By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Manage your Cookies Settings.
440,086 Members | 1,460 Online
Bytes IT Community
+ Ask a Question
Need help? Post your question and get tips & solutions from a community of 440,086 IT Pros & Developers. It's quick & easy.

Comments on Python Redesign

P: n/a
Terry Ready said:
YUCK< YUCK< YUCK.
<snip>
The pollenation site is one of the worst I have seen. The mockup page
has teeny type that IE will not enlarge.
<snip>
I care that the site remain physically readable and that it remain a
vehicle for information rather than childish egos.
<snip>
Using IE6, I need a magnifying glass
to read this page. This is done in the arrogant style of 'we know
better than you what type size you should have'. Also known as the
'control the user experience' school. Awful. For me, one of the
worse pages I have ever seen. Anti-Pythonic.
interior page: Only slightly better. The low contrast gray-on-gray comments page is
also barely readable. (Others reported the same.) For my
less-than-perfect 50+ year-old eyes, it is physically the WORST
comments page I have ever seen. It is a case study in
anti-accessibility design. The person responsible should not touch
our site.


Perhaps the people who have commented on the site should realise it's a
proposal and a work in progress. As constructive comments go the only
feedback I have gathered is that the fonts are too small and the
contrast is
a little low. I've adjusted contrast on key elements and also increased
the
font size. These pages are here :

http://pollenation.net/assets/public/python-main-2.html
http://pollenation.net/assets/public...nterior-2.html

also bearing in mind that the html page will be accessible and hence
allow
text resizing here is a sample of +1 text size.

http://pollenation.net/assets/public...n-2larger.html
http://pollenation.net/assets/public...r-2larger.html

Also, Terry, the design was an 'image', a 'mockup', a 'png' to be
specific,
it did not dictate font size. As far as accessibility is concerned, the
only
problem was the contrast and the font size both of which I've changed as
I
agree they were too low and too small respectively.

Although I agree that the font size should be bigger, the current site
is
not an exemplar of accessibility. The following example taken from the
interior page I have shown.The first is in comparison with my original
design, the second show a comparison with the amendments showing normal
and
+1 font sizing. (the text on my samples may benefit from increasing the
line
height using css)

http://pollenation.net/assets/public...arison-new.gif
http://pollenation.net/assets/public...comparison.gif

As a side note, I haven't been to any school of 'control the user
experience'. Furthermore I think making comments such as accusing me of
having a 'childish ego' and being 'arrogant' are IMO extremely
disrespectful
and I would appreciate an apology. I am quite hurt and dissapointed to
see
such coments on what I had considered a respectable forum for discussion
although I'm sure they are not representative.

Tim Parkin

Terry: I otherwise do not have too much concern about particulars and therefore not much to contribute.



Jul 18 '05 #1
Share this Question
Share on Google+
14 Replies


P: n/a

"Tim Parkin" <ti********@pollenationinternet.com> wrote in message
news:ma*********************************@python.or g...

[...snip...]
Perhaps the people who have commented on the site should realise it's a
proposal and a work in progress. As constructive comments go the only
feedback I have gathered is that the fonts are too small and the
contrast is
a little low. I've adjusted contrast on key elements and also increased
the
font size. These pages are here :


[...snip...]
I agree that the python.org site could use a face-lift, however, my concern
with the design presented is along the lines of page size and/or browser
compatibility. If you design via CSS using too many of the newer features
some older browsers will have problems rendering, if you don't use CSS for
that layout then you'll be using too many graphics. You should keep in mind
the fact that Python is used internationally. So bandwidth, browser
compatibility and internationalization are all very valid concerns.

If the redesign limits the number of people who can access it's information
or hinders their access to the same then I would be (-1) on the effort.
Remember, that the most popular and highly used sites, i.e. google and
yahoo, are quite boring in a design sense but are off the chart for
usability and accessibility. It's the content and the accessibilty to that
content that has made them so popular. I would vote to emulate these
attributes in any python website redesign.

