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Polo Kolo - 2010-03-31 09:17:26
I really hoped for this new design to be something according to the current trends and just... normal. Instead of this website still looks like 2002...
and is insanely stuffed with adds which makes this site unusable because every page loads ages.
another thing is usability which also is a huge failiure here.
Just load the front page and what you can see? something that looks like a 5 pounds website made by a 12 year old person.
Sorry to say but this website for me was always a one big failure.
Manuel Lemos - 2010-03-31 09:19:02 - In reply to message 1 from Polo Kolo
This current site design was proposed by the site users and voted by the majority of the users that care.
If you knew how to do better, why didn't you propose a better design yourself?
Polo Kolo - 2010-03-31 19:03:10 - In reply to message 2 from Manuel Lemos
I havent presented any design because i never could convince my self to use it because of the way how it was all organized and looking
I can obviously present you with a good example:
Users have chosen this design... yes, but! I would have chosen it too if I would have to chose between "bad" and "very bad".
The graphical design it self probably looked good but I think your implementation of it killed the whole concept.
Even now writing this post and looking at the form i see something that annoyes me. It would look good if I would cut off the whole internal content and this "old windows" looking form, but no you have placed here a form that has totally different stilistics than the new design.
There is more of this all over the site.
The "best" part is under the hood:
1) inline css
3) whole site is table based, which as all good web developers know extends the loading times in Internet Explorer to eternity because of the way how IE handles table based content ( first load all than display it), and when you put external content in tables like Java Script adds you basically can use the site in a normal way
4) who is writing this kind of code nowadays, using width="24" height="24" align="middle" border="0" ??? use CSS for this.
If you would really want to get a valuable opinions/tips you need ask people who dont use the website and are not used to it.
summarizing, 11 years past and you still stick to using the old code instead of throwing it all away and building something of a good quality from scratch and just copy the content data to the new site.
Manuel Lemos - 2010-03-31 22:42:10 - In reply to message 3 from Polo Kolo
I am sorry but you had the opportunity to comment before and propose a better design.
If you did not do it, it was certainly your decision.
Complaining after the contest is ended will not help anybody here.
Calling it ugly just seems that you wanted to attack and hurt the feelings of the designers that submitted their proposals and the majority of the users that voted on the winning design. Ugly is lowering the level of the discussions and resorting to personal attacks.
At the very least you should have followed prior blog posts and discussions on which it was explained that in this first edition of the contest, only the templates of the page headers and footers where subject to change because it would take a lot of time. Other templates were left out for future editions. That is explained once again in this last blog post.
I regret to notice that your statements are loaded with hate speech.
The PHPClasses site was created to help PHP developers sharing their code. Investing time and money in providing a away to pick the best design that pleases the majority of the users that care, is not the main purpose of the site.
This site redesign initiative only happened because some users requested it in a respectful way. It was not meant to please the people that always criticize and resort to personal attacks to bring down other people's work.
If that is your purpose, I am sorry but nobody is interested in hostile discussions.
lr - 2010-04-02 19:59:57 - In reply to message 4 from Manuel Lemos
i'm sorry to say, but Polo Kolo is right in that current site state is "quite not where it should be".
I DO however salute attempt at democratic redesign process, but the result is still not even usable - at least for me site elements and content tend to be placed over one another and in wrong locations, the styling is not consistent, and i'm not even getting deeper...
I know I haven't looked at the site for a long time and haven't participated in the contest but maybe that helps to see things in some perspective.
For the next redesign cycle I'd also recommend to scrap all front-end code- html/css/js, and start implementing a clean and minimal xhtml layout (which may be suggested by users also).
Then some more markup could be added for design needs and design itself easily changed with css.
For some things like ordering of content etc some 'theme configuration settings' will have to be implemented also.
I see the problem here not as a visual design problem but 'the code underneath' problem. You WILL HAVE to adapt php code to generate proper xhtml suitable for styling - there is no easier way around this.
anyway, congratulations on very useful site and keeping it up for such a long time!
Manuel Lemos - 2010-04-02 20:40:05 - In reply to message 5 from lr
There was already a failed attempt to make the site pages XHTML compliant. The problem is that XHTML is too restrictive and would require an huge effort to rewrite the whole site HTML that would take ages.
There are other priorities that are more important to users, than making the site pages XHTML compliant.
Using XHTML would not buy us anything, other than maybe pleasing the purists. XHTML compliance would not make the site look different for the users. Converting the site HTML to XHTML would a pointless waste of time.
For the regular users, whether the site is XHTML compliant or not it is irrelevant. Browsers still have to render all versions of HTML, eventually with mistakes. That is basically why the XHTML2 standardization effort was shut down in favor of HTML 5.
