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

Check out:

validate www.kde.org

the sight doesn't validate ( but it's admirably close, clearly they
were trying ). Perhaps these issues could be fixed.

Ed


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

That's okay... Your post doesn't validate with a dictionary, either. :)

'the sight' -> 'the site'.

"but it's admirably close, clearly they were trying"

You too :)

::grins and legs it::


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

This Page Is Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional!


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

Yep, thx to Jason, he submited the patch first ;)


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

So, put the WC3 passed logo on it!


By James Richard Tyrer at Thu, 2003/03/06 - 6:00am

It's broken again.


By Phil at Fri, 2003/03/21 - 6:00am

Hmmm looks ok, the spacing between lines of text is a little big though, and I reckon the text should be left-justified, it's easier to read.

Oh well just personal opinion. Looks ok but maybe not 100% professional... actually I prefer the GNOME website, simpler and cleaner. Just IMHO. Seeya.


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

Gnome.org? You can't really mean that random mix
of colors and font-sizes? As someone who is working
as a website-designer I sometimes wonder why
Linux users often do not even _see_ how horrible
some designs are. But, perhaps that's why lots
of people wear clothes that look like s#+# even
if they could easily afford better-looking ones:
They actually think they are looking great...
The IRC application KVirc, i.e., is an extremly good
program. But the user-interface: Yuk! But probably
they are even thinking they did a really cool job.
Mmm, fortunately with KDE there is some hope.
That's why I like the KDE project.
KDE.org now looks very clean and stylish. KDE 3.1 itself
with Crystal or Noia icon set is light years ahead
compared to Gnome not only in graphics-design but
also in interface-design. Finally there is some
professionalism in the design of open source software,
BTW, Gnome.org uses Times as a font. When will this
ever stop? Look at Microsoft.com, Sun.com, Corel.com, Adobe.com, etc.
Nobody uses Times. Why not? Well, a font with serifs is not
suitable for the internet. That's why M$'s web-fonts are only
with out serifs (the little bars at the end of each letter).
A font like Times doesn't fit into a well-designed modern look.
That shows that Gnome.org is not really made by a professional designer.


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

Yes I meant gnome.org. It has a plain white background, the text is normal, it just looks plain. And (again I say IMHO) plain is good for me. Personally I prefer fonts like Times - you say it's not suitable for the internet, but I like it, and as far as I know, I'm using the internet and looking at webpages right now. Therefore it must be suitable for some people :-/

I won't comment on clothes, it's not really relevant. But for user interface design I will say this: icon themes, window manager themes, widget themes etc. don't really amount to much. They are only important when the applications themselves have decent interfaces (layout, placement, interaction). But unfortunately there are far too many apps for KDE and GNOME and whatever else that have awful, cheap, hacked-together interfaces. No amount of themes and icons can change or mask this. Of course this isn't exclusive to KDE.

Anyway, I looked at the KDE website again - it looks worse than it did the first time! Looks cheap to me. Large sans-serif fonts look cheap to me. Search button on the right is too wide. Bla bla bla... just in my eyes. Seeya.


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

I agree with this poster. The new KDE site is using way too large of fonts. It really looks messy. The big blue headers everywhere also are a bit much, perhaps if they were just that blue color as a border, than the gray color within it would look better.

Anyways, it's not terrible, it's very nice. I especially like the new logo up in the header area, very tasteful.

As for the guy who seems to know what everyone should be wearing and what fonts need to be used for web sites, give it a break buddy, it's called taste. You can say everyone who's taste differs from your own is tasteless, but that'd make you an idiot. Although I agree that sans serif looks better, if it was meant to be the font used on the internet, then why when not specifying a font does it default to serif?


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

"The new KDE site is using way too large of fonts."

It uses the font-size configured in your browser. If you don't like it, configure your browser the way you want.

"Although I agree that sans serif looks better, if it was meant to be the font used on the internet, then why when not specifying a font does it default to serif?"

Probably because that's a decision made for mosaic, and every mainstream browser since then has put far too much effort into retaining the default look of existing browsers.

There are legitimate reasons for choosing serif over sans-serif and vice-versa, that don't have anything to do with style. Where they can be rendered appropriately, serif fonts are quicker to read. However, at low resolutions or small sizes, serifs cannot be rendered well, and sans-serif is quicker to read.

(Can't seem to choose HTML as an encoding option at the moment, sorry for the formatting).


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

GNOME has been working on their new website for years. They pulled in top guns from Ximian and even their release manager but niet.


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

The font size is very big. it should be the same size as it used to be. The big font looks ugly.


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

ack

Although I appreciate the work on the new site, I think it could really look a bit more professional, or simply not so "coulorful" and wild ...

As already said, the space between the lines would be a good point to fix. And what about the colors - the make the site look like a toy-store.

I'd suggest two long-term-solutions :

o) Hire a professional designer (or become one =)
o) Make a public contest, who can delivert the best site. And let the people choose.

Sorry, but this is my opinion ... :(


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

But big fonts are much more readable. Personally way to many sites make the mistake of looking good at the expense of usability.