- Jeff
Jul 18 '05 #2

P: n/a
Tim Parkin wrote:

As a side note, I haven't been to any school of 'control the user
experience'. Furthermore I think making comments such as accusing me of
having a 'childish ego' and being 'arrogant' are IMO extremely
disrespectful and I would appreciate an apology. I am quite hurt and
dissapointed to see such coments on what I had considered a respectable
forum for discussion although I'm sure they are not representative.


On behalf of those with the nasty fingers today, I apologize. Tim,
they must have missed the relatively clear warnings that these
are *mockups*, and posted for discussion purposes. I agree also
that harsh public criticism without constructive comments is
wholly unwarranted, and out of order around here, not to mention
(thankfully) rather atypical.

Heck, I *have* read several books on horrible web page design, and
have a background that includes a fair bit of typography and related
study and work, and I didn't think the pages were bad. I'm a
little stunned by the hyperbolic comments.

Maybe the pages aren't felt to be appropriate for *Python*'s web
site, or maybe on certain screens the colours or sizes don't look
quite right, but at least somebody is trying something(*), and
I hope you'll be able to rise above the negativism and stick it out
long enough to find any comments which truly merit consideration.

-Peter

(*) Personally, I never thought the existing site was a big problem,
but then I just view the web as a simple way to search for text
and I still use Netscape 4.7 much of the time, so I'm obviously not
the target for these improvements...
Jul 18 '05 #3

P: n/a
To the extent that my comments were misdirected and/or unwarrented, I
retract and/or apologize.

I did not notice that the demo fromt page is merely a dead image. I
was mislead by the word 'mock-up'. To me, a mock-up page would have
real html, even if filled with dummy text and stub links. While a
mock-up airplane does not fly , it is a real 3-d object, not an image.
In any case, the page looks enough like many live pages I have visited
(usually corporation front pages) that I was fooled.

The comments page *is* live, not an image. It was also unusually
painful and difficult for me to read.

I usually don't care too much what people do with their pages. If I
can't read it, I move on to one of the millions of others vying for my
attention. However, python.org is one I visit a lot (top 5, surely)
and I really care about being able to continue reading it.

Perhaps Python needs two front pages or even two sites. One for the
IT manager types that you seem to be aiming at, who would be impressed
by the corporate look that tends to depress me, and one for
programmers just looking for info. The current site, perhaps with
more tweeks, is pretty good for the latter but not, I would agree, for
the former.

Terry J. Reedy
Jul 18 '05 #4

P: n/a
"Tim Parkin" <ti********@pollenationinternet.com> wrote previously:
|text resizing here is a sample of +1 text size.
|http://pollenation.net/assets/public...n-2larger.html
|http://pollenation.net/assets/public...r-2larger.html

Yeah... this moves it from truly awful to merely bad. So that's a good
step. Even so, the lines of text are squashed together vertically in an
awkward way that makes reading difficult. I don't even really know how
that effect was achieved (or in what browser)... is there a CSS
attribute for "really small vertical spacing"?

In my experience, good pages remain good even in the complete absence of
their CSS stylesheet. Well, and CERTAINLY good pages do not embed
ad-hoc <font> tags all over them, but I don't think the redesign demo
did that. While I'm only guessing, this is a page that would fare
poorly with the CSS dropped, and with user-specified fonts and colors
specfied.

The problem is that it is WAY over-designed. It looks like something
you'd design for a magazine, not for the web, with many browsers
possible. Parkins, or whoever, has a certain browser and screen size,
and probably took out a ruler to align everything properly on that
unique combination. But on my screen, there is a gaping wasted space on
the right edge. Why not put the "news and announcements" over on the
right edge, using as much space as is available, instead of squashing
things into fixed sized boxes? "Features" could then flexibly fill the
middle section, scrolling down as far as is needed for the window size
and font of a reader.

That said, I -DO- like the look of the left navigation buttons. They
could use more contrast still, but the light 3-D effect is good, and the
subsections below an "opened" button is visually clear. The roundish,
almost OpenLook-like, pane/box frames are fine. I kinda like the
fingerprint icon, or whatever that is meant to be (two snakes?). And
having a search tool at top seems useful. It's just hard to get past
the font disaster (and the goofy, oversized, photos).

