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New Layout

The new layout does look a lot better, but before deleting the old layout, can we make sure we're not losing any useful links? For example, currently the "Special:Allpages" link is only in the old layout. -- dooglus 12:27, 26 December 2007 (EST)

We can add al that links in the left bar if you think its ok.
Yaco
I'm personally a fan of the organization of [processing.org]
Bmud

The 0.61.08 download image needs to say "Synfig Animation Studio" instead of "Synfig"

pabs 04:27, 6 April 2008 (EDT)


I saw there's a way to remove the toolbox for un-connected people, maybe we could do that, as the links in the toolbox are only usefull to connected persons.
And then, add the "Sidebar" back to the left side, with much more links in it (like, the ones from the bottom of the main page, that I even removed on the Main_Page.fr), that would be great.
And have a "Topbar" page or just some fixed link for the topbar, with only "Home / About / Download / Gallery / Screenshots / Tutorials / Forums " in a smaller font, and a lighter color (not-visited pages are #2A4D66 on #030336 and they're hardly visible at 1st sight).

Rore 02:49, 7 April 2008 (EDT)


Upper image overlaps search bar and user menu on 1024x768 screen resolution. Tested with opera. --AkhIL 22:45, 8 April 2008 (EDT)

There's a thick black nothing between the left hand boxes and the main central page content. -- dooglus 15:31, 11 April 2008 (EDT)

I'd like to see more links in the left hand boxes - at least "all pages" should be there, and things like "people", "bugs", "press", etc from the top would be better at the side. There are too many links across the top. We should just have the most useful ones there. -- dooglus 15:31, 11 April 2008 (EDT)

[1] shows some remaining problems:

  • the border of the top image is different widths on the two sides
  • the text links and search box on the right are hidden by the image
  • the image text isn't readable
  • the image text mis-spells "beatiful"

Website navigation reorganization plan

Ok, let's begin a breakout of all that mess what we have now.

It's a shame, what synfig.org have website navigation, which confuses not only newbies, but also a community regulars. So, what could we do about that?

The main problem is the side bar, which contain too much elements scattered around almost without any logic.

  • Rore : It seems you completely forgot the existence of the top bar. It has every element you talk about (Home, About, Download, Screenshot (can be changed by Gallery), Documentation, etc.) But as I say a few months ago, the links are too dark to be clearly visible.

It take a long time to look through all elements and to decide which one you really need. Who is read all elements at the side bar from top to bottom? No one? I guess so. So it should contain minimal count of menu elements and be as intuitive as possible.

Imagine what you are a person, who visits synfig.org for the first time. He may not ever know what Synfig is all about, so the first thing what you need is the About link.

  • NOTE: Why not to place Screenshots into About page? Or maybe just place a link to screenshots to about page? It's all related...
    • Some screenshots in the about page is definitely a good idea. The About link is the 2nd one on top, just after the home - but when links are not visited, their color is too dark to be clearly seen. Rore 17:14, 20 July 2008 (EDT)

Next, if he read about Synfig is and got interested, the next thing what potential user wants to know is what Synfig capable to do. Here comes the Gallery link.


  • ANOTHER NOTE: Gallery page should be restructured and redesigned. First of all it should be splited int two sections - "Pictures" and "Videos".
    • Pictures should be arranged into the table. Each picture should have caption, thumbnail, author credits, and link to the source (if possible).
    • Videos also should be arranged into a single table, but one video per row. It should contain thumbnail, caption, author, short description, link to the source (if possible). Also it would be nice to have not only link to youtube version, but to downloadable oggTheora file.
      • Pxegeek Whilst I support the use of OggTheora, I'm probably one of the few Windows users that can play them. Is MPG/MPG2 sufficiently industry standard to be allowed? I agree that avoiding WMP or QT is preferable.
      • Zelgadis : MPG/MP2 is proprietary formats. I am not against using them, but it's better to give preference to open formats. With appropriate instructions how to play them.
    • All thumbnails should be aligned by size.
    • Why we have so few items at the gallery? Why "Cut the circle" is not there? The first thing we should encourage people is to publish their works on the Gallery page!

OK, inspired by all beautiful art, user wants to try ut the Synfig package. That's right, he goes to Download section.

