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Author Topic: Website Feature -- Blog  (Read 6544 times)

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pols1337

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Website Feature -- Blog
« on: February 26, 2014, 09:31:25 pm »

This is a 'feature request' for the Coppermine-Gallery.net website: maybe you should remove the blog and Twitter handle from your homepage.  The stuff is so old and you all haven't touched the stuff in over four years.  It would give more space to features or recent news. 

-pols1337
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Αndré

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Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2014, 09:03:00 am »

There are plans to refresh our home page. We'll consider your suggestion. Thanks.
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Phill Luckhurst

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Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2014, 12:03:59 pm »

A couple of the team members (including myself) have come up with some ideas for a site refresh and I shall be showing what I have to the team in the next week or so. So hopefully soon whichever way we go all the team can add regular updates to keep the community informed.
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pols1337

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Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2014, 06:17:40 am »

Very nice.  You guys are still very active in development and on the forums, so it would be nice to see that activity reflected on the homepage.

Here are some things that I like about the existing homepage:
1.  Big green download icon -- can't miss it, and I know that's where I go to for the latest download. 
2.  Official news -- I like the fact that you include the most recent announcements on the homepage, since that's another way I can easily doublecheck my version.  A lot of other websites hide the news onto another blog / news page further inside the website, but yours is immediately shown.
3.  Simple & Fast -- It's a very minimalist, fast loading homepage.

Here are some things that I think can be improved:
1.  Techie Speak -- I know you guys are developers, but I think maybe you should play up the "Endless Features" and make it more prominent.  Your descriptions are very heavy on the geek talk.  "written in PHP using GD or ImageMagick as image library with a MySQL backend." "Web Server + PHP + MySQL + IM/GD = CPG!"  If you look at websites that (in my humble opinion) are comparable to yours like GalleryProject.org or SMF, their descriptions are simple and plain for every day / non-technical people.
2.  Pictures & Colors -- more color! more photos! 

Also, if you're planning on doing a site refresh then I hope you'll update the plugin page as well!  ;)
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Phill Luckhurst

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Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2014, 12:20:57 pm »

Yes, the plugin page is definitely something I want to get up to date. It is a lot of work but will be worth it I am sure.
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pols1337

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Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2014, 02:24:34 am »

Just a suggestion to throw out there, but has anyone investigated any SMF extensions for downloads? 

The support topic for the plugins can still be in the forums, but the download may be better served by a download / file manager.  You'll be better able to administer the file versions, change log, Coppermine compatibility, ratings, stats, etc.

You can also centralize the skin downloads in there as well. 

If you need a volunteer (screenshots, descriptions, testing), I'd be happy to help out in any way. 


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Phill Luckhurst

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Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2014, 01:45:06 pm »

We would at present like to keep the downloads on the repository as that makes version control very easy for us. Currently that is a bit out of whack so when we have that up to date I am sure we can have the plugin page link directly to the latest download.

Thanks for your offer on the other stuff. I am sure we will be in touch as plans come together.
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gmc

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Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2014, 03:05:58 pm »

I think the comment from pols1337 is referring to the downloads being in the first post of the thread... Since I don't think all plugins are in the repository??

I agree the repository is needed for version control - and I think a link to the latest download in the repository would be preferred to all the attached versions in the threads.
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pols1337

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Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2014, 02:50:37 am »

I was thinking of an SMF application purposely designed for downloads which will make version control automatic. 

Two prominent examples:
SMFPacks Downloads Directory -- http://www.smfpacks.com/page/sa=dldir_features
SMFHacks Downloads System Pro -- http://www.smfhacks.com/download-system-pro.php
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lurkalot

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Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2014, 06:28:49 pm »

I was thinking of an SMF application purposely designed for downloads which will make version control automatic. 