Yours, Lulu...

--
mertz@ | The specter of free information is haunting the `Net! All the
gnosis | powers of IP- and crypto-tyranny have entered into an unholy
..cx | alliance...ideas have nothing to lose but their chains. Unite
| against "intellectual property" and anti-privacy regimes!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jul 18 '05 #5

P: n/a
Tim Parkin wrote:
Perhaps the people who have commented on the site should realise it's a
proposal and a work in progress. As constructive comments go the only
feedback I have gathered is that the fonts are too small and the
contrast is
a little low. I've adjusted contrast on key elements and also increased
the
font size. These pages are here :

http://pollenation.net/assets/public/python-main-2.html
http://pollenation.net/assets/public...nterior-2.html


A few suggestions:

- several (including myself) were thrown off-course by the fact that the posted
'site' was really just a screenshot, not really a live mockup (the word mockup
tends to be used for junk-filled, but otherwise structurally valid sites rather
than a graphical screenshot). I suggest you make an actual html mockup so that
everyone can actually test how fonts scale in their own browsers. Viewing
_any_ screenshot in my laptop's 1600x1200 screen is painful, because the fonts
are microscopic. But a real html (even if the text it's filled with is junk),
I can judge: I have my font sizes set in mozilla for readability, and it will
be immediately obvious whether there are layout assumptions in the site which
break at these resolutions.

I am sure you'll get far better feedback with such a mockup site being
accessible for the community to view.

- I'm not sure I fall for the double-colored 'python' word. The two tones
generate a mental split 'py-thon', which is, at least to me, rather unpleasant.
Keep in mind that many things in the python community have a py pre/post-pended
which would be more reasonable to break: pyexpect, scipy, numpy,... In all
those cases, the separated 'py' tends to associate the 'python' part with the
rest (expect, scientific computing, numerical work, etc).

But 'thon' is nothing by itself, so the split is useless, and creates an
artificial an unnecessary disruption in the reading flow. It feels like a
clear case of graphical glitz done for its own sake, not at the service of
function.

Ant that is the ONE principle that the site should respect: ANY graphical
enhancement should always serve, never sacrifice, function.

- Contrast: even the newer screenshots feel very low contrast. Blue on grey
isn't particularly readable. But perhaps when I view the real html with normal
font sizes, it will look better. That's why you really need to post a readable
html site, not a png: it's almost impossible for anyone but you to properly
judge the site with graphical screenshots.
- More content: why limit the front page to have so little in it? It feels
like it was designed to fit 100% into an 800x600 window. I personally feel
that a techincal website is ok with having the front page include some more
stuff further down. I can use my scroll wheel to go down, but I hate having to
click for separate pages for everything. I know it's a fine line, and you
don't want the main page to be overly long, but I feel that the current mockup
is unnecessarily short.
And if you feel like people are being overly harsh, don't worry. It's usenet
after all :) But also keep in mind that you're proposing touching the _main_
python.org website, so don't expect the entire community just to go with
whatever you propose. In case you are new to this environment, go read some of
the discussions on PEP-308 for a feel of how hot things can get when you want
to touch core things.

In the end, this is actually a good thing: it means that any idea which finally
survives the beating will be pretty good. Think of a very harsh, very
darwinian selection system :)

Best regards, and good luck with the work.

Fernando.
Jul 18 '05 #6

P: n/a
In article <p3********************@comcast.com>,
Terry Reedy <tj*****@udel.edu> wrote:

Perhaps Python needs two front pages or even two sites. One for the
IT manager types that you seem to be aiming at, who would be impressed
by the corporate look that tends to depress me, and one for
programmers just looking for info. The current site, perhaps with
more tweeks, is pretty good for the latter but not, I would agree, for
the former.


I'm leaning toward vetoing any such plan. One problem with the Perl
community is that it's not clear which web site to use for different
purposes -- I think we should keep www.python.org as the universal URL.

