04.19.09

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Should Boycottnovell.com Homepage be Changed?

Posted in Boycott Novell, Site News at 2:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell cafe

IN A recent discussion, the realisation was reached that newcomers to this Web site are presented with a sequence of information which may not be an embodiment of the Web site and its key message/s as a whole. So the question is this: “should we radically change the front page so as to make it more of an index, a la http://www.sourcewatch.org?” The sequence of posts will remain the same but moved to a smaller, confined area. The front page is viewed over a thousand times per day (excluding bots/crawlers), so it might be worth improving.

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43 Comments

  1. seller_liar said,

    April 19, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Gravatar

    Eff has a good style too .It separates posts from content.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks. I’m currently trying to see if I can make the blog a sub-section. WordPress makes it hard.

  2. aeshna23 said,

    April 19, 2009 at 3:35 pm

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    The site doe need some changes. The homepage should be an introduction to the issues to the people ignorant of what our issues are (99.95% of the human race, at least). The people who are truly interested will find the discussion where ever it is hidden, though we shouldn’t hide it.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, that’s what I had in mind. The barrier is technical at the moment, but we discuss this in IRC.

  3. amd-linux said,

    April 19, 2009 at 3:44 pm

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    Less is more – Groklaw is not very stylish but very good and easy to navigate, IMHO. BN is, ahm, a little bit “loaded”, for newcomers :-)

    I would especially see a separation of news picks and other content.

    I also like something like lawblog.de – a simple WordPress theme.

    Sourcewatch is for a busy reader like me a little bit intimidating – way too much text on the front page.

    Ceterum censeo a name change to better reflect MS (Micro-Soft, not Monsanto, but same league, I learned recentyl) as the source – but I know that is not easy.

    amd-linux Reply:

    “I would especially LIKE TO see a separation of news picks and other content. “

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks. I’m still testing some stuff.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 19, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Gravatar

    Any thoughts on this early attempt?

    twitter Reply:

    I like it for the same reasons I like Groklaw’s layout. Somehow, GL gets more use out of the layout. Smaller fonts and smaller margins get more information up front. News takes front and center, you seem to have more than one navigation and explanation that would be better merged into the tiny left navigation bar. Don’t sweat the small stuff, the pages both work.

    People are here because they like what they find and that’s your tremendous research. You could leave it alone and everyone would be happy. I’m going to miss the comment listings.

  5. seller_liar said,

    April 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm

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    Yes, mediawiki is a good thing.But there are another cms too….

    A thing missing missing is introduction about boycottnovell .
    About boycottnovell
    Why boycott Novell?
    What the boycottnovell mission?
    Why this work is so important?
    Why promote ethics?
    How to help ?
    FAQ

  6. seller_liar said,

    April 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm

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    Remove news stories and put a link instead.This gives more readability to introduction.

    Try toi reduce all size fonts of external stories . It takes a lot of space and put only stories of day

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks. It might take months before a switchover.

  7. David Gerard said,

    April 19, 2009 at 6:10 pm

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    MediaWiki is a good wiki, but a mediocre-to-bad CMS. WordPress is actually less painful for the task. Mind you, I came to WordPress from Slashcode, which is unspeakably horrible.

    I haven’t used CMS software like Django/Joomla/whatever.

    The design of the present site is so busy the information gets lost in noise. It’s a blog with a bunch of noise on the side.

    I don’t have a wonderful solution in my pocket, sorry :-)

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 19, 2009 at 6:16 pm

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    David, the Wiki would not replace anything, just present other types of information and add hierarchies.

  9. seller_liar said,

    April 19, 2009 at 6:56 pm

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    In the wiki ,try to focus in simplicity and ease of use for beginners .BN have a lot of info , but only few a people want to see everything at the same time.

