Part of the Khronos Group
OpenGL.org

The Industry's Foundation for High Performance Graphics

from games to virtual reality, mobile phones to supercomputers

Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Evaluate a possible new main page for the Wiki

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Senior Member OpenGL Guru
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    4,948

    Evaluate a possible new main page for the Wiki

    For a while, I've been working on a new design for the OpenGL Wiki's front-most pages. The current main page is basically a giant ball of links to things that a new user won't really understand. It's useful to me as a reference, but that's because I already know (and wrote) most of this stuff.

    My goal with the new main page is to provide a more Wikipedia-like presentation of information when new users arrive on the Wiki.

    I'd like you to take a look at it. Obviously it's not finished. There's no Featured Article or Did You Know section yet; those are still in-progress. I want you to focus primarily on the ease of finding information. In particular, pay attention to the portal links in the top right, and the links on the left side.

    Do those first pages provide enough information for a new user to be able to get into the Wiki? Are the explanations on those pages clear? Is there anything on the first links from the main page that are inaccurate? Is there something that should be linked from the main page that isn't?

  2. #2
    Senior Member OpenGL Pro
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,137
    The left-hand side is almost perfect; I'd suggest just adding something like:

    Creating a Context

    Pop it above "Loading OpenGL Functions" and it's there.

    I know this is covered elsewhere under the "Getting Started" header; the purpose is just to make it more explicit what order things need to be done in.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Senior Member OpenGL Pro
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,099
    I like it. One thing that disturbs me a little is the discrepancy between portal names and the corresponding links on the main page.

    For instance, we have a link Shading and a corresponding portal OpenGL Shading Language and the browser will pop-up a tooltip that shows this inconsistency. Also, I think we can drop OpenGL from the portal descriptions because it should be clear, that we're not talking Direct3D or anything else.

    I propose renaming the portals and links like this:

    Code :
    (Concepts | OpenGL Concepts)              => General Concepts
    (Rendering | Rendering Pipeline)          => Rendering Pipeline
    (Shaders   | OpenGL Shading Language)     => Programmable Shading
    (OpenGL Objects | OpenGL Objects)         => Objects
    (Dev Tools | Development Tools)           => Development Tools

    Remove the superflous link to reference because it's already there on the lest side in bold. Personally, I noticed the link to the ref much earlier than the portal links.

    EDIT: Add a portal for Miscellaneous stuff that's currently under Other useful information.

  5. #5
    Member Regular Contributor Nowhere-01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Novosibirsk
    Posts
    251
    i don't like huge space dedicated to "From the featured article" and "Did you know...". those are extra panels for someone who got bored or something. i think this space belongs to navigation or at least subject introduction. although old variant was a bit messy, it had what most wiki-resources are lacking - easy to access expanded navigation, which helps you to see the structure of information. you've moved those to portal pages. it's acceptable, but navigation on the main page is a bit lacking and you just have to do one more click to get to the same old navigation.

  6. #6
    Senior Member OpenGL Guru
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    4,948
    While those names are nice and descriptive, the problem is that they are very big. And I'm trying to keep the space of those portal links down to a minimum. The last thing I want is for the layout on the portal links to break too easily.

    I expanded the layout of the lists and expanded the descriptions as a result. We'll see how well that works.

    And the reason I put "OpenGL Objects" rather than "Objects" there is because I wanted the name to more clearly indicate that it's not about "objects-as-in-meshes" but "objects-as-in-data-structures". I don't want a new user to click it thinking it's about meshes.

    Add a portal for Miscellaneous stuff that's currently under Other useful information.
    Miscellaneous pages tend to work against the point of organized collections of information like portals. It's just a grab-bag of stuff, and it doesn't even have a category behind it. And much like the FAQ or Common Mistakes pages, it's almost completely useless for learning anything. They're nice to link to, but they're not good organizational tools.

    Or, more to the point, why would someone click on the Miscellaneous link? Besides simply to see what's on the other side? Someone will click on "OpenGL Concepts" to find out what concepts are in OpenGL. They'll click on "Rendering" to see how rendering works. And so forth. But "Miscellaneous?" That sounds like the link you click on when you're bored.

    Now, I wouldn't mind a portal page for algorithms that are available on the Wiki. But the other thing I want to make sure of is that most of the forward-facing information (within 2 links of the main page) is actually good information. Things like these are just horribly out of date. I don't think we want to show off stuff like that.

    i don't like huge space dedicated to "From the featured article" and "Did you know...". those are extra panels for someone who got bored or something.
    It's modeled after Wikipedia. And I think it's a pretty successful model for conveying useful information.

    The featured article helps draw attention to good, solid, and complete articles on the Wiki. And the "Did you know" section allows us to put out brief factoids and warnings that might otherwise be missed. For example, a reminder that binding to GL_ARRAY_BUFFER doesn't change what you render with would be something that I could see never leaving that section.

    it had what most wiki-resources are lacking - easy to access expanded navigation, which helps you to see the structure of information. you've moved those to portal pages. it's acceptable, but navigation on the main page is a bit lacking and you just have to do one more click to get to the same old navigation.
    Look at the layout from the perspective of someone who has no idea what they're doing. They know very little about OpenGL and probably graphics in general. Shoving 3 dozen links at them, each of them being little more than a couple of words that they don't know what they mean is not a useful navigation system.

    The portals are much better because they're not just a link. They're a brief description of what the main link is talking about. The OpenGL Concepts page is basically an abbreviated, annotated summary of all of OpenGL.

    For someone who knows what they're looking for, or even has an idea of what they're looking for, the search box is far more useful than the links. When I wrote the "bunch of links" version of the main page, I thought I'd be using it a lot. But I didn't; I just searched for the article(s) of interest. I even have a browser shortcut for Firefox's awesome-bar that allows me to search the wiki at any time. It's far more convenient than going to the main page.

    Or to put it another way, the main page is for n00bs

  7. #7
    Senior Member OpenGL Pro
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,099
    I expanded the layout of the lists and expanded the descriptions as a result. We'll see how well that works.
    Looks OK to me in the current state.

    I wouldn't mind a portal page for algorithms that are available on the Wiki.
    Then I suggest we go with that. Wouldn't mind having more of those anyway - at least the most commonly used approaches. For instance, I think it's kind of a shame we can't direct people to a page, where basic shadow mapping is described in terms of modern GL and always have to link to outside pages.

    Things like these are just horribly out of date.
    Holy shizzle. That stuff is horrible. I guess we could can at least 80% percent without anyone losing any sleep over it and integrate the rest that may still be good some place else.

    But I didn't; I just searched for the article(s) of interest.
    Same here. I guess that's the usual pattern for experienced people with specific stuff in mind (when it comes to our Wiki).

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •