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May 01, 2010
// A great help for the best D, I think //
I have been coding in C for 24 years, with added C++ features for 18. 
Also have some background in mechanical design, technical writing and 
Math teaching (yes, in teaching) too. Unfortunately I'm no outstanding 
expert, but one or two things I know.

I learned about D only two weeks ago. D is a great idea, very necessary, 
you all have done a tremendous work already, but... documentation needs 
important improvements yet, I think. I know one can't recruit 
Kernighans, Harbisons and Steeles to document all important computer 
projects, but I think there is an alternative that would greatly help 
D's documentation *and development*, and spreading.

It has occurred to me that a rather simple setup would help a lot in 
those respects: If someone just sets up a new bulletin board and turns 
every item in www.digitalmars.com/d/2.0, or at least those in the 
language and library references, into topics, a huge beneficial activity 
would be unleashed:

- Everyone in need of clarifications in any specific point could get 
them. Even people could contribute alternative ways of presentation of 
one or other feature.

- Everyone with comments or proposals of features could make them in 
exactly the best place for everybody to know them, and to receive attention.

- Surely the initial presentations of the specifications would change, 
extend and improve.

- Each feature could get an specific discussion on why it exists and how 
to use it.

- Finally an excellent treasure of information could be compiled from 
the board and published in a more formal format.

Sure, potentially people could instead insert those same comments in 
this newsgroup, but then everything would be dispersed.

Not bad for only two weeks in the community, uh?

Hoping you like the idea,

Rick Trelles
May 01, 2010
Re: // A great help for the best D, I think //
Rick Trelles wrote:
> It has occurred to me that a rather simple setup would help a lot in 
> those respects: If someone just sets up a new bulletin board and turns 
> every item in www.digitalmars.com/d/2.0, or at least those in the 
> language and library references, into topics, a huge beneficial activity 
> would be unleashed:

It is a good idea, and at the top of every page there's a [Wiki] button which 
leads to a unique wiki page for each page.
May 01, 2010
Re: // A great help for the best D, I think //
Great idea!

I would also add, it could be beneficial if we kept a list of frequently asked questions at the end of each topic (the FAQ relevant to that topic only), which would link to answers found in the comments.
May 01, 2010
Re: // A great help for the best D, I think //
Rick Trelles wrote:

> It has occurred to me that a rather simple setup would help a lot in 
> those respects: If someone just sets up a new bulletin board and turns 
> every item in www.digitalmars.com/d/2.0, or at least those in the 
> language and library references, into topics, a huge beneficial activity 
> would be unleashed:

The problem is that many people only one to follow topics in one place,
and currently the NG is that place. www.stackoverflow.com is a good
place to ask questions about language features though. And as Walter
points out, each page has a wiki.

I think SO is a good place to ask such questions; it has tags, well
known, and many D users follow it. But the NG is still the place to find
most answers.

Not saying the idea is bad, but the active community really isn't large
enough for it likely to happen.
May 01, 2010
Re: // A great help for the best D, I think //
Walter Bright wrote:
> Rick Trelles wrote:
>> It has occurred to me that a rather simple setup would help a lot in 
>> those respects: If someone just sets up a new bulletin board and turns 
>> every item in www.digitalmars.com/d/2.0, or at least those in the 
>> language and library references, into topics, a huge beneficial 
>> activity would be unleashed:
> 
> It is a good idea, and at the top of every page there's a [Wiki] button 
> which leads to a unique wiki page for each page.

I think I found out why that button is not seen: it is above the title 
of the page. For index.html you have:

D Programming Language 2.0
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Then a long text below that, the links on the left are at the same level 
as the title and the text. But the other links (wiki, search, etc.) are 
above all of that, so I don't see them. And as far as I remember, other 
people couldn't see them either.
May 01, 2010
Re: // A great help for the best D, I think //
Ary Borenszweig wrote:
> Then a long text below that, the links on the left are at the same level 
> as the title and the text. But the other links (wiki, search, etc.) are 
> above all of that, so I don't see them. And as far as I remember, other 
> people couldn't see them either.

