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Puppy's Website: Discussion
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tombh


Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 422
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar 2008, 17:06    Post subject:  Puppy's Website: Discussion
Subject description: Proto-site proposal
 

Edit: There is now a separate thread for suggestions, bugs, wishlists, etc, you may want to contribute to that one instead/aswell.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It was suggested to me some months ago that I might like to contribute to a renewing of the current Puppy website, puppylinux.org. Firstly I was concerned to discover what this might involve and what was actually possible. My opinion regarding the current state of Puppy's web presence is, like many others, that it is an unjust reflection of Puppy itself. So I wanted to think a little bit bigger and little bit more seriously about what could be done.

The gist of my thinking was that the WIKI was the site that was *actually* providing the function of a Puppy website, but that it was obscured and hidden behind a maze of links! If the WIKI could somehow be 'brought forward', as it were, then that would be a great improvement. Clearly, a Content Management System (CMS) is needed, Puppy enthusiasts are obviously keen to contribute content to Puppy's web presence and this should be encouraged and utilised. It seemed to me that Drupal, a very powerful and popular CMS, would come in useful -- it has WIKI capabilities (user contributable content, revisions, categories), yet a whole host of other features to support a community website.

So I have developed a proto-site, a proof of concept site that uses Drupal and has its own custom design using Rasterpax's Puppy logo. I have not had the opportunity to test the feasibility of migrating the WIKI to Drupal yet, so I can't back this approach 100% yet, though I suspect it is very much possible.

So I propose that this site replace both the main website at puppylinux.org and the WIKI. Please visit it and feel free to offer any feedback. There is still a lot of work to be done, so please bear that in mind before responding. The links on the Home Page where chosen purely for testers and highlight the most interesting areas at this current stage of the development.

The proto-site can be found at: Hostgator's temporary URL

Last edited by tombh on Mon 24 Mar 2008, 13:43; edited 4 times in total
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canerigal

Joined: 18 Jan 2008
Posts: 13
Location: Essex, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar 2008, 17:39    Post subject:    

Looks great - gives it a real professional look.

Eric likes it also.

You're hired

canerigal
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Dingo


Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 1411
Location: somewhere at the end of rainbow...

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar 2008, 17:47    Post subject:  

on

Dokupuppy I have programs, manuals and more and next days i will start mirroring all pupplets existing, you can link me if you like

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SirDuncan


Joined: 09 Dec 2006
Posts: 836
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar 2008, 17:53    Post subject:  

I just gave it a quick once-over but it looks good. The menu doesn't seem too hard to navigate and the layout looks fairly professional. I did notice that the link to the forum is wrong. You forgot the "a" in "murga".

The layout of the logo seems a little off to me. The way I would read it is "Linux Puppy", not "Puppy Linux", but that is just nit-picking.

Good job.

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headfound


Joined: 24 Jun 2006
Posts: 342
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar 2008, 18:49    Post subject:  

Great work Tom!
Its a very smart, clean and friendly layout.

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Lobster
Official Crustacean


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 15117
Location: Paradox Realm

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar 2008, 01:13    Post subject:  


The site is great
Congratulations on all your efforts

Hopefully the site will be supported by puppy people (puppys)
adding material

this is the key
- getting people to use the site and come back
- this took two years with the wiki.
You need to encourage regular updaters and contributers
after the initial interest and effort Smile

So I suggest that the front page is kept interesting
with 'Featured Puppy configs'
latest Puplets and other pup treats

Barry maintains his own blogs and web pages
good to see those in the site

Barry's material needs to be engaged
with a blog feed and links to his page
or some logo with his avatar

- Barry and other developers and puplet creators
can perhaps be offered services
within the Drupal interface?

- why should Barry have to bother with
blog down and viruses (outrageous waste of effort) . . .
as is the situation at the moment

What a great start Smile
woof woof

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floborg


Joined: 25 Oct 2007
Posts: 194
Location: Fort Worth, TX

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar 2008, 01:33    Post subject:  

Definite improvement.

The Download page is a little busy. It looks, though, like you plan on splitting that stuff up.

Why does the logo have linux above puppy?
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oblivious

Joined: 14 Apr 2007
Posts: 304
Location: Western Australia

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar 2008, 02:37    Post subject:  

Some initial thoughts (I understand it's just a prototype, so this could be directed at things that are intended to be changed/developed anyway)

Looks good - the design is great, layout clear, etc.