  10. Chips B Malroy said,

    April 19, 2009 at 8:25 pm

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    Roy,
    Maybe of course for legal purpose on one hand. But i have to ask myself and you, what this site is all about. Is it about Novell? Is it about Microsoft? Is it about Linux? Is it about GNU/Linux? Or, is it about personal freedom, and what RMS has basically written about? Maybe its best to confine oneself to a more narrow field than what RMS writes about? Or perhaps I think you are about the larger picture, yes. Clearly you are a thinker.

    Best to get away from appearing to “troll” Novell. Be a Linux or better, a GNU advocate. Freedom and Free is the way to go. But as I always say, you cannot talk about he light, without talking about the dark (negative). In fact, the Dark Side maybe the stronger, but the light side needs to be talked about as well.

    Is Novell evil? It does not matter, is my answer. Does Novell do more good than evil? Questionable, is my reply. They do at least continue to beat SCO into the bankruptcy ground (as per groklaw) and many in the linux community? Yes, we need them to do this. Novell is evil? Most likely? But Novell has been screwed by M$ at least once before in the Windows world, Novell is a dying corporation, which only the money from a deal with Micro$oft, continues to keep it afloat. The best way to expose them, maybe, is not with a site that combates them directly, but with one that continues to report the truth as you have clearly done.

    Would I use Suse? Not in this lifetime. Neither would I use bloatware windows. which to me is one and the same thing. Mono and Moonlight will never be on any of my computers. They are about as bad as a windows virus from my standpoint on freedom. But can they change, I doubt it. And what you do to expose them is correct. I have tried and used Suse before Novell took it over, and it was good. Although the installer asked too many questions and yast was too many problems back in that day. Now I just skip over that distro as a download for many years.

    Roy, you can still post everything you do about Novell and Microsoft as a Linux advocate, which is what you really are. If not that, you are a follower of RMS, and freedom everwhere. Now there, I take leave at some point, while I agree about most points in the greater world that your and RMS make, I might differ on some small ones.

    Hope I have not come off too much on the “Dark Side.” Someone needs to fight the good battle on the side of freedom. Someone needs to be the “advocate” for freedom, not just RMS. So far you done a great job, thank you. Others will just not take off the gloves and tell the truth, they are afraid of the shills.

    The Mad Hatter Reply:

    The site is about the illegal shenanigans of MicroVell. It’s not trolling, it’s providing the information so that others can keep informed.

  11. Arun SAG said,

    April 19, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Gravatar

    Yes,front page needs change.

    The sequence of information (blog posts ) could be moved to http://boycottnovell.com/blog/

    And the main area of focus could be displayed on the front page

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The URL for the blog will be boycottnovell.com/?blog, but what we need to do first is organise the Wiki so that it tells a story. To have a reverse-chronological list of posts is not particularly useful to new visitors.

    It’s still not clear what information to include and how to organise it. The biggest section of the Wiki so far is Comes vs Microsoft. The Wiki is still messy, so it needs months of work before visitors are sent there.

  12. seller_liar said,

    April 19, 2009 at 9:11 pm

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    And create a link “IRC logs” for further acess to old logs.

  13. seller_liar said,

    April 19, 2009 at 9:12 pm

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    Better site design can even upgrade the credibility sometimes….

  14. notzed said,

    April 19, 2009 at 10:32 pm

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    Resizable layout would be nice. I override all fonts and set minimum font sizes so the page doesn’t even render properly to start with, and is only a tiny fraction of my screen size.

    I actually like the ‘blog’ format however, so some way to access it still would be nice, even if the front page had other stuff on it.

    The wiki attempt – the left-side panel is awful on wikis, so it would be nice to remove it (for the front page). And the two column format is a bit cluttered imo.

    I haven’t really seen any site that mixes daily updates with static information very well on a front page.

  15. The Mad Hatter said,

    April 20, 2009 at 12:52 am

    Gravatar

    I think a CMS like Drupal would be a good idea (note that Drupal may not be the best choice, but it’s after midnight, and the only one I can think of). I know several people have suggested Mediawiki, and that PJ has used it successfully, but it’s really not designed for what she’s using it for. It’s great blogging software, but it’s really not that good for CMS.