  • NOTE AGAIN: We don't need the 'Contents' at the top of Download page. It takes one third of the whole space! Why is each distribution arranged as heading? Make it a list of items! Why is License and Documentation here?
    • Pxegeek I think you answered your own question - we have contents list because each distro has its own heading. Personally, I'd like to see a separate download page for Linux, Windows & Mac, where we can talk about all the features that are specific to that OS/ binary compilation (e.g. no dv support under windows).
    • Rore : I agree with pixelgeek, about having different pages for the 3 main OS, it will make things clearer for people. However, you can still remove the big Table Of Content at the top by adding __NO TOC__ to the page (without the space - but it's interpreted if I don't add it).

After downloading and installing Synfig, user suddenly realizes what he is not able to learn it by himself and he needs... Documentation!

After playing with synfig a little more user is makes something what he needs to show up or stucking with a problem which solution he couldn't find in documentation. Then he needs to Contact with community. And the Forums (cause many people I know don't even aware about IRC).

After all if user is also a coder and willing to implement all new features that he is missing, or just wants to contribute to code, then he will search for Development section.

What's last? Of course Get involved!

About, Gallery, Download, Documentation, Development, Forums, Contact, Development, Get involved - is the top level of the navigation hierarchy. Those pages should guide to the less general pages. I.e. About could guide to Screenshots and Press, Documenation could suggest Manual,Tutorials and Reference. And so on. Of course this could be not strict hierarchy - i.e. Forums could also appear as a link at the Community page. Maybe it could be nice to have some News on the Home page.

Genete I think that the main problem is that the side bar (and the top bar) are static. Most of the cool web pages changes its sidebar according to the context they are navigating on the moment. For instance if you're at home page you don't need a "home" link. I would like some sort of expandable side navigation bar that would show the main needed links according on what you're looking for in that moment. if this kind of navigation can be done I suggest something more impacting like:

  • What is Synfig?: and its sub links: About, History, Screenshots, Features, Documentation.
  • What Synfig can do?: Gallery Films, Video, Still, Contests.
  • I want Synfig!: Download, Build. And a sub section per distro.
  • Need Help!: Documentation, Forum (include direct links for each section), Contact.
  • Want to Help?: Development, etc.
  • (separated section) Toolbox: with all those special links.

The sub menus hierarchy should be expanded a level more when needed. For example for the Documentation entry. And definitively remove the top bar. Ah! and make the left bar translatable!.

  • Zelgadis : I thought about the dynamic sidebar, but is MediaWiki could provide this feature without installing additional extensions? Better to ask pabs3...

That's what we placing at the left sidebar at the navigation section. Oh, dooglus asked for the "All pages" link. All that wiki stuff (All pages, Recent changes, Random Page, etc) I suggest to place at the left sidebar too, but in separate section.

About top of each page. I suggest to remove all that navigation links from top and place there a wiki edit butons - Article, Discussion, Edit, History. Cause with current design it's hard to scroll to the bottom of each page to get access to them. It'll be more friendly to place them on top.

  • Pxegeek - And they don't wrap well on narrow screens - reducing the button count there would be a Good Thing.
  • Genete Yeah duplicate navigation bars is not a good idea.

Here I exposed my plan of improving the wiki. It could be considered as a roadmap for website development. Suggestions, opinions, oppositions? C'mon, People, don't stay aside! We have a lot of content - now it's time to make it look attractive and respectable!

Where should I ask questions about the wiki?

Hi,

Most wikis have a page for asking questions, making suggestions, and generally discussing how to improve the wiki. A discussion page, or a cafe, or a water cooler, etc. What's the right place on this wiki for general questions and suggestions?

  • --D.j.a.y (talk) 06:21, 4 June 2013 (UTC) Actually most of synfig informations are shared by the forum, here the link for doc section [[2]]

(I was going to ask what the bones framework is. The website news makes it sound like an important feature, but there's nothing in the wiki about it.) Ciaran (talk) 02:15, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

  • --D.j.a.y (talk) 06:21, 4 June 2013 (UTC) Nothing but this one Dev:Bone_Layer that is not very user friendly... you can copy/organize bones infos from the forum in a nice Skeleton_Layer page if you want to start documenting it...

Suggestion: use lower case for page titles

Page titles on this wiki are sometimes written with a capital letter for each word, and sometimes written in lower case letters. The choice of one style or the other seems to be random, so I'd like to propose a policy: use lower case letters when possible.

Why? When a page title uses capital letters for each word, it is more difficult to link to it in normal wiki text. Here's an example of linking to a page whose title uses capitals:

The dialogue box on the right lets you change the [[New Layer Defaults|new layer defaults]].

or without capitals:

The dialogue box on the right lets you change the [[new layer defaults]].

