a long post about organisation and redesign
Well, personally, I think before we can decide on pages and subdomains we definitely have to decide management questions:
which sites do we need
which subsites do we want.
I currently don’t quite know where to put it and whether to put it here or not.
If we extend the topic from only redesign also to reorganization, I’m good to go.
Personaly, I wouldn't split themes and modules to different subdomains as proposed.
I'd put them together under a ‘customize’ area.
And I also wouldn’t seperate them on subdomains without the familiar menu from the main site.
First of all (as this does not seem to be too clear atm), do we use sourceforge?
Do we want to do (bug)tracking, wiki or vcs there?
We currently have all there, but if we're not going to use it, remove it!
Using its hosting would probably be a good idea. You do already and that's probably for those good reasons.
Using the trackers for bugs, feature requests, and patches are good and should probably be used for ease of integration.
All of the rest can, should and must be removed as not needed.
Will only spread redundancy, confusion and misinformation, like it does right now.
Do we use subdomains or suburls?www.xoops.org
xoops.org, xoops.org/customize/, xoops.org/faq etc
Do we use the/a wiki just for development process?
Then we should put it as the main access point for developers, for collaboration and information.
This would be dev.xoops.org!?
We will also have to add API there.
How and where do we organize modules and themes?
Currently it’s a module for this site, that’s ok I think but could (or should after main site) redesign.
The themes could be integrated in this site in a similar matter.
Why do we currently have 2? Does the 'new' one still miss some of the 'old' one?
Other than that (I just visited the themes section the first time just now) I like the organization, selecting admin/current XOOPS then how many colums.
For a modules.xoops.org we could do a simple redirect.
Dunno if a rewrite webserver side would be ok? Relative urls will probably be fucked up.
Same for themes.
I think a support section would be enough, we don't need a subsite or sth.
What do we need and want here?
Probably: FAQ, Forums (which we have anyway), Bug-Tracker, Feature-Request Tracker, maybe even a helpdesk thingy?
And some kind of documentation/usermanual. Do we put this in a wiki? Or just a subsite?
Should be an access point to all the information.
It should be appealing to newcomers and intuitive (to navigate) for the others.
I think a main point, which I probably should have put at the beginning:
We use and will use XOOPS as a CMS for the (main) site, right?
And will probably integrate everything like it is done right now!?
We would have to keep in mind the technology as well then.
Currently XOOPS does not even allow simple pages, so we would have to make modules for all the sections.
The support site for example, with user docs/docs for users would need numerous subsites, so we would either need a module that can do this or use a wiki system.
Only providing the documentation for download is no option, in my opinion.
Back to dev:
Will module development stay in the repository?
Are those only official ones?
When will we accept new modules then?
If they're in the same branch (they are right now, right?) we have a problem versioning correctly in svn.
If we declare the revision version xy of xoops, that doesn't have anything to do with modules.
And we can't version/tag/easily branch modules.
In that matter: Did you think/discuss about switching to a distributed vcs (like git) yet?
So, about the site design:
I'm no artist nor designer but a software developer. So hopefully ppl with put sth better then me here. :)
Let's see what the current site does wrong to see what we can do better:
The banner on the top right: useless. We have a logo on the top left.
Without that banner, the top will seem really empty.
As it is to wide, we can't put it in the left menu. We could redesign it/put the logo-image on top of the text.
Or we could do a top menu, as proposed. This would probably be good for sections anyway.
*support (a site links to/information about faq, forums and links to trackers and of course documentation),
*development (is a link to wiki)
*modules and themes or just "customize" or sth.
The things on the right are probably needed?!?
The "powered by" not though…
Is that tag cloud how ppl came to this site? Useless, at least in that place, then.
Better put the ads higher. Removing the above would already improve this.
(In my safari I can't see the search field, nor can I log in right now.)
There are 2 search fields. That's confusing.
The local support site drop-down should be put to the support section then (when added).
Did someone decide and think about the order the devs for hire, giftshop and donation are in?
The devs for hire is empty right now, so remove the banner.
If this is to be used maybe a subpage and thus module would be better fit there as well.
Personaly, I would put donations above the giftshop.
Now on to the left side:
The very top "addthis", is that used a lot?
I would put it at the bottom, or at least below the user menu.
The top block should be kept as navigation menu. But:
Make it a 2 level menu.
1. Section (see top menu above)
2. subpage (maybe not for all sections)
Maybe the search field from the right would better fit below the left main menu. No, not maybe. It does. (at least as long as the search field on the right is that low.)
With the mentioned changes would only still have the first 2 and last block on the left. This would definitely clear things up.
So, this is how we could improve current site organisation, without changing too much on the layout (also with XOOPS as CMS in mind).
As we're probably going to use XOOPS I would do the changes I named.
A theme can be done afterwards, though the layout and organisation will have improved massively already.
The cleared up elements will have to be just like that in new themes as well anyway, right?
holy cow, this became a long post.
But, please! read! :P
Oh, and I would be glad to help.
Until now I only hacked xoops, not even managed to do modules instead of include header and footer into my hacks.
But I plan on working myself into it as well.
Would also help organizing.
"Invalid submission. You could have exceeded session time. Please re-submit or make a backup of your post and login to resubmit if necessary."
And what the ????? is that (second time) -.-