HTML 5 API really provide useful features that can make the site better for all users. In the future the site may start using HTML 5 API features that can be gracefully degraded for users with browsers that do not yet support HTML 5 features.
lr - 2010-04-03 19:19:22 - In reply to message 6 from Manuel Lemos
Well, the point is not the exact specification to adhere, but how to clean up your code. I thought xhtml strictness would be useful to force yourself to really weed out the old bits of code that otherwise would mess up the final result.
Yes, I agree, that probably means a fair amount of head pain trying to figure out how to rewrite php code to make it spit out valid xhtml (or html5)... but what, do you expect that fixing header and footer and leaving old legacy messy html in between will make it possible to look any better? I doubt it.
If you think you really can't afford a serious rewrite, then maybe you should think about opensourcing the code? I somehow suspect there would be some people interested to fix it up and make even some other uses for it... probably there are other ways also.
Now, if you're doing everything yourself, and you feel its difficult to reorient your mind for the task - which is a normal thing I guess when you have years of investment in the current code - I would suggest having someone from outside with a clear understanding of contemporary structured html/css who could advise you on regular basis.
Also having a quality redesign example of your most used/most complex pages in static structured (x)html+css at hand might make it a lot easier to fix the php, as opposed to the progressive changes required to the code that make up possibility of such a design possible with tools you offer to users.
Having said that, I do understand that there might be other factors at play that make my advice not as good as I might think it is.
Manuel Lemos - 2010-04-03 21:17:05 - In reply to message 7 from lr
As I mentioned above, rewriting the underlying HTML code is not relevant for most users because they do not see the HTML itself.
Rewriting the HTML only matters to purists that are obsessed with validity of the HTML code.
Purism does not lead us anywhere. As I also mentioned, it would take a lot of effort to rewrite the site templates and in the end the site would look the same (or worse) to the users.
If validity was important to the site users, even Google would make their pages valid. But as you may see here, even the Google search page is not valid at all.
We have to be pragmatic. The site needs a lot of features to be implemented. The site design had a large share of time and effort invested. Now it's to move on to other features that really matter to the site users.
If you do not understand why the priorities are defined this way, maybe when you have your own sites you will realize that this is the way it should be.
Garrett W. - 2010-04-14 04:59:36 - In reply to message 4 from Manuel Lemos
Since you are a public face of the company, you should probably be careful about telling people what they "should have done" or characterizing their comments in a way they might not have intended. That is certainly not the way to win respect.
I always say that one of the pillars of Wikipedia, "Assume Good Faith", is not only good for Wikipedia, but good for every situation in life. It means that we should assume the person has the best intentions unless either it is clearly malicious or the person tells you his intentions were not good.
And in this case, I assume the commenter's intentions were good. The simple fact that he is complaining here shows that he does care about the direction of this site, and he wants to influence it for better. Maybe he didn't choose his words the way you think he should have, but try to see through that. He's just trying to show you what he thinks should be done better.
I would recommend that in the future, you might consider writing your comments as a customer service agent trying to please the customer (the commenter) rather than as Manuel Lemos, the individual.
Lastly, regarding the site's code, you should keep in mind that the cleaner the code is, the better Google will be at crawling the page for valuable keywords. And having a high ranking in Google is certainly worth the effort it would take to clean up the code.
Manuel Lemos - 2010-04-14 06:06:50 - In reply to message 9 from Garrett W.
Maybe there is a misunderstanding here, probably because some people came late to something that was going on for a long time, but still they jump in with aggressive speech as if they know all about it and everybody else is wrong.
The fact is that there was a design contest that allowed any site user to propose a design. All users were allowed to vote on a new design. So it was an user choice initiative.
When somebody comes here and call the winning design ugly, it is clear that he is saying that with malicious intentions of putting down the work of the winning designer, which was approved by over 50% of the majority of the users that care.
The fact is that the user in question had his opportunity to participate but he refused to do it. It was his decision, which everybody should respect. But that fact does not give him the right to hurt the feelings of the winning designer nor the users that voted on the winning design.
Maybe you did not perceive it in that way and so did not see any bad intentions. I hope it is clear for you now what is going on.
I could have ignored that and let people insult each other work, acting as a customer service agent as you suggest.
However, you must keep in mind that this is user contributed site. Contributors do not come here to be insulted. Otherwise they go away and stop contributing. That is why I could not let people act in ways that insult the best contributors.
As for your claim of cleaning the HTML code to rank higher in Google, I don't know from where you got that idea. I have read the Google Webmaster Guidelines and never found any indication of that. If you have evidence of that, I would certainly would like to know.
Anyway, this site serves valid HTML code, which ironically is something that often Google does not do, as they do not even validate as you may see here:
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