How you could improve the Beonex website
I've heard some praise and many complaints about the Beonex website.
Some problems I know:
(some of that is documented in the users mailinglist archive)
The site is kind of spotty, because many of the pages still have to
written and thus there are somewhat missing links (in the general sense,
not the clickable link sense) between several areas. Somebody would have
to write these pages. Look the sitemap or browse the links on the bottom
of the webpages to see what I mean.
I also wonder, if the strict separation into
makes sense. Esp. the latter 2: it helps to put out a Stable version and
a slightly less stable, but newer Preview version at the same time, but
it adds a lot to the complexity of the site.
- non-Beonex-specific parts,
- general Beonex,
- general Beonex Communicator and
- specific versions of Beonex Communicator
A few people have suggested to have several static links on every page
to the main pages of interest, e.g. Support, Download etc.. I am not
convinced that is a good idea, because it bloats every page and there
are a lot of pages which are potentially of high interest. I also want
people to read certain things before they end up e.g. at the download or
mailing list pages, e.g. installation instructions, references to FAQs
etc.. But I might be convinced otherwise.
Some things I personally consider requirements for the website
(requirements which any future version of the website should meet):
Lean, attractive, sticking to the original intentions of the web
standards, working with all browsers.
Most importantly, we should not abuse HTML to add formatting/layout (use
CSS instead). In no case use <table>s for layout, because they
completely mess up the layout in other browsers and new browsers with a
slim/tall window (width <= 600 pixels).
The real content of the page should be more than 50% of the page. Seems
obvious, nevertheless most commercial sites violate that by excessively
adding links to other parts of the site on every page, usually in the
top, left, right and bottom.
I consider a hierarchy to be the natural structure of a website and
would like to keep that. A change of the hierarchy might make sense,
though (see e.g. above for a concrete possibility), I don't know.
Yes. We need more of that. :-P
Description for new visitors (before download)
I already wrote some parts before the 0.8 release, but we're still
missing the parts that describe the browser in general, for people who
are not familar with Mozilla or Netscape 6/7. I so far assumed that
everybody is. We need to find a good balance or structure for both types
of visitors (if you know Netscape 6 already, it is boring to read about
the overlapping features again). A possible solution is to have a "death
match" section where we compare the browser with other browsers plus a
general description. The problem is that comparing advertizing is not
allowed in Germany, where I am located. Any suggestions welcome.
We miss a description of the new features between the versions of Beonex
Introduction for new users (after download)
You probably noted that there are nice links ala "Introduction [to
Beonex Communicator]" and "Explore the Web" on the welcome page of the
but the pages they link to have no content. The
first link was intended to have a tutorial for people new to the web and
Mozilla / Beonex in particular. How a browser works, how to find
information on that intentionally chaotic web etc., all with concrete
instructions for Beonex Communicator. The Explore link was intended to
list some "hub" sites, which open the visitor whole interesting sections
of the web or supply otherwise vey useful tools. Examples are
dmoz.org/groups.google.com, the Gutenberg project, web.archive.org,
central academia and open-source resources, a good way to find good
online shops, online communities etc..
We need a way bigger FAQ.
Much of the above is low-hanging fruit, because some of that, for
Mozilla, can be found at various places on www.mozilla.org and
The problem is: I am a techy and don't know what general users are
missing here or what confuses them. Of course, I created it how it made
sense to me, but I obviously failed to a large extend. My limited time
might only be a part of the problem. So, suggestions are welcome, and
volunteers are even much more so. If anybody wants to take over the
command for the website, I would be very glad, because that would remove
a large work burden from my shoulders. People who write certain missing
pages, or even pages not yet thought of, are very welcome, too. Just
write them in Beonex Composer (be easy with formatting) and send them in
as HTML file.
You know, this is intended as mainly Open-Source project (ignoring the
commercial support and stuff), so volunteers helping with different
tasks are not only welcome, but were planned / hoped for from the
beginning. So, if helping with the Beonex website could be fun to you,
more power to you! :-)
As for the technical side, the site is currently kept as plain HTML
files in a versioning system (CVS). Over that I run a generator which I
wrote in C++ and which adds the links to the subsections (in the bottom)
and the parent pages (in the top) and adds the title (the black bar).
The generator creates a set of static HTML pages, which I manually
upload to the server (but in one batch :-) ). This is not sat in stone,
other solutions are possible.
To close, a quote from a reporter of the website of a big, respected
Could be... this program really remains a mystery to me (partially
because it didn't hit "0.8-stable," whatever that means, until after
I'd done a lot of the work to
review Mozilla itself. It doesn't help that the Beonex site is
composed of some of the least informative pages I've ever seen about
an end-user product.
I am not sure what in particular he refers to, but it shows that Beonex
has a problem that needs to be solved.