I wonder if it's ad blindness.
May 01, 2010
Re: // A great help for the best D, I think //
> Ary Borenszweig wrote:
>> Then a long text below that, the links on the left are at the same  
>> level as the title and the text. But the other links (wiki, search,  
>> etc.) are above all of that, so I don't see them. And as far as I  
>> remember, other people couldn't see them either.
>
> I wonder if it's ad blindness.



oh wow, I never saw that buttons up there. I had no idea they exist. I  
never clicked on them or anything.
My whole navigation focus was always on the left menu. It makes it a  
little harder to get the attention to somewhere else, once one accepts  
that the navigation is left.

Maybe a more colorful hilighted head-line like on the tango site[1] would  
do the job?
Not the one at the bottom though, I took me ages to find the link to the  
tickets.

   --Marenz




[1] http://www.dsource.org/projects/tango
May 02, 2010
Re: // A great help for the best D, I think //
On 2010-05-01 19:37:44 -0400, Walter Bright <newshound1@digitalmars.com> said:

> Ary Borenszweig wrote:
>> Then a long text below that, the links on the left are at the same 
>> level as the title and the text. But the other links (wiki, search, 
>> etc.) are above all of that, so I don't see them. And as far as I 
>> remember, other people couldn't see them either.
> 
> I wonder if it's ad blindness.

I'd say it's more a lack of visual hierarchy or bad categorization 
problem. If you look at any page in the D section of Digital Mars, 
here's what you notice most, in that order:

- Digial Mars Logo
- A main menu (Home, Downloads, Search, Wiki, Forums, D)
- A divider bar
- A side bar where the first link is [D 1.0] or [D 2.0]
- The actual page content

The divider bar before the content makes it looks like the menu above 
applies to the Digital Mars site as a whole. The truth is that some 
items in the main menu apply to Digital Mars (Home, Search, Forums), 
some apply to D (Downloads, D), and one is about the current page 
(Wiki). It doesn't really make sense, and thus it's confusing.

You need to make the page hierarchy clearer:

- Digital Mars
 - D
   - Page Content

Then you can put links where they belong. A link that is related to the 
actual content of the page (like the Wiki link that points to comments 
*for the current page*) should be visually attached to the page's 
content). Other links need to belong to their corresponding section. 
Here's my suggestion:

Digital Mars:  [Home] [Search] [Forums] ... anything about digital mars
--- some kind of divider bar ---
D:  [Home] [Downloads] ... anything about D
--- some kind of divider bar ---
sidebar: not too bad as it is
content area:
	Title         Floating right: [On the wiki: \n Additions & Comments 
about this page]
	Content...

By placing the wiki link at the same level as the content, you're 
indicating that this link applies to this content. It's even clearer if 
you specify in the text the linked wiki page relates specifically to 
this page.

Obviously, this could be better. In particular, having two links named 
"Home" -- one for D, one for DM -- is confusing. It's probably better 
to merge both "Home" button with the logo for that section: [Digital 
Mars] becomes the link to DM's home, and [D] becomes the link to D's 
home.

If you want, I can draw a mock up of what I'm thinking about.

-- 
Michel Fortin
michel.fortin@michelf.com
http://michelf.com/
May 02, 2010
Re: // A great help for the best D, I think //
Walter Bright wrote:

> Ary Borenszweig wrote:
>> Then a long text below that, the links on the left are at the same level
>> as the title and the text. But the other links (wiki, search, etc.) are
>> above all of that, so I don't see them. And as far as I remember, other
>> people couldn't see them either.
> 
> I wonder if it's ad blindness.

Yeah, it's in the 'ad zone' and has a somewhat different style than the rest 
of the site. Positioning it more to the left should help, see for example 
this study for where people look at while navigating: 

http://www.websiteoptimization.com/speed/tweak/clickstream/
May 02, 2010
Re: // A great help for the best D, I think //
Lutger wrote:
> Yeah, it's in the 'ad zone' and has a somewhat different style than the rest 
> of the site.

So much for paying real money for those icons <g>.
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