The problem I had when I started looking at Puppy was knowing what was going on - confusion with there being Barry's site (obviously official as it was the site of the developer) and Pupplinux.org and puppywhatever.etc.etc.etc. I gather that if the new site is adopted, puppylinux.org and the wiki site will be closed and redirected (ie the new site will be instead of, not additional to what's there now). If not, IMO the last thing that is needed is yet another website.

The first thing I like to see on a site is something that discloses who you are dealing with and that the site is legitimate.

Firstly, whose site it is (to keep the homepage clean, this info could be on a separate page with a link - repeat visitors can then disregard it, but it's there for those who want the info). Puppylinux.org's page welcomes the visitor to the "home of puppylinux", but having already seen Barry's site, I found that confusing.

Secondly, I'd like to know how the site fits with Barry's site and previous sites - starting again is a great idea, but for anyone who has seen the existing sites, they'll want to know how the new site fits or confusion will continue to reign supreme.

For the content taken from Barry's site - Barry says on his site says it is not to be reproduced - either it needs to be linked to, or redrafted from scratch.

Is it geared towards complete newbies? If so, I'd like to see content explicable to newbs. (eg rather than "GUI apps" something like just "software applications" and plenty of explanation as to how it all fits/what's going on.

My other comment is from the perspective of a dog owner - why has your puppy paw only got 3 toes - did he lose a toe in an accident? Crying or Very sad
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oli

Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 194
Location: Germany, Frankfurt

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar 2008, 05:48    Post subject:  

Looks good - but not with MS Internet Explorer (see attached screenshot).
Screenshot.jpg
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oli

Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 194
Location: Germany, Frankfurt

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar 2008, 05:50    Post subject:  

Sorry, the forum-software told me an error, so that I uploaded again.
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NathanO

Joined: 22 Feb 2007
Posts: 195
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar 2008, 11:08    Post subject:  

Good start.

One item that is needed is a:

'New Users Start Here'

That points them to what they need to look at first, with a simple step by step to get started with Puppy.

NathanO
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tombh


Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 422
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar 2008, 18:41    Post subject:  

Thanks for all the feedback Smile

I am keeping track of them all but Oblivious's comments are what stand out for me at the moment.

Oblivious wrote:
The problem I had when I started looking at Puppy was knowing what was going on - confusion with there being Barry's site (obviously official as it was the site of the developer) and Pupplinux.org and puppywhatever.etc.etc.etc.

It was exactly the same for me.

Quote:
I gather that if the new site is adopted, puppylinux.org and the wiki site will be closed and redirected (ie the new site will be instead of, not additional to what's there now). If not, IMO the last thing that is needed is yet another website.

Yes, this is the main aim of the new site.
Quote:

The first thing I like to see on a site is something that discloses who you are dealing with and that the site is legitimate.

"Legitimate", that's exactly the impression I won't the site to give and, of course, one can use design techniques to give the *impression* of legitimacy and authority but that's never as good as the real thing. The real thing will come from the support and involvement of the community.

Quote:

Firstly, whose site it is (to keep the homepage clean, this info could be on a separate page with a link - repeat visitors can then disregard it, but it's there for those who want the info). Puppylinux.org's page welcomes the visitor to the "home of puppylinux", but having already seen Barry's site, I found that confusing.

Secondly, I'd like to know how the site fits with Barry's site and previous sites - starting again is a great idea, but for anyone who has seen the existing sites, they'll want to know how the new site fits or confusion will continue to reign supreme.

For the content taken from Barry's site - Barry says on his site says it is not to be reproduced - either it needs to be linked to, or redrafted from scratch.

I think there is a really important point you make there which I'd like to think about a bit more. I'll think aloud...

Although Puppy is Barry Kauler's creation, it is also open source, and so in some ways occupies a rather strange state of being both owned and not-owned. I must say it does sometimes confuse me as to where the line lies marking Barry's Puppy from 'our' Puppy. You see I don't really think there is an answer to that.