Two prominent examples:
SMFPacks Downloads Directory -- http://www.smfpacks.com/page/sa=dldir_features
SMFHacks Downloads System Pro -- http://www.smfhacks.com/download-system-pro.php

Or perhaps a portal with the download system already built in. ;)
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Phill Luckhurst

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Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2014, 08:15:06 pm »

A good idea but I am still convinced the repository is the best place for all our downloads.
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lurkalot

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Re: Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2014, 09:19:41 am »

A good idea but I am still convinced the repository is the best place for all our downloads.

I agree to be honest.  Stick to what works, and is easiest to manage.  ;)
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pols1337

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Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2014, 04:06:29 am »

May I ask why you are convinced that a forums / board structure are the best method to present downloads (versus a dedicated downloads directory)?  I would be interested to hear your specific reasons. 

As an objective outsider with no vested interest either way, I would like to point out that a dedicated downloads directory offers:
- automatic version control
- "last updated" and "last added" differentiation
- change log
- advanced sorting capabilities by popularity, relevance, ratings
- standardization to how plugins are presented
- compatibility with Coppermine versions
- moderation capabilities for developers to manage only their own plugins 
- categories

As of today, these features either do not exist or are not executed well on the existing forums board.  Forums are great for ongoing discussions, but file distribution is a fundamentally different process. 

(To be cheeky: sure, you can attach files to a forum post and coerce the forums to act as a 'file repository'; but just remember, you can also attach photos to a forum post and turn the forums into a photo gallery software.  There's a reason why you invented CPG, which is that you could do a better job at photo gallery software than existing technologies that were not designed specifically for the job.  I encourage you to keep the same open mind to adopting a downloads directory, and to at least test it out before outright rejection.)   
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gmc

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Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2014, 05:38:15 am »

May I ask why you are convinced that a forums / board structure are the best method to present downloads (versus a dedicated downloads directory)?  I would be interested to hear your specific reasons. 
Let me clarify... The repository referred to is NOT the code attached to a forum post...
Many plugins are available for download via our SVN repository - the same source control package used for the CPG base code.
We then have one place of source control and downloads for CPG and all plugins.

I think we (at least I) agree that attaching to forum posts is not the preferred solution...
The question is more one of do we find a way to leverage SVN for all plugins - or use a different 'downloads directory' type solution.

Phill is suggesting use of SVN versus a separate dedicated download directory - not comparing use of forum post attachments.

Does that make it clearer?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 12:15:22 pm by gmc »
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Phill Luckhurst

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Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2014, 10:57:22 am »

Oh, I understand fully. Currently we are behind and the whole lot needs bringing together which is quite a lot of work. We need change control and the ability for everyone to find their required download easily. It is also quite common that changes in plugins are linked to changes in the core code etc so again keeping all the downloads in the same place is in my opinion a good idea.

Then we have bandwidth, if we were to move the plugins to on server as you suggest should we also move themes? If we moved themes that would leave only the main code on the repository. Should we then move that too? If we did I am sure that when new releases arrive the sudden influx of downloads may put a lot of strain on our bandwidth.

One of the things I have been investigating depends on whether we move to Git as our repository or not. With that we can pull downloads directly, so a link on our plugin page would not appear to the users that they are leaving our site, they would get the download with one click.
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Phill Luckhurst

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Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2014, 12:05:50 pm »

What would be very helpful is if someone could begin to create a list of all plugins and detail what version is available on the forum and in a second column what is available on the SVN version wise. I can then bring the SVN up to date.
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pols1337

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Re: Website Feature -- Blog
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2014, 02:07:13 am »

I would be happy to volunteer my services to cross-compare the plugins. 

Also (and you would need to more closely investigate SMF downloads directory for this feature) but some downloads directory systems have the option to link to downloads that are hosted elsewhere.  This way you don't need to necessarily host the files on the server, if bandwidth or storage is an issue.  You can centrally store all of your files on GitHub or Sourceforge, but present it via a downloads directory that is integrated into the broader forums.


 
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