That said, there are some page titles where capitals are ok such as pages with the name of a synfig concept such as Text Tool. Synfig's text tool is called "Text Tool", and if synfig wants that to be in capital letters then it can be in capital letters. But examples of pages which use generic words and should thus be lower case are:

Is it ok if I start to change the titles which use generic words and convert them to lower case?

MediaWiki will automatically make redirect pages for the old page names, so this change will cause absolutely no broken links or other problems.

(Another inconvenience is that a lot of pages use template:L for links ({{l|Cow|cow}} instead of the normal [[cow]]), so I'm currently replacing these links with normal links. My goal is to remove anormalities and needless complexity from the wiki in the hope of making it easier for people to contribute.) Ciaran (talk) 23:59, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

--Zelgadis (talk) 16:36, 31 December 2014 (UTC) Hello, Ciaran. IMy name is Konstantin Dmitriev, I am an administrator of Synfig Wiki. Please do not replace template:L and {{l|Cow|cow}} notation - they have a special purpose. As you probably noticed, this wiki have a support of localization to multiple languages. The special "L" template makes it possible to have language pages automatically display they titles in proper language. All those "anomalies" are documented at this page - Meta:Template_Style_And_Syntax. THe special templates, like "L", "Title" and others make the localization mechanic work on this wiki. In the future we plan to migrate to other mechanism (powered by "Transifex:Live") and then we will be able to switch back to "regular" notations and remove the special templates. But until then, please follow the guides.
I understand how template:title helps with localisation but I don't understand how template:L helps. And I don't see any explanation on Meta:Template_Style_And_Syntax. People trying to understand this strange link syntax will go to template:L, so there should be documentation there, or a link to documentation. Ciaran (talk) 17:23, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
P.S. About the capitalization. Please keep the titles capitalized, because (in my opinion) "new layer defaults" looks worse, comparing to "New Layer Defaults" when displayed in the titles list.
That would be fixed by your template:title. The page could be "new layer defaults" and at the top of the page could be {{title|New Layer Defaults}}. Ciaran (talk) 17:23, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

Dev: Doc: .... namespaces are they useful?

Note: another inconvenience on this wiki is that some pages are prefixed with "Dev:" or "Doc:", which also means that linking to those pages in a normal sentence requires extra syntax. IMO these prefixes are of no help and Dev:Coding Conventions and Doc:Following a Spline should be renamed to coding conventions and following a Spline.

Dev: Doc: are namespaces . Ie , when an (regular) user do a search, it is done on regular pages only, nothing about Dev will come out. I think me must keep namespaces --D.j.a.y (talk) 08:25, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
That's awful! I just confirmed it: I typed "Following a Spline" into the search box, hit [Search], and I didn't find the page "Doc:Following a Spline"! Can you see that this is unintuitive and unhelpful :-) Ciaran (talk) 09:02, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
Yep "Doc:" prefix could be remove in some cases.... but not "Dev:" ones ! --D.j.a.y (talk) 09:52, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
Are there cases where "Doc:" shouldn't be removed?
I see two reasons to get rid of "Dev:". One is that, if someone comes to the wiki and types "coding conventions" into the search box, there is no advantage in not showing them "Dev:Coding Conventions" in the results. The other is that, if someone comes to the wiki looking for developer documentation, there is no way for them to know that they have to go to advanced search and enable the Dev namespace if they want developer documentation.
I can see theoretical justifications for separating the pages, but the namespaces feature of MediaWiki is not a good way to do this. The solution is worse than the problem. (Maybe there is no good way to do this using MediaWiki.) Ciaran (talk) 10:21, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
The "Doc", "Dev" and other namespaces are intended to logicaly separate the pages. You are welcome to read this page about the structure - Meta:Wiki_Structure. The search problem you mentioned is an issue, that could be fixed by modifying the MediaWiki behaviour. I was planning to do that, but unfortunaely my time is limited, and I haven't ben able to dig into that yet. you are welcome to submit an issue about that to the special section of our bugtracker. --Zelgadis (talk) 16:36, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
Hacking MediaWiki will take a full day or two, plus another day later for bug fixing, and then you'd have to maintain the patch for all future upgrades. That's a lot of work if you're busy.
There are lots of ways to logically separate things. You could include a template in all dev articles causing them to be in one category and to display "this is a dev article" at the top.
I think MediaWiki's namespaces feature is the wrong tool for this job. Categories are probably enough (or close enough), and they don't cause any unusual behaviour. Ciaran (talk) 18:32, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

Can template:title and template:category be deprecated?

