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Layout (was: Re: [jox-tech] Re: Site structure)

Hi Mathieu and all!

Last week (12 days ago) Mathieu ONeil wrote:
This helped me to formulate what I think is needed. So following are some recommendations which I will try to organise as clearly as possible.

Ideally the colors should match the logo, in any case be similar to First Monday as discussed, ie red and black.

AFAICS colors are quite easy to tweak in the themes. The problem (for
me) is to find a pleasant set of colors, however. Unless we find a
theme with nice pre-packaged colors I see a problem here - and unless
someone else is able to do such a job.

In addition the colors chosen for text and frames need to match the
colors which are used in the various pictures used in the theme. For
instance the green bar in the old theme was a picture. And the black
top in the new one is also a picture. And the colors need to match the
various icons a theme comes with. That's why I say this is really work
for a designer.

If the colors should match the logo we first need an agreed upon logo.
That seems to me a bit down the road, still.

In both above sites I liked it a lot that the title is on a white background. Since our title is very long in my view it should be written like this (font size proportions a bit like Discover magazine):

(very very big black letters in minuscules – not caps - please)

critical studies in peer production aims to open up new perspectives on the implications of peer production for social change  
(very very small red or black letters)

The title is typically also a picture. I.e. you are free to create
anything you like here.

In the current theme the title is text, however. But I think this can
be changed. (The new theme seems not to be as flexible as Heddex

-site map, accessibility, contact: 
should be smaller, higher and more to the right (like Discover)

I think such tweaks are possible given we have a base theme. Changes
would be needed in the CSS which is feasible.

The title bar should also feature a login button.

I'm not sure how this works.

At the moment I know three ways to login. The first one is by surfing

The second one is that there is a login portlet you can put in a
sidebar. However, this is pretty space consuming and ugly.

The third one is when you may comment a page. Then the "comment"
button reads "Login to comment" and brings you to the first option.

If one of these three option suffices then I'd be glad.

Where do the Contact messages go? Sorry if I already asked this.

The contact messages go to


which redirects to you, Mathieu, and to me.

We could try having it in a coloured band like FSF (red?) or without a band like Discover: it is hard for me to decide without seeing: as I am not as technically able as Stefan I am here relying on his goodwill to try different combinations...

Also a question for the CSS.

The logo should be much bigger; it might not fit with the toolbar so may have to go; its colors ideally match that of the font and toolbar...

If you are thinking of the logo on the front page the size is
currently hard-coded into the page. It can be bigger but then the
original needs to be bigger. I don't remember where I got the original

I was wrong to want to have no content at all on the front page; this is what people will see first so it should have the content currently listed under « call ».

(Consequently there is no need to have the categories in the middle of the page as we have the toolbar anyway)

I just changed this. I also included the logo in the new frontpage.
This certainly needs improvement.

-Column width
In the two sites cited above the text columns are narrower than what we have : this helps the pages to « breathe » by having more white space on either side of the text column; i think we should also do this.

I think the column width and the padding can also be tweaked in the
CSS so should be done if we found a base theme.

-Font size
I think the character fonts for the page titles above the dividing lines (like « Frontpage » or « Research ») are too thick; a finer font would look better, see


-Dividing line
Like us Discover mag uses a line to separate titles from article content, black dividing lines, also see:
Their line is thicker, which gives more weight to the structure: I would be interested to see if this works well for us.

Dito (I think).

This is in my view not necessary as we already have the toolbar to travel to the different parts of the website, plus the « you are here » field tells people in which subcategory they are. So I would  advocate getting rid of the navigation column.

Well, at the moment we have a two level structure. There is the top
level which is reflected in the toolbar. The second level, however, is
also available via the roof page or the navigation portlet. Without
navigation portlet people can not navigate to sibling pages easily
(i.e. on the Journal tab you can select one of the sub pages but then
can't go to a sibling directly).

I configured the navigation portlet to show only the second level -
which makes sense because the first level is shown in the toolbar.
This looks right to me.

(I will refer to the site map for this)
-Critical Studies in Peer Production (old page, should be deleted)

I made it invisible for now.

-cspp_logo.gif  (not necessary)

Well, it is - because it's the logo you see. Made it also invisible.

-Call for submissions (should be called « Home »; needs two subcategories: 
--call for submissions 
--submission guidelines)

I renamed the page. I don't understand what you mean by subcategories.
Should this become two separate pages? Then you have a plain folder as
the top level page - probably not what you want.

--Theory stream (all research is theoretical, delete in my view; I will make suggestions later based on CFP categories)
--Activist (sorry, not quite happy with this subcategory either, too vague in my view; same observation as above)

I'll change this as soon as you come up with a stable set of

Perhaps we could have another category: for links to other projects? 
-« Resources »?

No problem. But please descide whether it should be a top level
category or in the `Project` folder. The space in the toolbar for
top level categories is quite limited and in the current theme the
toolbar is full already.

Finally the question of comments has not been addressed. Do we only allow comments by site users who we have registered?

Yes. This is also an anti-spam measure.

Not to mention ratings?

The same. I think we can expect a certain commitment from readers if
they want to rate.

Or do we allow anyone to register and comment?

We can open registration for everyone. Indeed I'd recommend this once
we are really live. It's a small change in the configuration.

It would be good to launch the site officially before the different conferences which are happening in mid?-October (Berlin and Spain, plus the Association of Internet Researchers in Sweden) so we can take advantage of these events to seek submissions; do you think that will be possible? 

I'll work on this with highest priority of my Selbstentfaltung time. I
also want to get things going.

Once the structure and layout is agreed on I will take on a more active role in terms of site content but at this point it is probably better if the person who knows the most runs things, especially as the site interoperates with other ox sites. Does this sound OK? 

Fine with me.



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