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

The question is simple: Why should we use the font size "small" instead of "normal" for the content text ? That size is relative to your settings, why enforce users which have set their "normal" textsize to something usable to use "small" and therefor perhaps "too small" text only because somebody can't configure his browser right ?
I think it is the way to go to use the "normal" font for any content and perhaps "small" for the menus (as we do, as menus should not take that much room in my eyes, they allready take enough). If the "normal" text is too big, you should ask yourself if you need to change your settings. I don't like it to have pages that break my settings and just enforce me to set my small font up to 10 or 12pt just to read some content only because their webmasters think it would be nice to enforce some small font for their whole page.


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

I bet you're using IE, aren't you?

In Konqueror and Mozilla, you can explicitly set the preferred font size, but in IE you're restricted to View->Text Size. I couldn't find a way of changing "normal" in IE to be a smaller font size, and if I use "smaller" some sites are too small. IE has no minimum font size either.

I fixed it for me by not using IE. You can't do that for other people though, so on my sites I did this in the style sheet for IE users only:

body, td, th { font-size: 80%; }

All of the other font sizes must then be relative and not explicit (eg: "larger", "smaller" or "xx%" instead of "normal", "large" etc). Other elements will inherit the parent element's font size, and adjustments will be relative to the inherited size.

I think the KDE site would benefit from doing the same.

-- Steve


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

You want to watch out when using hacks like that. The default font-size for IE 4 - 6 (in quirks mode) is small, which makes the 80% very small indeed.

If you only test in IE 6 (in standards-compliant mode), you won't catch this, as it uses the proper default, medium.

Why not just let your users view the site using the setting they want?


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

Very good.
Now the site is far from a XHTML/CSS compliant website - few errors keep -

So I have an item in my wishlist : I want Konqueror to kept the previous stylesheet I choose in the "Stylesheet" menu after I close and reopen it. I don't want anymore that websites use cookies to do so.

Rmq :
Mozilla is worst than Konqui on that point. It doesn't kept the stylesheet after clicking a link on the page :)


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

Page validates now again ;) At least the front-page ;). Some other pages may still be invalid, but with the huge masses of pages we have will take some time to clean up them all, but we will trying it hard ;))


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

Hi,

I use Netscape 4.7.8 un SuSE linux.
The site looks greate with JavScrpt but has a grey background
without JavaScript.

Q: it is possible to get it working without JavaScript ?

( the old site worked without JavaScript too)

mfg

aotto


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

Netscape 4.x only takes care of style sheets if Java Script is enabled, does'nt it?


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

Arrgh, Netscape 4.7 without JavaScript??? In 2003???
When there are completely free alternatives?
Very cool! BTW, my KDE 1.0 keeps crashing when I try to start K3b.
Can't there be a separate version for KDE 1.0?
Sorry man, *get a life*!


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

Please !!!
Don't use Netscape4.x

This browser is horrible and it doesn't respect the standards. It is a waste of time for webmasters to try to create web pages compatible with it :(


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

It's not a waste of time at all. If you @import all your styles, netscape 4.x shouldn't pay any attention to them, which makes it equivelent to a browser without any css support whatsoever. If your sites don't work in non-css browsers, then you are doing something very wrong.


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

It works without CSS, but if you think you can get a nice colorfull experience without CSS than you are wrong, as that would cause the use of color and font tags which will break any alternate stylesheet ;) It is usable, it is readable, it even works in text browsers (even with layout if they support tables and even with content before navigation if not).


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

I was replying to the person who said it was a waste of time to consider netscape 4.x when building a site. I never implied that kde.org was broken in any way without css.

Using things like the element should not break user stylesheets. If they do, then the user-agent is broken. Styling added with presentational html elements and attribute have a low specificity, so anything done in css should automatically override it.

I do, however, think that it's a mistake to build a site with a fairly simple layout using table hacks today. Perhaps it was acceptable a couple of years ago, but browser support has come along very well recently, and imho it really isn't that important to have older browsers have 100% of the experience of recent browsers at the expense of well-coded alternative user-agents.

I also think it's a mistake to develop the site in accordance with IE 6 quirks mode. The xml declaration is redundant, and the only thing it really achieves is to make sure that IE 6 doesn't follow the relevent web standards.


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

I now the @import tips but it is always a hack.

I consider that Netscape4.x is dead and that you can upgrade with other browsers following w3c standards very easily.
If we continue making site compatible with Netscape4.x and IE3.x then XHTML and CSS will stay a dream but I don't want that.
For me using @import is bad because I can't use alternate stylesheet with this :(


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

@import isn't a particularly bad hack, it's valid css. If your server is configured correctly, it's usually a matter of a few bytes the first time you access a site that uses it.

As for making sites compatible with older user-agents, you get this for free by writing valid, meaningful html, and hiding the css. As I said before, if you are relying on css, you are doing something wrong, it's optional for user-agents, there are plenty that will never support css. If you aren't relying on css support, there won't be a problem with older browsers. Okay, so I'm ignoring javascript, but the same argument applies to that as well.

I don't see what precludes alternate stylesheets with @import, unless there is a browser bug I don't know about that affects this combination. Most of my stylesheets get automatically shielded with @import by using a combination of mod_rewrite and a simple php script.

