JAN
27
2009

A New Day, A New Dot

Hello everyone! I would like to welcome you to the new and improved KDE Dot News. As I am sure many of you know, although the old KDE Dot News has served the KDE community very well, it was beginning to show its age. Because of that a number of people including myself took it upon ourselves to modernise the Dot.

The new Dot also has a number of exciting new features including:

  • A comment moderation system similar to Slashdot
  • The ability to translate stories (and interface elements) into multiple languages
  • It streamlines story submission and the editing process
  • A sexy new look

As part of this, it is now going to be required to get an account to comment. While we were somewhat hesitant to do this we feel that having an account will help encourage a greater dialogue among users on the Dot. Since signing up to get an account can be a pain, you can already login if you have an OpenID. If not I encourage you to sign up for an account now.

Importantly, the new Dot is being based on the open source content management system Drupal. This will make continued maintenance of the Dot easier and will also allow us to roll out cool features at a faster pace. Additionally, every story and comment that has ever been written on the Dot has been imported into Drupal.

I would like to thank Philip Tyrer and Nuno Pinheiro for the awesome new design for the Dot. I would also like Daniel Molkentin for helping export the stories from the old Dot and Dirk Mueller for taking the time to troubleshoot server issues. Many thanks go to OSUOUL who hosted our server very reliably for many years. Lastly, thanks to everyone in the KDE community for their support throughout the entire design and implementation process.

We hope everyone enjoys the Dot as much as we enjoyed remaking it.

- Kyle Cunningham

Comments

Nice new look


By JackieBrown at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 5:18am

Simply beautiful!Contrats to the web dev/designers!


By Autumnautist at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 8:06am

well done...!
The new look is great! I really liked the simplicity of the old dot layout though it was really starting to show its age.

You've done a fantastic job by not "overdoing" it. The new layout is good looking while not to fancy and still simplistic.


By thomas at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 6:17am

And the new features are a given too :-)


By augustofretes at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 8:00am

Congratulations to the team


By Frank Karlitschek at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 9:08am

Thanks to Kyle and to everyone who made this happen.


By Luca Beltrame at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 9:18am

Great Design... the redesign was really badly needed.

Very well done.
Daniel


By Daniel at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 10:21am

What happened here?
Time Warp from 2000 to 2009? ;)

Look really great, guys! :)


By Robin at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 10:44am

This is certainly a big ( and needed ) improvement.
Though,I have two minor remarks:

  • I don't like the styling of the primary links
  • the sidebar is quite wide, wich makes the article quite small. Certainly when images are used. Would you consider to not show them on the article page ( that's easy to do with drupal )?

But I repeat: these are minor remarks. Your work is outstanding!


By jolos at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 10:51am

Really nice design, a breath of fresh air.

Some comments however from Konqui on KDE 4 Trunk:

Both the subject field in comments and email address field in register + edit account are too long and go behind the kde apps box.

This post has no author or category.

And the button to search is mushed up between search text box and the page design.

Otherwise, an excellent perfect design. Thanks to all those who made this happen.


By bcooksley at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 10:59am

Good going. It looks great.


By Anoop at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 11:05am

Looks very nice indeed. I just hope the account requirement doesn't deter people from posting (especially cricisms, since there is the danger of mobbing).

Some minor rendering glitches I see on FF3/MacOS (plus a couple of things I think have still room for improvement)

  • the KDE.NEWS text at the top is quite blurry
  • the rounded corner at the right bottom of the search bar seems to be missing two or three pixels
  • the "more" links in the sidebar boxes could use some right padding
  • the list bullets in the account sidebar are different and indented differently than the ones in the other boxes
  • the KDE logo on the top right seems quite small. Also: Is it just me or is there some trapezoid distortion (top seems smaller than bottom)? Or is this some sort of 3d effect?
  • the "By: " line for this article is empty
  • the links are a bit too colorful for my taste: blue on :link, green on :hover and purple on :visited is a bit too much, maybe.
  • the helptext says that lines and paragraphs break automatically, but this is not the case, at least not in the preview: All I see is one blob of text

By sonic at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 11:09am

I have to add that, on a 4.2 RC1 Konqi, the Search button (which looks like it should just be a button with an arrow on it) also carries the caption "earc" (should most probably be "Search", but the space is not sufficient). Please fix.


By majewsky at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 1:10pm

Looking good and seems to work well too.

Thank you all who have used their time providing this :-)


By tkoski at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 11:11am

Technically it seems awesome, like the OpenID support (even though at least gmail doesn't seem to authenticate).

However, the layout is definitely not quite right for me. I'd prefer a layout that spans the full page, either multi-column newspaper-style (yep, looks ugly but is actually less tiresome to read) or just regular single column.


By radtoo at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 11:17am

Yeah, I totally agree with you. I tried to use my Google account to log in, but that did not work. The column with comments is too small now: I like to be able to *use* the space that my monitor offers. Furthermore, there is no way to get back from your account details to the dot itself and the planet KDE listing is way to short. It is also annoying that you are *forced* to preview your comment.


By andresomers at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 1:47pm

Agreed. OpenID support is cool. Good stuff.

And I don't like the fixed width layout either. Please let me use my screen in the way I prefer! I can resize the window myself, thanks.

Oh, and most recent at the bottom is what I expect too. Having most-recent-new-post above feels unintuitive, particularly since most-recent-post-in-a-thread is below.


By teatime at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 2:03pm

If the layout spans the full page, lines will be too long. Normally, for a proper legibility, lines with no more than 80-100 characters are a must. With the actual layout lines are about 90 characters, with is nice.

There was a problem, however, with the old dot design that was very unpleasant: when somebody posted a long link, the width of the page was too big, and the uncomfortable horizontal scroll appeared. I hope that this doesn't happen anymore, either because "overflow: auto" is used in comment's block, or because basic HTML is allowed (Drupal will do the filtering, although it's a security concern).


By suy at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 5:07pm

> If the layout spans the full page, lines will be too long.

If the layout spans the full page, it will be configurable by the user (as long as he has a window manager installed). Now there is only a narrow column in the middle of the screen, occupying ¼ - 1/3 of the width. The rest is white. And that sentence of yours is all that fits on a line. It is only 59 characters, not 80 - 100 as you claim.


By odalman at Wed, 2009/01/28 - 2:03am

We are in 2009 and many web pages are unable to adapt to the view area of my browser? This is ridiculous, it's insane.

Why are you calling this "an improvement": The actual text of the comment now barely takes 40% of the width of my browser's window. The other 60% is just some crap and blank space.


By Username at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 11:20am

what you were trying to say is:

Please sir, I want w i d e r.

Me? I like it as is.


By illogic-al at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 11:42am

No, I wanted to say: Please sir, I want it to be automatically wider when necessary.

For the record, I don't care what you personally like.


By Username at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 12:04pm

Anybody want to see what a response to a 9-th level comment looks like? Let's try it - at least it will be something constructive, even demonstrative!


By Username at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 12:35pm

This is the 4th level of the famous "The 10-th level response test". See you next level.


By Username at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 12:37pm

This is the 5th level of the famous "The 10-th level response test". See you next level.


By Username at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 12:37pm

This is the 6th level of the famous "The 10-th level response test". See you next level.


By Username at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 12:38pm

This is the 7th level of the famous "The 10-th level response test". See you next level.


By Username at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 12:38pm

This is the 8th level of the famous "The 10-th level response test". See you next level.


By Username at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 12:39pm

This is the 9th level of the famous "The 10-th level response test". See you next level.


By Username at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 12:39pm

This is the final level of the famous "The 10-th level response test".


By Username at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 12:40pm

Let's see...


By stoked at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 3:17pm

I think most people will still prefer the *original* version of the famous "The 10-th level response test", rather than your reprint.


By Username at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 3:41pm

Don't be stupid and try to write your criticism in a constructive way... your comment is crap!


By Autumnautist at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 12:01pm

Actually, the site adapts to the view area of your browser, the main text column just stays the same size, which is actually a good thing imo: text with lines longer then about 100 characters become a pain to read. Ideally you don't have to move your eyes much from the left to right. That's the reason newspapers have such small column. Or the default LaTeX template has such big margins on the left and the right. Actually most books and magazines have lines shorter then 100 characters.

This is also one of the main reasons why wide screen monitors on a computer are such a terrible idea. Unless you can rotate them 90 degrees of course.

