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Gideros Website Upgrade

antixantix Member
edited February 14 in Roadmap
Hey everybody. It seems to be the general consensus that the Gideros website needs an extreme makeover so let's have a frank discussion about the current state of the website and where we would like to see the website in the future.

When thinking about the Gideros website.
  • What things do like about the website?
  • What things do you dislike about the website?
  • What features do you use on a regular basis?
When thinking about changes to the Gideros website
  • What features would you like to see removed?
  • What features would you like to see added?
  • What features would you like see changed?
And finally how do you envision the website overall
  • Its purpose, look, and feel
I'll get the ball rolling :)
What I like
  • It is there and it works
  • It is aesthetically pleasing
What I dislike
  • The stuff from years of deferred maintenance
What do I use?
  • Nothing anymore (as a new user I used the reference and other tutorial links)
What I would remove
  • Paid tools (those people don't need free advertising)
  • Gideros Fiddle (needs more assets and a list of examples to be used in production)
  • App Showcase (unless somebody is going to maintain it)
  • Logins (A forum login is all you should ever need IMHO)
  • Developer Profiles (way too many and too much spam in there)
  • All the social networking stuff, nobody seems to be using that
  • The Blog (unless somebody is going to make regular updates to it)
What I would change
  • Documentation (the "guide" or "Getting Started" page should take the new user through the process of downloading, installing, and coding a few little things in Gideros)
  • Tutorials (old ones need updating, and a lot just need to go)
  • Less overall content but a better quality of content
How I think the website should be
  • When a viewer first arrives at the Gideros website they should be able to immediately get an idea of what Gideros is, what it's main features are, and be called to action to download and give Gideros a try.
  • The website exists to gain new users and have information there specifically for them to access until they have spread their wings and no longer need that proverbial nest.
  • I feel the website should be fairly basic with a simple layout. To me that's all the website really needs to be.
So now it's your turn to have your say.. don't be shy, speak up :)

EDIT: I've uploaded a version of what I think would be a nice starting website for Gideros. All feedback is appreciated.

http://g2d.atwebpages.com

Please note I'm not a web designer by trade :D

Oh and if anyone finds the site slow.. it's because it's a 100% free host. The production site will run much faster :)

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Comments

  • IMHO the main thing missing is documentation&tutorials. Their improvement would give the most practical benefit.

    Sometimes it is pretty frustrating when we have to search&ask even for basic stuff like "MovieClip:getFrame()" because it's undocumented. And there was mentioning that many plugins are not documented at all (I don't know what their state is atm).


    The other question I have is how to convince new developers to try Gideros?
    They take a look at it, say "uuh okay it may be a nice tool, but it's not "professional", I don't see no super-great apps made with it. And "free" status means it is not "pro", I want some big team to work on it like on Unity, only then i can rely on it"

    That's what I heard from them, the reason why they don't give Gideros a try.

    There's a vicious circle - developers want to rely on popular tools. But to become popular Gideros has to be popular already. Or it should be released by some huge company. Huge companies, whatever shit they release many people will follow because oh my God! it's %BRAND_NAME%! They can't be wrong!

    Likes: antix

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  • SinisterSoftSinisterSoft Maintainer
    edited February 8
    @antix I also think there should be a 'news' section on the website with an rss feed out, like a blog. If a few members had access to writing it then we could put up interviews, update news, mini tutorials on underused or new features, etc

    @Apollo14 Some of the games made with Gideros have had huge amounts of downloads. If people posted here about their success stories then we could 'interview' them.

    We could also do interviews with some of the bigger Gideros 'backers' - why are they backing certain features - what games have they made?

    Articles on the main contributors would also be great - what are the future plans? Things like this will encourage confidence that Gideros isn't going away.

    Likes: Apollo14

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  • antixantix Member
    edited February 8
    @SinisterSoft who will be doing those things? The current blog is not being used as it is.

    @oleg,Unfortunately a store is outside my basic web programming skills. What would this store sell anyway?

    @Apollo14 Indeed, documentation and tutorials have a very high priority to be updated. Oh, and at one point in time people said the same things about those now large franchises such as Unity ;)
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  • olegoleg Member
    @antix there are already ready CMS stores
    image.png
    519 x 159 - 15K
  • antixantix Member
    @oleg I'm really looking to get the basic website up and running for now. Maybe shops and stuff can be added later but for now we really want to get the core functionality working.
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  • olegoleg Member
    edited February 8
  • Well, I don't know what system the current blog uses - but it needs more contributors. I would contribute if I had an account - I'm sure a few more would too.
  • hgy29hgy29 Maintainer
    Yes, I'd do too if only I knew how to do
  • http://blog.giderosmobile.com/ uses Tumblr
    (if that's what you're asking, I'm not sure)
  • I think Forum FAQ can be extended, there are lots of extremely useful old topics on forum.
    (while learning Gideros I'll try to bookmark some of them that are especially useful for beginners)

    Likes: Atavismus

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  • > When thinking about the Gideros website.
    > What things do like about the website?

    It's pretty easy to get to the download and the main features are shown quite high up on the page.

    Examples!




    > What things do you dislike about the website?

    It doesn't work on Chrome on Android (there is a bug that stops it from scrolling down all the way)

    The menu doesn't work on Chrome on Android.

