TR - Late in 2006 I decided to help the Tcl community to relaunch/improve/overhaul (or whatever you call it) the https://www.tcl-lang.org site. I was tired of all this marketing talk and nothing being done about it. So here I am, starting work slowly but continuously.
My original announcement for this task was posted in this thread about "Finding a niche for Tcl":
On the site http://www.typoscriptics.de/old/tcl/portal you will always find the current status of the new Tcl portal. My plan is to ...
I am in phase 1 now collecting and reorganizing content from www.tcl.tk. Any time I see something interesting, I add a placeholder to the new site so I can remember what to add in phase 3.
(pages in parentheses are not yet transferred)
Yes you can. Provide content, stories, news, ...! I have already received some content (a tutorial) from Arjen Markus and an offer from the makers of the Tcl-URL! to help me trasnferring the weekly news to the site.
EKB Your new design is easier to navigate thatn www.tcl.tk. I look forward to seeing more. (Although I'm not crazy about the layout. It's too "Wordpress"-like for me, and I'm glad that at step 2 in your plan you're looking at designs. Maybe take a look at CSS Zen Garden for inspiration? [2 ])
TR I know Zen Garden and many of these layouts are really beautiful. As the plan is, the focus is on content alone now. The current layout is a placeholder only, so people can see the content being added. When all content is there, I will switch focus to the layout and I think there will be lots to discuss then.
EKB Sounds like a good plan!
On another note, I think you could quickly fill in your Tcl/Tk placeholders for "hello, world":
puts "Hello, World!"
pack [label .l -text "Hello, World!"]
TR True. I was planning something like this. It needs a short introductory text, though. Maybe I'll take some from the wiki ... EKB Yes, in fact, there's a whole The Hello World program as implemented in Tcl/Tk page.
EKB One more comment. If you used the same type size on all the pages (home page & others), then the user could set the type size that's comfortable for them. My 2 1/2 cents.
TR This may be due to my ignorance on layout right now. I will look into this. Thanks for your comments! EKB No problem! Actually, truth be told, the last one was from my spouse, who is a graphic designer. She gave me permission to pretend it was my idea :-D
chrisjl - Forgive me if this is already part of the plan, but I'd hate to see you complete this daunting task without me making this point. I hope part of the intended process is to change the URLs to reflect the page content. e.g. Documentation -> Tutorials is currently accessed as the highly forgettable page3/page10/page10.html - I'd much rather be able to tell people to visit www.tcl.tk/docs/tutorials (note the absence of an actual file name in that URL). TR I can assure you, this is part of the plan. The current page names are generated by the web software I am using and as long as I collect content and organize it, I will leave it like that. When all content is there, the names will be changed to something more reasonable :-)
LV 2007 Oct 25 The first thing I noticed was the typo in the <head> of the first page - it says Tck instead of Tcl ... TR: Whoops, how could that one stay for so long without being noticed ... corrected now, thanks!
AM (20 december 2007) In the beginning of this year I wrote two tutorials for this website. I think they are useful on the Wiki as well, so I add them verbatim (i.e. with explicit references to the Wiki, rather than page titles):
Fabricio Rocha - 10-Apr-2009 - Is this site prototype still available? I could not open it... I have some ideas for a Tcl/Tk site and I would like to contribute.
TR - Yes it is. See the link above under the heading 'The plan'. I just opened it and it works. I have, however, not had time lately to drive it further, but I am still trying :-) What would you like to contribute, then?
Fabricio Rocha - 10-Apr-2009 - Thanks, TR! I've written you an e-mail!
CMcC would just like to say that the prototype site is very pretty. Much more pretty than the incumbent site. Also more clearly laid out, with the menu on the right.
Fabricio Rocha - 11-Apr-2009 - Boiling ideas in my mind compelled me to create another prototype for a possible upgrade of www.tcl.tk. The address is http://tcltk.fabriciorocha.jor.br . It is based on the marvelous, free Joomla content management system (at http://www.joomla.org ). This makes very easy to change the whole site design with CSS templates; some of the registered users can insert content just like writing in a word processor; and there's a lot of free goodies which can be added to the website with some clicks (I have installed some of them, hope you like!)
I would like to know your opinions and suggestions. But please observe that I did this in one day, so it still misses a lot of content and functionality (user registration being the most evident one). I will try to add new features and texts soon, specially if you like the proposal. I had to adapt a template made for webhosting sites, and I don't know PHP and my graphic skills are *very limited* :). If somebody there knows Joomla and can write PHP and/or have design ability, feel welcome to help in creating an exclusive template. And if someone feels like wanting to help with the contents, please let me know it! :)
LV I'm not that crazy about the color scheme. But, IMO, it would be sad if it turned out that the primary web site for Tcl was changed from a Tcl based system to some other language. Maybe something like Woof! could be investigated?
