MAR
2
2003

KDE.org: New Design, New Implementation

The KDE Web Team is proud to present a new and exciting design for the official KDE site! This is the first overhaul of the flagship homepage since Kurt's vastly successful update more than two years ago. The KDE Web Team has maintained a focus on standards-compliance as well as improved the overall usability and accessibility of the site. Also featured prominently is an overhaul of the content as well as the implementation of a whole new design matching the shiny new Keramik/Crystal look from KDE 3.1.

Over the next few weeks and months, even more of the KDE.org family of sites will be migrated over to the new target. Meanwhile, feedback and bug reports are welcome at webmaster@kde.org. Maintainers of KDE mirrors: Please take note of the updated requirements for hosting mirrors due to internal changes.

The new maintainers of KDE.org are Christoph Cullmann, Rainer Endres, and Jason Bainbridge. The design of the new website is based on work by Sebastian Faubel.

Chris Howells, Dirk Mueller, Olaf Jan Schmidt, Datschge and Neil Stevens have contributed at various levels performing either invaluable grunt work or contributing designs and ideas.

There are also many people who have also contributed feedback and fixes -- please let us know if we have forgotten anyone who should be listed here.

Huge kudos go out to any and all who have been involved!

A note from Christoph Cullmann:

The whole process of redesigning and restructuring of kde.org began at the end of 2002. After many heated discussions, a multitude of drafts and a lot of fun, we finally reached a state that we felt deserved deployment.

What has been done?

  • A new default design matching the current look of KDE has been created.
  • Much content has been reviewed and updated, and the menu structure has been updated to reflect usability concerns.
  • We have adopted usage of the latest web technology including XHTML and CSS1/2, while maintaining compatibility for older browsers as much as possible.
  • The underlying PHP scripts and HTML code have been overhauled or altogether rewritten. Maintainers of web mirrors should therefore consult the updated KDE Mirror HOWTO.

We hope to port over the remaining KDE pages in time. If you wish to help in this process or otherwise contribute new artwork, patches or bug reports, please contact us at webmaster@kde.org.

As one of the new maintainers of KDE.org I would like to thank the people involved in redesigning process for their invaluable contributions. I sincerely hope that users will enjoy the new website, and find it a worthy replacement to the old one.

Comments

full ack ! .... horny *g*


By Marc at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

I forgot - to be constructive :

Can't we just get rid of the current page, and replace it with the one the link is pointing to ?
Or at least _make a vote_ ? Btw, whose idea was it to replace the page ?


By Marc at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

definitely!


By Andorsch at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

Full ACK - BUT:
The current version is a big step in the right direction.
And now, when there is a completely CSS based page,
it will be a lot easier to make the changes necessary to
achieve the version you mentioned. I only see one problem
arise: Who is making all the graphics for each topic?
If you want a consistent look you'll have to create an
icon for each topic on all KDE pages. A solution for that
problem must be decided upon in advance - perhaps
there is some different version without images for minor
topics, follow-up pages or so. But for the main
page of kde.org this is really perfect.


By Martin at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

Yeah, but how big is that compared to the current one? I see a lot of graphics on there. Remember that well over two thirds of net users are dial-up modem users.


By Joeri at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

I commented before on the previous mock-up shot. This is better as it brings back Konqui!!

I am sad to see Konqui gone .. bring him back!!


By Sparky at Mon, 2003/03/03 - 6:00am

Yeah, we still need some more pictures on the page, that's true.
If somebody wants to help with additional artwork, mail me cullmann@kde.org or kde-www@kde.org. But keep in mind: that page is for information, not only as promo. We can't have a big image for each and every topic or title, not everybody has a 1mbit connection to net, many of our users like me use some slow dial-in :/


By Christoph Cullmann at Mon, 2003/03/03 - 6:00am

With "alt" tags and because browsers cache pictures, I don't think that would be a big problem.


By Roland at Mon, 2003/03/03 - 6:00am

Just assume that almost nobody will ever change the default font settings.
Konqueror uses the best fonts on my 1280*1024-Screen.

The standard font and the headlines are too big in Mozilla and Opera 7.0.0. pr1.
This causes large boxes, large distances between the words.

Only the underlined links look good in every browser.