The biggest obstacle to xhtml support on the web is internet explorer, it still doesn't support it. ie6 will be in use for years to come, essentially blocking proper use of xhtml for that timeframe (xhtml as text/html is a hack that only works because no browser implements html properly).


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

Sorry for your problems with Netscape 4.x, but to fix the color problem for netscape 4 would mean to go away from CSS, as CSS works only with javascript support on in netscape4 (as netscape uses javascript code to do the css stuff internal). We have tried to keep the page as compatible to netscape 4 as the xhtml/css code allows, without breaking the possiblity to use alternate stylesheets. It doesn't look that nice in netscape 4, i am sorry, but more is not possible without breaking the atm clean code which is a no go. Therefor: hope you have not that much problems with the page and netscape and if you can update your browser, real worth the work.


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

Hi,

sorry I have to post a broken link in the news section because
I can not find a "webmaster" URL (or something else) on the main site

URL: http://developer.kde.org/build/compile_kde2.html

Broken link: ftp://download.kde.org/stable/2.2.2/

mfg

aotto


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

Look to your left, under communicate there is a contacts link.
If you go that way you will see webmaster@kde.org

KDE TG


By KDE Turist Guide at Sun, 2003/03/02 - 6:00am

Are all the old webpages archived somewhere (other than cvs)? It's always quite funny to look at old webpages, and I wodner how kde's first page looked.

Isn't there also some internet-archive where you can have a look at i.e. microsoft's first attempt of a website?


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

Yes, let the Wayback Machine take you back.

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.kde.org

It also has Microsoft from 1996 :)


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

http://web.archive.org/web/19971210214143/www.kde.org/comments.html
"Miguel de Icaza: miguel@tirania.nuclecu.unam.mx
Have I mentioned that some of the KDE code is very well done? I really hope we can use as much code as possible from KDE. The GNOME project definetly would like to be interoperable with KDE, so in every aspect where we can stay compatible, we will try to be compatible with them. Both KDE and GNOME are good for pushing Linux into the desktop. Right now KDE is the best tool we have to increase the Linux market share, and thus it is very important."


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


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


By Per Jarle at Sat, 2005/11/19 - 6:00am

Good work on the site guys! I think it look much nicer than the old one!


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

Is it just me or does the new design somehow remind me of Microsoft.com? Look at all the blue.

And the spacing between lines should be a bit smaller...


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

That's what I thought. The layout is very similar too. I think the older site was a little more appealing because of the more varied colors.


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

Yea it kind of does. Its more or less the color scheme though. As far as web-page layouts go and
especially if you're not using Flash, there are only a small finite number of acceptable layouts. The layout has similarities yes, but then you could probably find 1000 other pages that have different similarities than MS's.

But I like it on a whole. I'd give the old layout about a B- and the new layout about a B+/A-

If they ad a ton of goddy flash with sfx for everything, I'll give it an auto A+ heh.


By Super PET Troll at Mon, 2003/03/03 - 6:00am

Shades of Blue just work better, visually.
Let MS switch to some other shade.


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

I don't like the new look, here's why:

Details
- too big blue colored boxes (waste space, add no usability)
- sans serif fonts (dont like them, they look cheap)
- too much line spacing (space-wasting)
- graphics too light, no distinctive coloring

General
- cheap look --> not well-designed
- layout wastes screen space --> bad on small displays
- link boxes: too large --> irritating, need more time to find stuff


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

I don't completely like the new look either. It's a good start, but I think it can easily be made a bit better.

The 'clean' design is great, but I think it has been overdone a bit. I especially like the new K Desktop Environment logo on the current page; the light blue look is good, the font is very well chosen. On the other hand, the screenshot mentioned above looks a bit too 'cluttered', but has some very cool elements.

For example, I think it would look better if the 'gray' menu backgrounds where changed into the light blueish color as shown in the screenshot above.

Of course, where would the Open Source community be if everyone one just said 'I want it this way', and then sat on their ass and waited until someone fixed it...so, I deployed my 1337 Gimp-skills *cough*, and made up some quick&dirty screenshots to show what I mean....I combined some elements of both 'themes'.

Shot 1: nothing changed, only the menu now has a lightblue background. Looks a lot better IMHO. Maybe the blue should be even lighter then shown here.

http://www.havinga.nu/kde-lightblue-menu-bg.png

Shot 2: I think the font in the 'other' theme's menu looks a lot better (maybe that's just my browser messing up though). Also, the blue bars are a bit smaller, maybe some of the 'eye candy' fits in as well...you get the idea. This is a real quick mockup, you can see that the bars are not equally big etc., but it's just to give a quick impression of what it could look like.

http://www.havinga.nu/kde-mixed-styles.png

Any comments on this?


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

Oops, the 'other theme' I'm referring to is actually below this message, not above. But you get the idea :)


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

I really like second one.


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

The second screenshot looks fantastic.


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

Very nice. I hope your changes are incorporated.


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

The second picture is light years ahead of the current design .. that is how agonising it is to design websites .. just a few small changes can make a world of difference.

Please incorporate these changes.


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

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