[OpenLayers-Dev] website menu

Christopher Schmidt crschmidt at metacarta.com
Tue Nov 10 07:51:20 EST 2009

On Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 05:38:25PM +1000, Tim Schaub wrote:
> Hey-
> Following up on previous discussion about links on our website, I'd like 
> to hear opinions on how things should be organized.
> Our site is structured with two levels of menu.  On the homepage, things 
> look like this:
> 1. Top Level
> ------------
> a. Home (http://www.openlayers.org)
> b. Gallery (http://gallery.openlayers.org)
> c. Support & Development (http://trac.openlayers.org)
> 2. Second Level
> ---------------
> a. Sponsorship (http://openlayers.org/sponsorship/)
> b. Wiki (http://trac.openlayers.org/wiki)
> c. Blog (http://openlayers.org/blog/)
> d. FAQ (http://faq.openlayers.org/)
> e. Download (http://trac.openlayers.org/wiki/HowToDownload)
> f. Email Lists (http://openlayers.org/mailman/listinfo)
> The second level menu from the gallery is gallery specific, and the 
> second level menu on the Support & Dev item is trac specific.
> Given this structure, you might say we want to drive people primarily to 
> the homepage, gallery, and trac site.  Our secondary goal is to get 
> people to read about sponsorship, read our wiki (redundant with trac), 
> blog, FAQ, download information, and join a mailing list.
> Based on a very non-scientific analysis of our website usage, it looks 
> like people are primarily viewing our "documentation" (I quote this 
> because it takes several forms, and in the end, everything is 
> documentation).

Google analytics tends to agree, with the Documentation wiki
page being the most viewed page, and our How To Download wiki page
being the second most viewed page. (outside the homepage).

> My impression is that our examples are what a lot of people end up 
> relying on to learn OpenLayers.  I also think we all agree that the 
> growing prose documentation is a better starting place for most people.

If the prose documentation were more complete, this might be true. At 
this point, it's incomplete enough that I think for most programmers,
the examples are probably more useful. (People who are new to coding,
or new to Javascript, definitely gain more from the prose documentation.)

> I'd like to propose that we more prominently feature our documentation 
> and examples in the menu structure.  I can imagine a menu structure that 
> looked like the following:
> 1. Top Level
> ------------
> a. Documentation
> b. Demos
> c. Download
> d. Development
> 2. Second Level
> ---------------
> a. About
> b. Blog
> c. Sponsorship
> I admit, this is largely cribbed from http://jquery.com/.  I also think 
> "About" is a bit silly, but I don't want to think about an alternative 
> right now.  Basically, it's a placeholder for "other places we want to 
> direct people."
> The "Documentation" page could direct people to API docs, prose docs, 
> and the FAQ.  In addition, this page should link to mailing lists and 
> talk about IRC.
> The "Demos" page could include links to the examples page and the gallery.
> The "Download" page already exists.
> The "Development" page would be our main trac page.
> Ok, enough from me for now.  Thoughts?

As I mentioned in the other thread, this is addressing a different set
of links than was being discussed in the previous thread; I'm interested
in how (or if) you see the homepage changing to accomodate for these

Christopher Schmidt

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