The Website

The Website

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AF
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The Website

Post by AF » 21 Apr 2014, 14:43

Recent advances have occurred on multiple fronts, and numerous dramas have occurred behind the scenes.

I've attempted to document and track this in an article on my site. Some may have seen it, though I've been making heavy edits as I speak to people and new information is revealed over the last 2 days. It's likely that more edits will be made, and the article has been modified 18 times at the time of writing.

That is not what this thread is about though, and I request any discussion over who was right or wrong be moved to a separate thread. Peoples feelings were hurt, and a large amount of work could be discarded if it devolves into drama, which benefits nobody.

This thread is about the future and what is going to happen. jK has requested a public discussion, and I've put it off until I can get a better idea of things and let things settle a little, I feel that now is a better time to do that.

The current status is we have:
  • A set of styling changes built by jK that expands the sites width, adds easter holiday styling, and some other changes
  • A complete PHPBB skin restyling by Forboding Angel with a fully responsive design based off of what we currently have. Tapatalk is no longer necessary
  • A responsive Wiki theme overhaul by Forboding Angel
  • A WordPress site with a theme implementing the Roflcopter design
Forbodings work sits in a WordPress branch in Github, and the controversy and drama that has occurred revolves around his attempt to keep the project on a need to know basis. The project is now public.

This thread is to discuss where to go from here

My proposed actions over the next week unless the community voices disapproval is the following:
The wiki and forum changes Forboding made, and the main site changes jK made, are all improvements, and it is my opinion we would be foolish to ignore them.

However I do not feel that discussing Forbodings WordPress changes at this stage would be productive until these things are discussed as it would not be a healthy discussion. Though I do think that discussion should be had eventually.

I'm going to create 4 threads for each point so that we can keep things organised without any one subject derailing the others, and so that those involved in the work can express their intentions during implementation, what they hoped, and how things should proceed.


A thread discussing repository organisation has been started here based off of a suggestion by Abma
Last edited by AF on 21 Apr 2014, 15:54, edited 1 time in total.
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abma
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Re: The Website

Post by abma » 21 Apr 2014, 15:02

please remove the link to the blogpost, as it contains no vital info related to the discussion you want here (=offtopic).

the blog post mostly contains drama & personal blame with many assumptions which are wrong.
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gajop
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Re: The Website

Post by gajop » 21 Apr 2014, 15:05

What you (plural) should have done from the start (and what you seem to be trying to do now) is being open about your intentions and having a thread about it on this forum.
If you are worried about threads derailing, well.. that's why you have moderators.
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AF
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Re: The Website

Post by AF » 21 Apr 2014, 15:18

Said blogpost was very critical of Abma in its earlier incarnations, for which I apologise, and have made edits based on new information. I would prefer though if discussion of it was kept either to the comment section of the post, or a new thread.


I've created a thread for jKs changes here:

http://springrts.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=32025

I could create the threads for forbodings changes but I'd like to have screenshots to demonstrate them first. It might be better to create the threads anyway and post them later.
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abma
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Re: The Website

Post by abma » 21 Apr 2014, 15:25

imo the website stuff should be modularized:

create:
wiki.springrts.com
forum.springrts.com
bugs.springrts.com

extra db, extra git repo, extra layout. this would simplify stuff a lot. atm updating mediawiki / forum is difficult / a lot of work as many stuff possible could break. currently its hard to know what side-effect some change can have. mediawiki / phpbb has to many custom changes of the "core" code, which means, when updating the usual way these changes would be overwritten by the new version of the software.

also we have currently no responsibilities for the website, also we have no active maintainer. i see jk/forbs changes as contributions which should require sth. like a vote.

a big problem currently is: nobody seems to responsible for the website, i don't feel responsible too, i just have admin rights and tried to help forb with his patches.

who decides about big changes? we should clarify this before doing any changes to the website.
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AF
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Re: The Website

Post by AF » 21 Apr 2014, 15:48

Agreed, I'll create a new thread for the subdomain suggestion and the discussion on how to separate the respective components into multiple repositories
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abma
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Re: The Website

Post by abma » 24 Apr 2014, 17:24

my plan:

1. test/fix jk's changes
2. apply it to the current website
3. setup proper backup
4. split db (mantis first, it has no deps it seems, then wiki)
5. split repositories of wiki/phpbb/mantis/"main site"
6. try to apply forbs changes to the repos

time schedule:
1. asap
2.+3. hopefully next week
4.-6. when its ready/done/discussed
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AF
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Re: The Website

Post by AF » 25 Apr 2014, 13:59

Item 1 has been done, can we all visit http://test.springrts.com and feedback?
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SinbadEV
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Re: The Website

Post by SinbadEV » 25 Apr 2014, 14:12

AF wrote:Item 1 has been done, can we all visit http://test.springrts.com and feedback?
I want to say I hate it but I suspect that it's got a lot to do with header images that don't fit the new scale... also the top looks "broken"

I don't like the font (serifs = bad)

I don't like the "spacing" between the header and the body... they no longer seem "connected"...

The shading is going different directions... shiny on top OR bottom, pick one.

The new background gradient doesn't fit so well the color of the borders/buttons... if you want a happier background, make a happier foreground.
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abma
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Re: The Website

Post by abma » 30 Apr 2014, 00:51

applied the changes, want to push this a bit as it contains some changed functionality for moderators, too.


moved my todo to mantis:
http://springrts.com/mantis/view.php?id=4374

you maybe need to force reload / clear cache to see all changes.
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AF
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Re: The Website

Post by AF » 01 May 2014, 16:52

I think there's an argument to use Github issues here, since we're actively commenting on commits & pull requests, and Mantis has a higher barrier to entry with fewer notification options.

We should also resolve the problem of direct commits to git master, they're not entirely compatible with the public discussion and consensus approach we've started to take recently. Git hooks can be added to prevent git master direct commits entirely and enforce the feature branch model of development if we cannot be strict with ourselves.
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Jazcash
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Re: The Website

Post by Jazcash » 04 May 2014, 02:29

Image

Just a mock-up I did for fun :P
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AF
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Re: The Website

Post by AF » 04 May 2014, 15:37

Interesting, pretty, but completely unreadable
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Jazcash
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Re: The Website

Post by Jazcash » 04 May 2014, 16:26

Yeah, I tried it with a couple different colours but the reflective style I went with was the only one that looked pretty, the others made the whole thing look "less pretty" so to speak. It might work better with a tinted back to it or a background image that's more consistent. You get the idea though.
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Forboding Angel
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Re: The Website

Post by Forboding Angel » 04 May 2014, 22:01

Jazcash wrote:Yeah, I tried it with a couple different colours but the reflective style I went with was the only one that looked pretty, the others made the whole thing look "less pretty" so to speak. It might work better with a tinted back to it or a background image that's more consistent. You get the idea though.
Tbh, it's kind of a hot mess designwise, but it has some interesting ideas. Interests me enough that I might be persuaded to create a wip wp theme based upon the idea.

For the main content area you would want to use an opacity of about 80-85% black, then on your text you would have a 1px 1px 1px black text shadow with white text in a super readable font like droid sans or open sans (my favorite), and that should solve the readability issues.

The biggest issue with the design is that while it's pretty, the background distracts from the content, and that's bad. Web design 101: Your background should never steal focus away from your content.

On http://www.evolutionrts.info , I have almost committed that sin (I knew what I was doing), but at the same time, the background is darkened and muted to the point to where it doesn't grab attention from the main content.

Design can be a bit of a tricky beast. While you want it to look sexy and attractive, you have to make sure that eyeballs are drawn to the right places on the page, not somewhere that is irrelevant.
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Jazcash
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Re: The Website

Post by Jazcash » 05 May 2014, 18:23

Forboding Angel wrote: For the main content area you would want to use an opacity of about 80-85% black, then on your text you would have a 1px 1px 1px black text shadow with white text in a super readable font like droid sans or open sans (my favorite), and that should solve the readability issues.
Image

In actual production it would choose from a set of background images, perhaps a random one each day. The units on the logo would randomise too.

