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The LedgerSMB.org website moved: Next steps

Thanks everybody for your reactions! Now that the site has been moved we can start (planning and) working on the next steps. Your contributions are very much welcome, I'd almost say necessary to make this a long term success.

[...] We spent quite a bit of time to find a good theme and John succeeded at copying over most of the FAQ items. The result is this site http://ledgersmb.freelock.com/ which is admittedly still rough around the edges but a big improvement over the current site. Sure, there's a lot of room for improvement, but it's a start and we can work on it.

John and I would like to continu down this road and switch the DNS from the old site to the one presented above. What do others think? Do you agree it's a good idea?

Your reactions have been positive, with questions and remarks:

 * Can we do a good content cleaning (excise old content, correct spelling, etc)
 * Who gets access?
 * Can we have OpenID logins?
 * Why isn't it hosted at <your favorite site>?
 * Will updates be deployed using the usual Drupal maintenance methods?
 * May I suggest a different layout/color scheme?
 * Can we have a <wiki, forum, other functionality>?
 * How can I help?

I'll respond to those with my ideas on how to proceed below.

As for why the site isn't hosted on <your favorite service>: it's because John offered it back in 2010 and because Drupal maintenance is his primary business. He can help us get the right themes installed and design the information infrastructure (taxonomies, custom fields, etc.). E.g. the import of the old articles is entirely his doing - and it took only little over an hour. It would have taken me days.

Anyway, the next steps as I see them:

 * Information architecture design
  How do we want to split up the information that we'll be presenting? Which classifications do we want to use? John may be able to help ask the right questions to get to a good design.

 * Content redesign
  The current content has not really been developed for a Drupal site: many current articles mix a lot of different topics. Those need to be split up (and updated) over multiple articles each with their own very specific subject and (short) story. Can be done after we finish the information architecture.

 * FAQ classification
  The new system allows us to classify FAQ items as related to specific releases. All imported items still need to be classified. This will help link 1.2 FAQ items to 1.2 release announcement pages, etc. Can be done right now.

* Layout tuning/redesign
  The current layout and content are very much textually oriented. As Chris Bennet pointed out, that may not be the most accessible way to present information. The current color scheme may also be sub-optimal. Which menus go where, etc. These things can be addressed when the information architecture has been determined and the content has been redesigned: only then the right menu items can be created.

That's what needs doing (high-level). Below the answers to the questions the above may not have answered:

* Who gets access? 

We envision 3 types of access: 

1. a group of people interested in maintaining (the content of) the site. These people would be made 'moderator'. They can adjust the content and will get mails of any user-submissions waiting for moderation. This group can discuss changes here on the devel mailing list, same as other groups (developers of the program or book) discuss their changes and opinions here as well.

2. Normal (authenticated) users get content submission rights (editing existing articles or creating new ones) but publishing is up to moderators. Same with comments to articles.

3. (one or two) Administrators who get to change the look and feel of the site by switching themes, moving menus, etc.

* Can we have OpenID logins?
Yes, they're enabled now.

* Will updates be deployed using standard Drupal methods?
Yes, Freelock will keep our install up to date with - at minimum - security releases.

* Can we have a wiki, forum, other (new) functionality?
In due time we can add these features to the site. At this time it seems we have lots of work to do (as described above) on the site to get it in an acceptable shape. Adding new features would distract from that goal. Once the site has been updated/upgraded and is in acceptable shape, we can consider adding more features.

* How can I help?
Anybody who wants to help excise old content, classify FAQ items to relate to releases and split/improve existing articles or write new ones is very much welcome to join the site team. Several people have already stepped up. By the end of the week I'll draft up a list of all volunteers and once a DNS switch has happened, we can see which tasks there are to hand out.

Concluding: there are areas where we can start work right away. Some other areas may require a bit of discussion before we can proceed, but there's enough to be done, I would say. If you don't know where to start you can contact me and we'll see what fits your profile.

Any comments to the above?