already on this page. Do
            you ever click on that link? I mean removing part of the url
            is nearly as fast  but less intrusive
    Wiki community: great. but missplaced. I'd move this link nearby
                    "Download Haskell" ... "Search" on the left
    Recent changes: (*)
    Random page: (*)
    Special  pages: (*)

    [ search ] [Go] [Search]: Why two buttons? What is the difference?
                              eg even netbeans has only one ctrl-i search
                              field for all: types, help, open windowsn

  right side:
    Not logged in, _Log in | Help ...
    "Note: new account creation has been disabled as an anti-spam measure."

  (*): No newcomer will care about these items.

LEFT BAR (navigation)
  Search: ? A third way to do a search?

  Search haskell.org:  a fourth way to do a search?
  History of Haskell: Who cares? I'm a new and I want to see wether it's
                      worth learning haskell. I only care about the future!
                      So this item should be below "Future of Haskell"

"Learning" is most important. Where to get started ? Don't ask. Just
click and start..

So I'd move those items that it looks like this (removing those two

  GHC, hugs, nhc98, UHC,
  Yhc, jhc, lhc 

  Why use haskell ?
  Haskell in 5 steps 
  Learning Haskell 
  Books and tutorials 
  Wiki articles 
  Blog articles and news 
  Research papers

the language:
  Language definition

libraries (the user who is looking for libraries has started. he'll find
          this information because he'll look and pay attention)
  Standard libraries 
  Hackage library database 
  Applications and libraries 
  Hoogle and Hayoo API search

I'd reduce those 6 search only keeping two:

  SEARCH    Site: [ ... ][wiki][go] 
  img dice  Code: [ ... ][go] 

  [wiki] is a select allowing to choose a google search)
  Code: runs both: hayoo and hoogle search

  img dice = random page

Comparison: How do other sites manage to put much content on one page?
They only put enough and provide links. Some do even use DHTML.
One example is xing ( a German business network ):
"Neue Mitglieder" = new users
"Kontakte meiner Kontakte" = contacts of my contacts
You only get a small list of items and can click on "more"
Same applies to big companies such as www.gmx.de:
They use DHTML and many tabs to hide information and only catch your
eye by topics. Also note how the size of items changes (fish-eye like)
when moving the cursor above the news items.. (below "Blickpunkt") 

Don't get me wrong. I don't want the haskell page to look
like gmx.de.. But this kind of tab style could be nice:

  | Events |  Headlines | Recent package updates | recent wiki changes |
  * item
  * item




  Recent Package Updates

Do you see that you can make the user be aware of all three headlines
without having to scroll?

Overall haskell.org is a great resource! Let's the value of its contens,

Marc Weber

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