There is a very significant sense in which Puppy is Barry's and therefore he needs to maintain his own web presence concerning that. For me this is important because it expresses the fact that, at the most basic level, Barry is doing this because he enjoys it. Even if the community was to pack its bags and move off to Redland (!) Barry would still be able to tinker away Smile Although I'm sure he utterly appreciates the community he's not primarily motivated by the fame and recognition (I don't think!).

Yet there is an *equally* significant sense in which *we* 'own' Puppy. After all, is this not the most profound thing about Linux and Puppy in particular? Therefore, being given our computers back to *us*, we can get right inside and do *exactly* what we want to it (Thankyou so much for that!) All one requires is the willingness to learn -- you don't need money or special esoteric computer knowledge to become a part of it and put some of yourself into it.

To me Barry isn't just Barry, creator of Puppy, but he is also BarryK, *user* and *community member* of Puppy. So, in order to provide the website with this feeling of legitimacy we mention, it is not primarily dependant on Barry, creator of Puppy -- although Barry's contributions are certainly welcome. Therefore, I see this website as the website of *our* Puppy (which, as I've explained, is certainly not to exclude Barry) and that to give it legitimacy and authority, all that is needed is simply the support and involvement of the community.
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Everitt

Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 331
Location: Leeds,UK or Birmingham, UK

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar 2008, 19:55    Post subject:  

tombh wrote:
Oblivious wrote:
The problem I had when I started looking at Puppy was knowing what was going on - confusion with there being Barry's site (obviously official as it was the site of the developer) and Pupplinux.org and puppywhatever.etc.etc.etc.

It was exactly the same for me.


I've got to admit, I've been using puppy for at least a year now, and I'm still not sure where to go. I check this forum daily, keep up to date with Barry's blog, and look at the wiki occasionally when I remember how to find it. Smile I always get my downloads direct from ibilio.org though...
I really think a single site (maybe + a seperate dev blog for Barry?) is a good idea!
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oblivious

Joined: 14 Apr 2007
Posts: 304
Location: Western Australia

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar 2008, 22:28    Post subject:  

Thanks Tom - this isn't very well expressed because I'm just going to rattle it off, but I hope you get the drift.
Quote:
that to give it legitimacy and authority, all that is needed is simply the support and involvement of the community.

I'm not talking about whether it actually has legitimacy and authority or the fundamental basis for the site's legitimacy, I'm talking about conveying that legitimacy and authority to new visitors to the site, when they may not know anything about the history or the existence of a community or anything else about puppy - in the context where they'll have had numerous hits on google which don't clarify where those hits fit in the scheme of things. I'm only talking about conveying information so that people arriving at the site via google will know what the site is. If the site is intended more for those familiar with puppy from having already spent time with it, it's not that important, but if it is intended for "outsiders" then IMO that sort of info is helpful.

All it would require is some sort of introduction such as:

"Puppy linux is blah blah and was created by Barry Kauler. Barry maintains his own site (link). Puppy is such a corker (or similarly glowing words) that there is an active community of users (including Barry) who blah blah blah (what the users do - modify puppy, make it bigger and better, iron out kinks, whatever). This is the community site containing important puppy information blah blah blah (all of the functions of the site, suitably expressed). It replaces (earlier sites closed and redirected) and is intended as the central place for the puppy community (all of the intentions of the site - eg most up to date info, etc. etc.???). It is maintained by tombh (and/or whoever else). For further info about the site, contact xxxxx.

Just something to fill new people in that this is not just a fan-site among fan-sites, but something of substance, containing accurate and up-to-date information (so they don't just hit the "back" button and go back to the next hit on google).
(Speaking of up-to-date, I also think it's a good idea that information be dated - another problem I have is knowing whether information applies, because of all of the many changes in puppy)
Quote:
I must say it does sometimes confuse me as to where the line lies marking Barry's Puppy from 'our' Puppy. You see I don't really think there is an answer to that.

There is an answer insofar as those things that Barry has specifically asserted/retained ownership of - as set out on the bottom of the home page of his site - are on his side of the line.
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NathanO

Joined: 22 Feb 2007
Posts: 195
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar 2008, 23:18    Post subject:  

One other item, because of the 'attacks' on all the Puppy related sites in the last few weeks, it needs to be bullet proof from the start.

Keep the 'keys' in the hands of as few people as you can. Have someone, or a small group look at everything that comes in so we do not be come infected with 'bad' software or viruses.

NathanO
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