That said, there likely will be a subsection of python.org that is aimed
at managers, with a more designed look and more graphics; someone trying
to convince a specific manager could point zir into the subsection.
--
Aahz (aa**@pythoncraft.com) <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

This is Python. We don't care much about theory, except where it intersects
with useful practice. --Aahz
Jul 18 '05 #7

P: n/a
In article <bj**********@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Fernando Perez <fp*******@yahoo.com> wrote:

And if you feel like people are being overly harsh, don't worry. It's
usenet after all :)


Well, no, it's not Usenet, not in the sense you mean. Someone dragged a
discussion from a mailing list here, and I think that beating Tim up in
public is unfair. We haven't even completely settled on a set of design
goals yet; Tim's mockup was strictly intended to help advance the
discussion.

I'll repeat what I said, if you want to be involved with the redesign
effort, join http://mail.python.org/mailman/listi...otorg-redesign
--
Aahz (aa**@pythoncraft.com) <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

This is Python. We don't care much about theory, except where it intersects
with useful practice. --Aahz
Jul 18 '05 #8

P: n/a
Lots of people have been rightly jumping all over the design. But
there's something else that I think is very important in the current
python.org front page and missing from the proposed redesign: the text
"Welcome to the official website for the Python language."

If one looks at the proposed redesign, it is difficult to tell whether
Python is an application, a magazine, a business consulting partnership,
or what. It is also unclear whether the site is run by the same people
responsible for Python, whatever Python is. Certainly "official web
site for programming language" is not the first thing that springs to
mind.

--
David Eppstein http://www.ics.uci.edu/~eppstein/
Univ. of California, Irvine, School of Information & Computer Science
Jul 18 '05 #9

P: n/a
Aahz wrote:
In article <bj**********@peabody.colorado.edu>,
Fernando Perez <fp*******@yahoo.com> wrote:

And if you feel like people are being overly harsh, don't worry. It's
usenet after all :)


Well, no, it's not Usenet, not in the sense you mean. Someone dragged a
discussion from a mailing list here, and I think that beating Tim up in
public is unfair.


FWIW, I made a point of NOT beating anyone up, and tried to offer specific, IMHO
constructive comments.

And since the starting thread of the discussion was a post by Tim himself, that
seemed a perfectly fair thing to do. It may have been dragged here from
elsewhere, but the first 'Comments ...' post was by Tim, and he's been
responding in the discussion actively. As long as the comments were civil
(which I actively tried to do, after seeing some of the tone of the discussion
elsewhere), I didn't see any problem there.

Cheers,

f
Jul 18 '05 #10

P: n/a
Tim Parkin wrote:
Perhaps the people who have commented on the site should realise it's
a
proposal and a work in progress.


Could someone remind me what need there is for a redesign in the first
place? Of all the Python-related efforts that one could put time into,
this seems like one of the least useful.

--
Erik Max Francis && ma*@alcyone.com && http://www.alcyone.com/max/
__ San Jose, CA, USA && 37 20 N 121 53 W && &tSftDotIotE
/ \ Then you give me that Judas Kiss / Could you hurt me more than this
\__/ Lamya
Jul 18 '05 #11

P: n/a
In article <ep****************************@news.service.uci.e du>,
David Eppstein <ep******@ics.uci.edu> wrote:

Lots of people have been rightly jumping all over the design. But
there's something else that I think is very important in the current
python.org front page and missing from the proposed redesign: the text
"Welcome to the official website for the Python language."


Don't worry -- some people think that's redundant, but Guido has
Prounounced that it will stay.
--
Aahz (aa**@pythoncraft.com) <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

This is Python. We don't care much about theory, except where it intersects
with useful practice. --Aahz
Jul 18 '05 #12

P: n/a
On Sun, 07 Sep 2003 12:51:45 -0700,
Erik Max Francis <ma*@alcyone.com> wrote:
Could someone remind me what need there is for a redesign in the first
place? Of all the Python-related efforts that one could put time into,


Because the current site is unattractive, jumbled, hard to navigate, and
sucks dead bunnies through a straw?