I don't like this font color very much:
#3991EE

And then I just klicked into that K-banner on top to find a value that fits into this design.
#ACBEE6
Try to build an environment out of the color range that is used by this very nice banner. It's just a matter of harmony :-)

These link-boxes (awful grey background color #EEEAEE) are much too wide. No link gets close to the border.

Try to make smaller box-headlines and decrease the height of that font background. Then try to use the look of your default KDE-theme!
You know how the new kde title bars look like?

And then just little spaces between this link boxes.

Thx for reading


By Schugy at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

Due the article from Nicholas Petreley yesterday on Slashdot. Now even Miguel de Icaza writes about GNOME. Even he admits that GNOME has seriously fallen behind KDE. Read more

http://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop-devel-list/2003-March/msg00026.html

here.


By AC at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

What's with the licensing FUD from miguel - what is he talking about?

"Those with long-term visions believe strongly that the foundation
for building applications on Linux should be royalty free so Gnome is a
good choice there."

"end-users which [sic] do not care about the royalty issue do feel that KDE is a better
desktop."

Royalty issues???? WTF?


By steve at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

"Royalty issues???? WTF?"

It's just Mr. de Icaza once again voicing his affection for the LGPL over the GPL. His pursuit of encouraging commercial software development on Unix platforms has continually influenced Miguel to spout his appreciation for the LGPL. Since he firmly believes commercial development will not happen using GPL'ed libraries (even though there is plenty of evidence of commercial companies successfully adopting the GPL in the past), he will for the rest of time refer to such things as "royalty issues."

Indeed, Miguel recently refered to the GPL as "tainted":

http://dot.kde.org/1044312611/1044364582/1044368376/1044370818/1044374726/

Judge for yourself where his biases lay.


By Cowardly Anonymous at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

OK, I'm a huge GPL fan, but I actually do see Miguel's point. If you want to attract commercial software to Linux, an LGPL toolkit is clearly preferable to a GPL toolkit.

Personally, I don't care if there is never much commercial software available for Linux; given a choice, I will always choose the Free software alternative! So, to me, the GPL vs. LGPL thing is a total non-issue; however, I can see why someone who wanted to attract commercial vendors would prefer the LGPL.


By LMCBoy at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

It sounds like a good assumption, but the facts indicate that Qt's dual licensing model is superior regarding commercial attraction to Linux. Already, IBM, Adobe, and *many* *many* of the worlds largest software companies are using Qt. This 'royalty/tainted' FUD that Miguel is throwing around is crap.


By anon at Tue, 2003/03/04 - 6:00am

Actually, I think that has more to do with the quality of the toolkit than the licensing model. A couple of thousand isn't much when you factor in all the other costs of developing an application.

What I don't understand is why businesses don't use the GPLed version to develop with, and buy a single developer's license for the closed-source version, and compile with that.


By Jim Dabell at Tue, 2003/03/04 - 6:00am

Sure, no one can argue that Qt is excellent and that is the largest factor in it's success ... but I think the dual licensing/cross-platform nature and the knowledge that a real stable company is behind it also probably helps for commercial third-party licensees.

You can't use the GPL version to develop and then switch to a commercial license. That is restricted in the license AFAIK.


By anon at Tue, 2003/03/04 - 6:00am

> You can't use the GPL version to develop and then switch to a commercial license. That is restricted in the license AFAIK.

Which license? The GPL only covers redistribution - so as long as it's kept within the organisation during development, they don't have to agree to any of the terms in it. And until the end of the development cycle, they don't need the commercial QT, so they don't have to agree to any of the terms in that until that point.

So unless the commercial license has something to the effect of "you may not link code to this version that was previously linked with the GPL version", I'd say somebody doing this would be in the clear.


By Jim Dabell at Mon, 2003/03/10 - 6:00am

jim u nonce, get out more and stop killing time on this crappy sites!
get the bacon on kid.


By ricky martin at Thu, 2003/06/26 - 5:00am

too much low level spinning last nite kid and i pulled no one. wish i was like dave the playa. respect to the DBA.


By rob field at Fri, 2003/06/27 - 5:00am

Quoting a response Havoc Pennington made to Miguel's message above:

"I hope your mail won't land on Slashdot or some other web site."

Oops.


