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About Time

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Subject:About Time
Summary:New Site Design - 4 suggestions and some general comments
Date:2009-10-14 08:22:10
Update:2009-10-14 09:42:34

  1. About Time   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Aubrey Aubrey - 2009-10-14 09:03:01
Hi all
Been a lurker on PHP Classes for a long time.
Never found the site to be visually appealing at all.
Have also found that it takes a long time to load a page.

Now that I have griped, the good stuff!!!

If the proposed new design gets away from the "battleship grey" look, it will be a big plus and in this regard, may I suggest that for this site, a strategy of "less is more" would be appropriate. Please do not go mad with colors, images and other nonsense which will distract from this site's main purpose - an authoritative and invaluable reference for PHP coders around the world.

Just have a look at how "clean" the mega-sites (Google, Facebook etc) are. And they are fast too!

I have downloaded literally thousands of class code files and I thank all the contributors for their time and work.

Although I have not used anything from PHP Classes "As Is" in any of my projects as yet, this site has been my number one source of ideas and insight into methodologies to get all sorts of things done effectively and efficiently.

I have not submitted anything myself because about all the work I have done is not really my own as it has been built on parts extracted from the fine work of those who went before me.

I do not believe in plagiarism at all so I WILL NOT claim it as my own!!!

So, apart from the look and speed issues, may I suggest the following:
1) A "Thumbs Up", "Thumbs Down" voting capability.
2) A "Tweet" like capability where users like myself can report my FAVOURITE failing - coders who use "<?" instead of "<?php" in the code! Or where can add comments like "Used the encoder section of this class in a project. Great piece of source!"
3) Record who downloaded what so that we (the downloaders) can see what we downloaded can go back and add votes or tweets later.
The author (and members) could see who has downloaded what.
This needs a simple table "favourites" fields (source_code_id, member_id, download_date)
4) A "Interesting" feature whereby a member can mark something he has found for later investigation.

How many times have I stumbled across a superb piece of code by accident while looking for something else.
If I navigate away, I NEVER find the damn thing again.

Again, a simple table "interesting" fields (source_code_id, member_id)

All 4 of these features can form a part of the class record page. eg "
253 interested users
24 thumbs up
12 thumbs down
a "View Tweets" link

The "Tweets" section could also be used as a mini discussion area for the specific class.

Thats all. Just my 2 cents (with inflation, maybe that should be 2 dollars worth)
All the best

  2. Re: About Time   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Manuel Lemos Manuel Lemos - 2009-10-14 09:42:34 - In reply to message 1 from Aubrey
Thank you for the feedback.

In case it was not clear for you, the idea is for users to propose new design themes, not me. If you have an idea how colors and other aspects should look like, you can propose a different theme with a different HTML template for headers and footers, a different CSS file and different icons. Just go here if you want to start doing that:

As for voting in classes, that has been available since several years ago, almost exactly like you suggest.

Just go in the page of any package that you already downloaded and tried, click on the link to rate the package in a section that says User ratings.

You will be able to vote on each package in several aspects. If enough rated that package, the site shows the partial and overall ratings.

There is even a ranking of all top rated packages: ...

There are also rankings for all packages in each group, like for instance this: ...

There is also a ranking of the site users that rated more classes to encourage users to share what they think of each package: ...

If you want send a comment to the author of a package you rate, the rating form lets you either send the comment by e-mail or post a new thread in the support forum of that package. In either case the author is notified by e-mail, so he may react if he wants.

If you want to rate packages you downloaded before, the rating page shows a listing of downloaded packages and which you already rated or not.

The bookmarking feature was in the to do list a few years ago, but since the bookmarking sites like started, the idea was forgotten.

I may implement it in the future with nuances that make it more interesting than just bookmarking, like getting update notices just for those packages you bookmark.