--amk
Jul 18 '05 #13

P: n/a
In article <3F***************@alcyone.com>,
Erik Max Francis <ma*@alcyone.com> wrote:

Could someone remind me what need there is for a redesign in the first
place? Of all the Python-related efforts that one could put time into,
this seems like one of the least useful.


AMK's comment is a bit overdone, so here's something more understated:

The current website has a number of navigation, structural, and content
flaws resulting from the fact that it has grown organically for roughly
a decade. It is also harder to maintain than we'd prefer. Finally, it
looks a bit dated.

While we are making some progress at removing cruft, most of us involved
in the work agree that a full-scale redesign would be a Good Idea.

Part of the impetus for doing the work is to streamline the site to make
it easier for Python newcomers (and people investigating Python for
themselves or their organizations) to find the information they want or
need.
--
Aahz (aa**@pythoncraft.com) <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

This is Python. We don't care much about theory, except where it intersects
with useful practice. --Aahz
Jul 18 '05 #14

P: n/a
David Eppstein wrote:
Lots of people have been rightly jumping all over the design. But
there's something else that I think is very important in the
current python.org front page and missing from the proposed
redesign: the text "Welcome to the official website for the Python
language."

If one looks at the proposed redesign, it is difficult to tell
whether Python is an application, a magazine, a business
consulting partnership,
or what. It is also unclear whether the site is run by the same
people
responsible for Python, whatever Python is. Certainly "official
web site for programming language" is not the first thing that
springs to mind.
Actually, from its appearance, the new design looks like it is
trying to sell me something. "Advert filters up!" It makes me
suspicious, skeptical, and cynical, as all advertising does.

I don't mean to criticize the work that's being done for the new
site. It looks like excellent work. I do mean to suggest that
perhaps its style is not what I want for the "official Python
site", and, in particular, not for the first/main page.

The new design looks great. It looks exceptionally well done.
But, instead of the official Python Web site, it would be better
suited for "The Python Advisory Board" or for "The Friends of
Python" or for whatever organization has the mission of promoting
and lobbying for Python.

Maybe if the new main page (python-main-2.html) were at the end of
a link labelled "Python advocacy" ...

And Petter Hansen wrote in a separate message:
(*) Personally, I never thought the existing site was a big problem, but then I just view the web as a simple way to search for text
and I still use Netscape 4.7 much of the time, so I'm obviously not the target for these improvements...


I think I'm in this school. I go to the Web in general and to the
Python site in particular for content, not for graphics. I think
the new design is pretty and very attractive, perhaps *too* pretty
and attractive. When I send or refer someone to a site like that,
I'd feel I'd have to warn them: "It looks like promotional
material, but don't be put off; there is really good content there
if you look for it.

I suppose you could brush me off as old fashioned and "old
school". I certainly am. I like text and content not graphics,
colors, and visual appeal. But, then I'd argue that text and
cognitive content are what's appropriate for the official Python
site.

The current main page at www.python.org is a portal and a
directory. It helps me find things that are related to Python,
things that help me with Python, things that I feel will help
others to use Python. That's why in much of the Python
documentation I write, the current www.python.org is a "must
reference". I would not feel the same about a site that contains
endorsements from famous people, even nerdy famous people that I
admire.

I would like to request that the new site, whatever its style,
give me as much help as possible finding what I need in order to
use Python. I'd want the site designer to look at every piece of
that page and ask: Will this help someone find what they need
about Python?

This new design looks great to me. But, it is not the official
Python Web site. It is the site for some company trying to sell
Python services or Python tools or something.

Look at the Google directory page (http://www.google.com/dirhp).
(It's actually built on the ODP: Open Directory Project, dmoz.org).
You'll see maximum nutrition and minimum calories. It's very
plain, and very popular. People know it will help them find what
they want, and they trust it, at least I do.

On the other hand, having several pages that show the kind of
graphical interface that can be constructed with wxPython, pygtk,
etc seems like a good idea to me.

Hope I haven't been uncivil. I apologize in advance, if I seem to
have been. And, thanks much for the work that the new site
designers have done.

Dave

--
Dave Kuhlman
http://www.rexx.com/~dkuhlman
dk******@rexx.com
Jul 18 '05 #15

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.