Fabricio Rocha - I've already imagined this would be an issue, and it's true, because Joomla is PHP running on Apache and MySQL. But, as far as I know, there is no content management system built with or around Tcl (and a CMS is a must for dynamic sites with frequent updates and community contribution). And IMHO it's a matter of niches, or "each one doing what each one does best". PHP is great for websites for sure, there is little discussion on that; and by the other hand I'm certain that a lot of PHP developers and users are sure to have and/or want Tcl/Tk apps running in their desktops because PHP is not that strong in this field... About the color scheme, it can be changed for the whole site in two clicks, as long as there is a template (actually, this template being used has other six built-in colors available).
DKF: The worst problem with PHP is that it makes some practices (notably including code that is inherently vulnerable SQL injection attacks) rather easier to write than code that is resistant to such problems. Mind you, if we avoid phpBB then we'll at least be not quite so badly off (going by the evidence collected by my employer's web support team at any rate, which indicates that virtually all defacements, break-ins and email-abuse mischief trace back to that piece of software).
BTW, we really don't want to have a site that is open to defacement. We went through that phase a few years ago and it ended up with us just having to delete a large chunk of content. Never again.
Fabricio Rocha - Totally agree; nobody wants a site open to defacement. Joomla seems to be more and more secure each day, but certainly nobody will ever guarantee it is 100% "unattackable". By the way, the forum I've put in the test site is not a bridge to phpBB, it's a totally independent Joomla extension. But back to the matters, which would be a solid-enough, hacker-proof system? In strict meaning, I don't know any; but certainly some are stronger than others and I don't know much about this area. And is there a content management system written with/for this stronger technology? Believe me, CMS is vital if Tcl/Tk wants a really attractive and dynamic site, with news and tech articles posted everyday, easy to be maintained by the community itself. Creating a new site in pure HTML or something alike will be very little more useful than keeping the current one, because it will be too hard to implement useful and user-friendly features like a chat, a forum, a poll, multilanguage content, CSS templates etc; and specially harder to bring contributors to it, which otherwise would just login and write an article just like using OpenOffice or writing in the Tcler's Wiki.
I am not a technology professional, my job is media and social communication. As long as one (any) certain technology can do the content management like Joomla and other CMSs do, I'll be able and willing to help on that and create another proposal.
DKF: I think there are two parts to making things better.
I'll make no bones about it: the second is by far the most important. Alas, I've noticed a tendency among Tclers (myself included) to tinker round the edges of the first in preference to dealing with the second…
CMcC: oh yeah, absolutely right. The content is (and has been) quite static for ages. The generation, not the presentation, of content is the blockage there. I consider the nicer look-and-feel of the first prototype to be content (of a kind.) I think most of the content could stay unchanged, but the front page is really fairly poor, if your intent is to sell people on the benefits of Tcl.
Fabricio Rocha - Honestly, I can't do little of the up-to-date writer of the current pages -- I think the texts in www.tcl.tk are pretty good! They don't go too deep in "technish" and are easy to understand, and they also seem sincere and honest about what Tcl can do or not. But my impression of the frontpage is just like Colin's. I might have misunderstood what Colin said with "I consider the nicer look-and-feel of the first prototype to be content (of a kind)", but maybe it's my same point of view that presentation is content and it alone can make someone stops by and feel like "yuck, old language, boring site, I'd better go Python" or "wow, what an active community, what a nice site! Maybe Tcl is not so bad as people say, lemme read a little...".
I agree with Donal in that improving the content is more important, but there must be an underlying technology which works for this purpose. I don't know which technology Torsten used for his initial prototype -- looks like Wordpress, but might be simply HTML -- and the fact that it is an incomplete mission after three years, even using basically the same contents of the original site and some other material collected elsewhere, tells a lot. Everyone here is way too busy with their jobs and personal life for maintaining a website alone, even if putting all the available spare time on it (and this is perfectly understandable, I'm not defeating Torsten's effort in any way). There will be no way to improve the contents if there is not a way to allow a lot of people to add and mantain content with ease (i.e.: no need to know HTML, no need to have FTP access to the pages, etc). This -- and not the benefit of templates, which are related to the "presentation" side -- is the most important point in using a CMS, specially because the Tcl/Tk community has a lot of people who knows and can write very well, many book authors included. You guys make most of the content we see in this wiki to be top-level, and the central Tcl/Tk website would benefit a lot from that, if some of you could simply log-in and write there.
Anyway, we can be fighting against windmills. Even though there seems to be a general opinion that the tcl.tk website is outdated and should be modified, this discussion is too closed to few people and my view on it can be completely different to what people really wants. I am thinking about doing a survey on this topic, Tcl/Tk "marketing" included. I know this topic is rather old, but I failed to see the results from the previous discussions on the subject.
And by the way, I've just discovered some info about a Tcl-based CMS, from Todd Coram. I'll take a deeper look on it right now.
Fabricio Rocha 15-Apr-09 - Here is a link to the Tcl/Tk Survey 2009. I hope you enjoy it! About the Tcl-based CMS, this one above seems to be not updated since 2007 and it unfortunately was very basic. I discovered also OpenACS, which seems to be promising, but it also does not seem to be usable right now.