By Cowardly Anonymous at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

Looks like Miguel de icaza finally realized that KDE is better than GNOME. I understand that since he runs his own company and like to get monetary to pay his employees he has realized that this is only possible if you work for and on a serious Desktop Plattform which is definately KDE. Why do you think he is working so hard on Mono, just because of the fact that C is not a good language for something like a Desktop or for rapid application development. The reason why many GNOME applications suffer today, they look unesthetical and all differently. I bet that KDE has filled all dreams that Miguel had and now he feels pissed. Look still no GNOME 2.0 or 2.2 final release from Ximian, what are they waiting for ? He likes the way KDE works but wished it was GNOME that works like this. Yeah this problem many people have these days. They stare on KDE and say wow 'my dream Desktop' and then they say 'shit that it isn't GNOME'. Look how many people recently converted from GNOME to KDE and the amount is growing.


By Mogwai AC at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

Yeah he admits that KDE is better. Congratulations guys, you have won the desktop war.
You can stop actively flaming GNOME down now. It's over. You have won.


By Stof at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

What to do to get rid of the GNOME trolls? They wont go away.


By anon at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

No offense but I only see 2 trolls here. You and Stof - while the others made good valuable points in their statements. I mean those who call other people trolls are usually those who start trolling. I mean the writings show here have value and wasn't cut out of the ass of someone.


By AC at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

I would like to point out that you yourself have now called 2 people trolls. I don't know how that will affect your 'I mean those who call other people trolls are usually those who start trolling.' theory! ;-)


By ac at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

My excuse is "I haven't started" :)


By Troll at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

This is certainly a much mellower Miguel than in years past, not to mention more pragmatic. That's good to see. Of course old habits die hard so he is still waving the "royalty issue" around. I think it's a dead issue because clearly it has proven to be a winner. We get solid organized development of our toolkit for GPL'd software and commercial entities get that plus a company to support them. As has been pointed out many of Gnome's partners are beginning to adopt QT. Clearly this has been a win for everyone except Gnome. Also Ximian proves bytheir existance that some business entity somewhere being involved can be a benefit. Many company support the Linux kernel in various ways too so what it really comes down to is how a partictular project should be supported. In my opinion IBM and sun can afford to pay for support and if I were going to sell QT based software it would cost me a lot less than to develop M$ .NET.

While I'm sure it was sad for Miguel to see KDE running where Gnome was started it still has some wry humor for others. Miguel seems to be basing the ongoing existance of Gnome on the red herring of his "royalty issue" and the emotional and time investment of it's developers. The second is understandable from a developer perspective but in no way should be made an argument for any reason for people to adopt it. Other factors ought to prevail for users.

It was interesting that he made this statement. "I personally (because of the emotional component described before), would like to see more work be done on the Gnome desktop and less on replicating infrastructure." Petrely's recent article soundly thrashed them for having abandoned their focus on infrastructure. Clearly this is crucial for how it affects your app. With Quanta we sacrificed a lot of little stuff to establish a powerful "infrastucture". The simple fact is you are never going to be fast, clean and powerful without it. KDE has managed to make so much progress precisely because of it. In fact they seem to be changing course to a more spartan development model in the name of "streamlined usability". They acknowledge that they have lost their edge and then they seem to go out and do the exact opposite of what you would think the lesson to learn is...

Users of a product follow their more technically inclined friends. Those people are called in the marketing world "early adoptors" and they want power and configurability because they want to get the most out of their software or they like to play with it. Where are these types of people going to go now? Spending effort to produce product without first focusing on infrastrcture is what marketing departments like M$ do to produce inconsistent and buggy software. I'm not saying that Gnome will do that... I'm saying play the odds. On top of everything else they are coming to their developers telling them they need to work harder to produce what they make and here is how to tell your user he can't have what he wants. My question is, knowing open source development, where is the fun in that?

I've long advocated for two strong desktops to give people a choice. I thought Gnome 2 and 2.2 were going to be addressing a lot of this stuff that Miguel seems to be saying they don't have time for. Is it mostly delivering things we had over a year ago like AA fonts? I don't think it's really a matter of which desktop is better. I think it's more a matter of them needing to somehow learn the right lessons before they are so far behind there isn't another viable desktop besides KDE. Perhaps it is a matter of not admitting somebody else is right even if it means jumping from one lifeboat to another.

Frankly it's just sad. They've gone through three desktops in two major releases and seem to be changing various other aspects of their architecture before they can bear fruit and now Miguel seems to be advocating slapping something on top and worring about the structure later. There's no point in debating. This looks pretty bad to me.

Be kind when developers and users come to you...


By Eric Laffoon at Wed, 2003/03/05 - 6:00am

I like it, but I think it could do with a larger, more distinctive KDE logo at the top.


By ac at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

Despite the naysayers, I find the new look very nice and it is certainly a very good thing to have a unified look between the desktop and the web sites. Thanks Cristoph and the others for your hard work.

I was wondering if it could be possible to be able to click on the upper left KDE logo to go back to the home page of the web site. It is kind of standard in most websites.


By Charles de Miramon at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

The search box and 3 dropdown box widgets in the top right are not full height, they look less than half normal height. In the right column the links run over the left side of the box that's supposed to be under them.

At the top there's a short yellow bar with text on the right and left...the text is white, you can't read it. Also the text is slightly taller than that yellow bar. The KDE logo sticks below the the bluish box a bit.

At the very bottom (this may have been intentional, but doesn't look right) there's a light blue bar that goes all the way across the page, with a darker one sitting on top of it in the middle column.

If you want a screenshot, let me know.


By David Walser at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

Kongratulations, you have found the perfect reason to update to KDE 3.1 now or 3.1.1 in 2 weeks.


By Anonymous at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

Duh. I will when that's feasible :P


By David Walser at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

And whoa, what the hell. The thing flips through like 6 different themes while it's loading.

The first has no colors, is readable.
The second is a blue on gray, it's decent.
The third is a blue on blue, looks nice.
The fourth is like blue and purple, some alignment problems, otherwise ok.
Fifth is a yellow and blue, looks good.
6th is what it stays, light yellow/light purple/blue


By David Walser at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

I don't mind the layout, but I do dislike the white background. For people like me with light sensitive eyes, it gets rather grating after reading a lot of text via computer. When web pages don't force their white bg down my throat, I can view it with a nicer background like a dull grey.


By Anonymous at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

Now the browsers can use specific stylesheet for this.

In konqui you have a "stylesheet" section in the prefernces where you can specifie your own stylesheet or use the GUI to create one.

Use these tools. There are here for that


By Shift at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

That isn't a complete solution. It's limited to the browser supporting it. I also don't know of a way to achieve the same effect of just making the default background a certain color if its white, not all backgrounds.

Even in the case where white could be replaced with something I picked, the color scheme might be at odds and not blend well as the site maintainer made it to look good with only white.

Removing it in the first place is much more polite. Another issue is that the images could be more background friendly if they were made to have transparent backgrounds, instead of being on white. Otherwise they look screwy and out of place when the bg-color is changed.


By Anonymous at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

More than providing additional style sheets we can't do for you, sorry. The logos will get some rework and get some transparent background then I guess, but changing the background to something more "grey" will perhaps help you but not the people who needs good contrast because of some other kind of eye-problems. I can understand that you have problems with the bright bg, but you must understand that there will ever be some kind of people having problems with some colors or with bright/dark/contrast/color-combinations. Therefor we have the stylesheets and I hope that doesn't make you too much problems. But thx for the feedback, never thought about such problems, thought more of problems like missing contrast.


By Christoph Cullmann at Mon, 2003/03/03 - 6:00am

The default stylesheet is mostly there. The middle column only seems to specify a white bg, and the top. The sides don't, so my default bg from KDE is filled in (#E5E5E5 I think).

Even for people who don't have light sensitive eyes, it can be a problem if they've got a really old crappy monitor that has a lot of glare.

(And yeah, I understand there isn't necessarily a best combo color-scheme for everyone at all times. Just pointing something out here.)


By Anonymous at Mon, 2003/03/03 - 6:00am

Personally I like the new design much better than the old one. All the problems with that old one - tiny text, horrible font, nasty colours has been fixed in this new version.

Now everything is well laid out and clearly readable which makes it look a whole lot more professional and easier to read. Nice one.


By CmdrGravy at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

I really like the new design ! Good work and thanks you !