Oh, and thanks to everybody involved in this new look, fresh and slick, just the way I like it. :)


By pinda at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 12:41pm

1. I agree with you about those 100 characters. Though I fail to see how it invalidates my idea in general.

2. Hmm, I do not think you realize what "age" you are living in: this is the age of notebooks. Now explain these to me: Would a notebook with a screen 10:16 (instead of 16:10) be sitting stable on your desk? Where do you put the keyboard on such a notebook? Or, just maybe, wide screen monitors on a computer might not be such a terrible idea at all.

3. Your sentence "site adapts to the view area of your browser, the main text column just stays the same size" seems self-contradictory to me.


By Username at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 1:00pm

If you have problems with the readability of the text, what about resizing your browser window? Its not that hard.

I'm quite annoyed that 75% of my screen is white and I see 5 words per line. And I can't do anything about it since the site decides for me which amount of pixels work for me :(


By zander at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 3:59pm

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Please, stop this nonsense. Make the text adapt to the full width.


By DeiF at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 1:05pm

Each reply gets aligned right a bit more related to it's parent, so, after a few replies, you end up with comments with a word per line ... that is just bogus. Please, make use of all screen estate.


By pedro.alves at Wed, 2009/01/28 - 4:47pm

I agree and promoted you up.

I just loaded the site and the first thing on my mind was: why's the text all compacted in the middle? Less RSS feeds too. And the worst new "feature" is self-moderated news comments.

IMO the older mostly text web site was superior for the readers.


By Ronald at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 1:49pm

Very nice, thanks!


By pulp at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 11:24am

A new dot for a new kde desktop, seems fitting :)

I agree with some of the comments here that the layout could still use some tweaking, but great work so far, the dot is definitely better this way!


By ianjo at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 11:34am

Looks great. Good work. Kudos on the openid login working (after the second try) ;-)


By illogic-al at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 11:37am

That's great. I was so afraid i could miss the release article (that will surely come on the dot ?) when you were down all morning long (in my TZ).

Now you're not only back but looking better than ever (although I would appreciate if the text was a bit wider. I guess it's because of all the small devices that are all the rage? )

Anyway - double celebration today: for the dot and for 4.2 !

Congratulations, Dudes and Dudesses.


By TunaTom at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 12:08pm

Congratulations on the new "release" of the Dot. These are much needed changes, IMHO, specially the moderation/rating system.

There's one peculiar thing I'd like to request though. Could you please reverse the order of comments from oldest at the top to most recent at the bottom? The way it is now is quite... unusual.


By Juan Carlos Torres at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 12:12pm

"Could you please reverse the order of comments from oldest at the top to most recent at the bottom? The way it is now is quite... unusual."

+1 from me :)

Also, is there a chance that the Flat Forty could make a return? The "x new comments" isn't quite the same as it is per-article and also you have to manually chase up the new comments as they are likely to be spread over the comments section.

Apart from that, this all looks much more modern and pleasing :)


By SSJ_GZ at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 12:35pm

I like the order of comments from the most recent to the oldest. The way it is now is quite... good.

Question: How to please users if they have opposing opinions?

Answer: Make the look of this site be, to some extent, configurable on a per-user basis.


By Username at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 1:07pm

The new look and functionality is great but I agree with some comments here:

* The text is too narrow. I have had enough of "Optimized for X resolution" webs. Please make the layout expand to the browser width.

* I like to see oldest comments first.

* Login to post? You have to be kidding me.

* "Lines and paragraphs break automatically". It's not working for me. I had to insert manually some "< br >" tags.


By DeiF at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 1:00pm

Login to post? You have to be kidding me."


No.




"Lines and paragraphs break automatically". It's not working for me. I had to insert manually some "" tags.


Yes, that seems to be broken indeed.



Text-width and comment-ordering could be settings. Kyle?


By Daniel Molkentin at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 1:38pm

Yes, text-width should be easily configurable with the window manager. Comment ordering should be a setting in the user account.


By odalman at Wed, 2009/01/28 - 2:11am

I wonder if the e-mail subscription functionality went away, or if I just can't find it, or if it's coming back anyways. Nevermind that, the new dot looks awesome, and should be pretty more or less future proof by running on Drupal.

(Also, have you considered writing up a case study for the drupal.org front page? *That* might bring even more interest in the dot in particular and KDE in general :)


By Jakob Petsovits at Tue, 2009/01/27 - 1:17pm

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