Keep critiquing! Useful stuffs.
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AF
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Re: The Website

Post by AF » 06 May 2014, 01:33

- Headings are inconsistently aligned, some are left aligned, some are right aligned
- Headings are difficult to read and view, poor contrast against the background
- The sidebar menu is difficult to see, the first few times I failed to notice it
- The units on the logo while a nice touch are distracting and impede on the readability of the logo text
- What I am assuming is a scrollbar appears to the left of the news. This is confusing, and it's not clear what this element is.
- This is a homepage, but no design or set up of how arbitrary pages would fit in, such as a search page, forum index, etc
- There's no way to get back to the front page from the menu
- The design says nothing about the engine itself. Aside from engine news it appears to focus on leading users to the games. There is nothing about what the engine can do from a technical standpoint, no click through to Github for the source, and no links to developer docs/help
- The blurring you rely on will be a major headache for browsers, it will not be a performant webpage, and CSS blurring will not work on a lot of browsers that were recently considered modern. PHP-side Image blurring will be costly CPU-wise, and bandwidth-wise.
- The footer is completely arbitrary and doesn't match the rest of the design at all
- The side menu has no mechanism to collapse into the main content
- Poor heading hierarchy in the news section, the title of the posts does not match the heading design elsewhere on the page, and is easily confused with the post body


I will say though, that the attempt to rethink the layout and arrangement of the frontpage elements is a good idea, and something we need more of.
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Jazcash
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Re: The Website

Post by Jazcash » 06 May 2014, 18:05

AF wrote:- Headings are inconsistently aligned, some are left aligned, some are right aligned
By headers do you mean the section titles? Community Headlines, News and Showcase? When you say some you actually mean one then? :P I don't understand why this is bad :(
AF wrote:- Headings are difficult to read and view, poor contrast against the background
I think this issue and a lot of others stem from the fact I like to turn my contrast way up on my monitors, just checked it's actually at 100%... Yeah... Things make a bit more sense now.
AF wrote:- The sidebar menu is difficult to see, the first few times I failed to notice it
Again, things make a bit more sense now. With 100% contrast they display very clearly and the content text in the first mockup I posted with the original text was clearly readable too so again, I see where the issues are coming from :(
AF wrote:- The units on the logo while a nice touch are distracting and impede on the readability of the logo text
I don't think this is a bad thing at all. The text is still clearly legible and I wanted to continue to provide a way for games to show-off some of their units. The units would change so anybody that can't read the text (really?) could just hit F5 to see what letter they couldn't make out as different units would overlap in different places.
AF wrote:- What I am assuming is a scrollbar appears to the left of the news. This is confusing, and it's not clear what this element is.
Well you guessed right, so it can't be that bad! But yeah, I wasn't sure about the news section. I realised if I wanted multiple news items to be displayed on the homepage I could either make the whole page scrolling or just make a sub-element scrollable and I'm really not a big fan of scrolling web-pages so I did the former. Alternatives I thought of would be horizontally transitioning items, popup items (You click the title and the content appears overlapping the content that was displayed previously) or just only having the latest news post displayed.
AF wrote:- This is a homepage, but no design or set up of how arbitrary pages would fit in, such as a search page, forum index, etc
True, again, this was just for funsies. If I was actually making this I'd make mock-ups for all of these.
AF wrote:- There's no way to get back to the front page from the menu
Like the above.
AF wrote:- The design says nothing about the engine itself. Aside from engine news it appears to focus on leading users to the games. There is nothing about what the engine can do from a technical standpoint, no click through to Github for the source, and no links to developer docs/help
Agreed, this should be added.
AF wrote:- The blurring you rely on will be a major headache for browsers, it will not be a performant webpage, and CSS blurring will not work on a lot of browsers that were recently considered modern. PHP-side Image blurring will be costly CPU-wise, and bandwidth-wise.
What makes you think I'd be blurring the image dynamically? If anything they'd be pre-blurred by hand or server-side and saved as a bitmap.
AF wrote:- The footer is completely arbitrary and doesn't match the rest of the design at all
Hmm, Ok. Might try overlapping it over the background image or not even distinguishing it at all as the footer. Noted.
AF wrote:- The side menu has no mechanism to collapse into the main content
It's an image?
AF wrote:- Poor heading hierarchy in the news section, the title of the posts does not match the heading design elsewhere on the page, and is easily confused with the post body
What would you suggest? I could maybe try a higher font-size, different colour or even different font entirely?


I don't agree with some of your opinions but others were mucho learnings so thanks regardless.
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AF
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Re: The Website

Post by AF » 07 May 2014, 10:34

I think no distinction between the white text section headings and the headings should be made, they should all be white, and the background opacity kicked up a notch.
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