By quarus at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

I haven't seen this mentioned, so I'll do the job. The new design has support for a set of alternate stylesheets, which effectively decides how kde.org looks in your browser. So if you have differing needs or tastes, just change the style. In mozilla, this is easy. Go to www.kde.org, View -> Use Style in the Mozilla menu, and have a look at the different styles!


By Haakon Nilsen at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

Why Mozilla? Konqueror has it too ;-)


By Roberto Alsina at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

The "yellow" stylesheet rules the school!! :)


By LMCBoy at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

I always thought the old design was rather, well, ugly. I liked the colors and style of the pre-October 2000 design (no offense to anyone intended, I just suspect web design was not the speciality of the ones who made that version of KDE.org), and this new rendition is again a nice looking site. It looks clean and modern, and finally makes KDE.org comparable to GNOME.org again.

Any chance the Dot will get a matching style?

-Tim


By Timothy R. Butler at Mon, 2003/03/03 - 6:00am

I would need to see samples to decide but I don't think we're going to adopt all this latest technology stuff as it's obviously problematic for many people and backwards compatibility is important.

But yeah, definitely send mock-ups, etc... :)


By Navindra Umanee at Mon, 2003/03/03 - 6:00am

I think the original site looked better and was more functional.
I liked the boxes on the left edge, with links to the relevant info in small boxes.

See here: http://www.kde.org/screenshots/images/large/kde2b3_1.png

The last design (cira 2000) and this latest revision use large fonts with each link bulleted - not the best way IMHO.


By Ez at Mon, 2003/03/03 - 6:00am

Hi,

I like the look and feel of kde.org, and would be interested in adapting it for an internal project I am working on. I have downloaded the CVS copy, however, can't see any admin type bits that update the site without modifying pages by hand.

Is the backend available? if so, where do I get a copy?

Thanks
Glen Ogilvie


By Glen Ogilvie at Mon, 2003/03/03 - 6:00am

We modify the pages per hand ;) As we use the header/footer templates that is even less work than using any content-managment system. Yes, you need to know html but in the end: this page is written and modified mostly by developers, translators and artists which should be able to add some basic html tags into their stuff ;) And as we keep the whole page in cvs we have good control about who and when has changed something and we uses acls to ensure not everybody can change for example the frontpage out of fun ;)


By Christoph Cullmann at Mon, 2003/03/03 - 6:00am

The design of KDE's website is definitely a major improvement in every area. It is very usable, cheerful, easy on the eyes, consistent, full of features and takes up little bandwidth. The site reflects the image of what we want people to see in KDE perfectly.

Who wouldn't want a usable, good looking, feature rich, cheerful consistent and not very demanding desktop. I know I would! For those criticizing the fonts, you are greatly mistaking, on my Xandros box with Freetype 2 enabled in Mozilla, those fonts look gorgeous and I do not need to squint or manually change the font size to see it well.

KDE.org vs GNOME.org

In my opinion KDE.org outshines GNOME.org by quite a long shot. First of all it is much easier to read the text without manually changing the size and in the naviagtion panel I can not even change the size. This brings me to the next complaint, GNOME's site is far more resource hungry than KDE's and in effect loads slower and is harder on their server. I also find it does not have good usability or consistency in it. Professional websites need to have their navigation panel on all web pages for easy access to the user and the style should not dramatically change. KDE achieves this well, GNOME is another story entirely. Their website is also gloomy and the contrast between a gray background and black text is nowhere near as good as black text ona white background like on KDE's page. These are only a few apparent problems, but there are many more.

Problems with KDE.org:

- Doesn’t display too well in Explorer, navigation panles stretch up mroe than they should.

- Only a part of KDE related websites have adopted the new design and color-scheme.

- At the top right there is a "Choose your location." drop down menu. The idea it conveys is fundamentally wrong, someone's language is not determined by my location in many cases. For example there are many people in the US who prefer to communicate with another language online. Therefore the dropdown menu should be changed like this. "Choose your language" and the countries should be replaced with the language it is meant for.

As a web-designer I have to say you guys have done an outstanding job with your website as long as you convert all your websites to that design and fix a few more minor issues here and there.

A GREAT desktop environment DESERVES a GREAT website!


By Alex Radu at Mon, 2003/03/03 - 6:00am

Forgot to add an issue to problems:

- KDE logo should bring user to mains ite


By Alex Radu at Mon, 2003/03/03 - 6:00am

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