As mentioned above, I'm try to make this wiki easier to contribute to by removing anormalities and needless complexity.

I've noticed that a lot of pages have a {{title|}} at the top. For example, the page FAQ has three lines at the top:

<!-- Page info -->
{{Title|FAQ}}
<!-- Page info end -->

Does this do anything useful? If not, can I delete them when I see them?

Similarly, some pages have {{category|}}. For example, Canvas Menu Caret {{Category|Canvas Window}} at the top. This seems to be just an unusual way to add [[Category:Canvas Window]] to the page. Does it provide any other functionality? If not, I'd like to replace {{Category|Canvas Window}} with [[Category:Canvas Window]] and put them at the end of the article like in normal MediaWiki wikis.

I'm trying to get rid of unusual syntax so that people familiar with other MediaWiki wikis can contribute to wiki.synfig.org without having to try to understand the unusual syntax. Ciaran (talk) 06:00, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

Please read this page about Title template - Meta:Template_Style_And_Syntax#Title_template. "Category" template provides support for localization mechanism as well. --Zelgadis (talk) 16:41, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
I understand now the purpose of template:title but I don't understand the purpose of template:category (or template:L). Ciaran (talk) 17:37, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

Are tracking a b-line and following a curve functionally the same thing?

There are three tutorials:

I understand that they're not exactly the same thing, but they do have the same goal, and the third tutorial is the most modern way to achieve that goal. Can someone confirm this? Ciaran (talk) 08:10, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

  • "Following a BLine/Old Way" could be safely be archived i think....
  • "Following Spline" actually state of the doc (ugly formating!)
  • "Tracking Curves", i think we can keep it has it explain deeper the use of link/export, maybe this page should focus more on that point. --D.j.a.y (talk) 09:01, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. I've updated the intro of those three pages now. Ciaran (talk) 09:17, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

I've converted the links back to template:L

For the pages that I edited, I've gone back now and converted all the normal links to template:L links.

It's your wiki, so I'll go with your decision, but I think this is shooting yourself in the foot if you want to attract new wiki contributors.

I can understand using template:title. It's only used once per page, and it only has to be written by the first person who makes the page, so it's almost invisible to other people editing the wiki. Changing a page's title is not normal, so translators might need to be reminded to do this.

Template:L is different because some pages use it dozens of times, and it is mixed into the page's content, so anyone who edits the page might have to use template:L, so they see this meta-syntax instead of normal MediaWiki syntax. This might make new contributors less likely to contribute. And, unlike template:title, I can't see any good reason for template:L.

Other suggestion: if you are going to replace MediaWiki syntax with your own custom meta-syntax, then it should be documented somewhere that new contributors will see.

I was going to do that myself, by adding links from the template pages to the documentation, but I can't because those template pages are locked. Is there a real reason for them to be locked? Have spambots or vandals ever abused your templates? Ciaran (talk) 12:09, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

P.S. template:L doesn't work fully for file links. Arguments like "left" and accompanying text get ignored. For example:

{{l|File:Track-Curve-tutorial-Follow-bline.gif|frame|left|Extract of Follow-bline as animated gif / 3s - 210ko / ffmpeg -i + gimp resize/export}}

Output:

This can be fixed by either:

  • I can change the links from template:L links back to normal links (and the documentation should be updated to tell people not to use template:L for internal file links); or
  • You can fix template:L (This might be easy: where you currently have 1 and 2, maybe you just need to add 3, 4, 5 and 6)

. Ciaran (talk) 13:57, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

template:title doesn't change the title

If I understand correctly, template:title should change the title displayed at the top of the page, but User Documentation/fr has {{Title|Documentation Utilisateur}} at the top and yet the title displayed at the top of the page is "Glossaire".

I made some test pages and found the same problem:

page template:title title displayed
User:Ciaran/sandbox {{Title|sandbox}} User:Ciaran/sandbox
User:Ciaran/test2/fr {{title|essai}} User:Ciaran/test2/fr
User:Ciaran/test2 {{title|test2}} User:Ciaran/test2

I will be busy for the next while, so I probably won't leave any more comments. I hope my bug reports and suggestions were useful. Ciaran (talk) 11:12, 6 January 2015 (UTC)