  16. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 20, 2009 at 1:32 am

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    I’ll probably put change on the ice for another few months. We need to figure out how to organise the Wiki.

    The basic idea is that the front page should provide information about “Boycott Novell”, including Mono and information about recommended distributions.

  17. Linux said,

    April 20, 2009 at 3:24 am

    Gravatar

    I would vote for Drupal !

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I don’t think we need another CMS. The idea in creating the Wiki was collaboration and writing of a story that glues together posts.

  18. Linux said,

    April 20, 2009 at 3:30 am

    Gravatar

    What I want to suggest is to check out other sites that have similar content and get good ideas from them. Make a list of them call for vote.

    1. http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/
    2. http://consumerist.com/

    What we need is properly organized content that is easy to navigate even for a newbie. We can have a seperate wiki but hosting the main site on wiki is will not be a good. idea.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’ve just taken a look. Both are blog-style homepages with most recent stories appearing first.

  19. seller_liar said,

    April 20, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Gravatar

    For easy change ,continue using mediawiki , but create specific section for news and content .

    Don t use mediawiki for news .Put all news on boycottnovell.com/blog instead.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, that’s the plan.

  20. Linux said,

    April 20, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Gravatar

    maybe make something like wikileaks

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    In what sense? The delivery and accumulation of stories is very different there.

    David Gerard Reply:

    A wiki engine as a repository engine? I’ve always wondered what Wikileaks were thinking when they chose MediaWiki. It’s mostly ill-suited to what they’re trying to do.

    (Though I know a remarkable number of geeks who use MediaWiki to quickly write a usable website for themselves. Another thing in the class of jobs a wiki *can* do that it isn’t really for.)

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The Wiki was discussed as an option in IRC some months ago*. It’s valuable for collaboration on documents and organisation by topic (with many-to-many relationships), but you already know that. :-)

    Maybe we can use some narrative to glue together the many posts** and tell a story. Wikis are suitable for booking editing, but we mostly use it for Comes exhibits at the moment. There are around 9,000 of them.

    ___
    * Most ideas that BN implemented had come from readers.
    ** My posts are mostly accumulations of confirmed reports. I love mashups.

    David Gerard Reply:

    The Wikisource method is good for this – document scans in a repository, linked from their category, linked from an index page and linked from the transcription.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I suppose we’re doing it all wrong then. Can you look very quickly at this schema and see if it can be improved before it grows a lot bigger? The idea is to also make one blog post for each exhibit, so we have: 1) original scan; 2) partial transcript (if any); 3) full transcript/text and blog post annotating it, linking to other evidence; 4) some relational information in the Wiki (not truly decided yet).

    It’s quite a project and I intend to complete it one day.

  21. Linux said,

    April 20, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Gravatar

    you should be using drupal with taxonomy + book module great way to classify thing.

    maybe ask some drupal guru to set it up for you..

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’ve already dived into the Wiki and stored information in it, so I might as well go along with this. We have Wiki guru David Gerard to hold our hand as we go along. ;-)

  22. kde4work said,

    April 20, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Gravatar

    I just recently discovered this site and I enjoy reading it very much the way it is. Never change a running system. Keep up the good work!

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    kde4work,

    The site will not change, except perhaps the front page. The page which is currently the front page will then become boycottnovell.com/?blog

    Roy Bixler Reply:

    Will this help the recent load problems? If so, that would certainly be an extra incentive.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Check out http://boycottnovell.com (changed minutes ago).

  23. David Gerard said,

    April 20, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Gravatar

    “I suppose we’re doing it all wrong then”

    Not at all! I was just giving one way others do it. “Whatever seems to work” is a good guideline for wiki setup.

    “We have Wiki guru David Gerard to hold our hand as we go along. ;-)”

    /me runs away screaming

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