    There is too much text on the first page.




    > What features do you use on a regular basis?

    Forum and reference.




    > What features would you like to see removed?

    Links to ultimate guide (outdated).

    Developer tools (difficult to keep this up to date and relevant).

    Blog (unless we can automate to post new builds?).

    Contact us (who is "us"? Feels like a remnant of old commercial Gideros)

    Account (remnant from the old Gideros too?)

    Gideros developers. This could be replaced by an improved app showcase (see below).



    > What features would you like to see added?

    A roadmap.



    > What features would you like see changed?

    The download button should take you immediately to the download page (not to an intermediary info/fork screen). The user has already decided to download. Forking the repository is rare and advanced, and showing this button may confuse.

    App showcase should include only the very best and most popular games, that show what Gideros can do. Ideally with a dev interview. That is what a potential new user tends to look for. Right now it's a database of games, which could also be listed, but in a different section and not as a showcase.

    Move social media links from "contact us" to a new "social media" link under "Community",

    Maintainers should list active maintainers only, and what they are responsible for.

    Remove redundant "introduction", "reference" and "community forum" links from "developer's guide" and call it "Tutorials".




    > And finally how do you envision the website overall
    Its purpose, look, and feel

    Simple, clean, consistent and relevant.

    Likes: antix

    My Gideros games: www.totebo.com
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  • I totally agree about the download link @totebo. I also think the page should be relatively small and not have every version of Gideros listed since Adam & Eve walked the earth also :D
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  • I found a free web host and uploaded the current version of my idea of a Gideros website. I'd appreciate feedback.

    Currently it seems to work in FireFox, Chrome, and IE11. However in IE11 the reference guide icons have little up/down arrows which I need to get rid of ;)

    http://g2d.atwebpages.com
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  • App showcase should include only the very best and most popular games, that show what Gideros can do. Ideally with a dev interview. That is what a potential new user tends to look for. Right now it's a database of games, which could also be listed, but in a different section and not as a showcase.
    Totally agree!
    Interested developers come and check what was done with framework, if they don't see 'serious' apps they tend to draw conclusions that it's not 'pro' enough for them.
  • antixantix Member
    edited February 10
    @Apollo14, I don't agree :D

    For me personally when I arrive at a site I'm not looking for flashy animated pages with fancy parallax scrolling backgrounds, fade in sections and hover effects, and "look at all the great stuff made with this". I want to see very quickly what the thing is, see the benefits of the thing, and be able to download and get the thing running so I can actually evaluate it's actual value/potential/usability.

    For a visiting dev to look at a website and say "There are no flappy bird, clash of titans, or angry bird smash hit games made with this, I'm off" is a bit short sighted on their part, and frankly no loss to our community ;)

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  • piepie Member
    I agree, the website may be renewed, and many of the proposals look good to me. but I'd like to spend 2 words on the account section before thinking to remove it:

    there are some things that we already have:
    everyone with a giderosmobile account can update app showcase and developer tools section with his/her own apps and tools, and some of those may be featured (by the admins I think) to stand out in a bigger db.

    I don't know if it's feasible, but maybe with a little effort we could also enable blog posting for registered users. This would allow to have much more content if there is people willing to write blog posts. BTW the basic blog post could be the same thing that it's posted on this forum everytime a new release is available.

    We would still need one or more admins who can approve and eventually remove posted content, but I believe it would be a quick and easy task to do compared to the creation of contents.

    Another thing we have (at least some of us "older" users who bid on the first kickstarter) is a Cross Promotion Key which if I recall correctly may be used with this
    https://github.com/ar2rsawseen/GiderosCrossPromo
    Maybe it's possible to enable one for every user, I never used that, I don't know if it's a good idea, but it's already there to be used.


    Gideros Fiddle needs more assets, but it's a really cool feature which no other engine has: I think it needs to be improved and highlighted instead of being removed.. it may come really handy for tutorials and stuff (look at https://www.w3schools.com/) and we sometimes used it to explain things in the forum too (another improvement could be a quick access button to post gideros fiddles directly) It is also a real and already existing display of power.

    :smile:
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  • @pie these are interesting ideas but giving registered members access to the blog and other editable things invariably leads to spam. Just look about the website and you can find a few spam items in there, and somebody then has to moderate and manage the removal of those things.

    With all systems like blogging, showcases, interviews, and so on, somebody has to manage those. Currently there is no manager assigned to any of those things and personally I would shy away from them unless somebody was to put up their hand and take that role on.. and actually perform ;)

    The fiddle is good, but it personally I don't feel it should part of a production site in its current state. It would be better suited for learning and problem solving, much like how jsfiddle is used extensively on StackExchange for demonstrating issues and solutions to different web programming issues. Once it has lots more assets available to it I think then it could be integrated again into the site.

    I had no knowledge of the Gideros Cross Promo thing, it looks neat. Does it actually work still though?
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  • piepie Member
    Where did you read that we don't need admins? We do :) my point is simple:
    The website needs updated content, and we already have the means to update it to a certain point by ourselves as community members. I don't know the backoffice of giderosmobile, but almost any cms out there has a builtin set of approval tools for comments and posts. The job of one or more admins would "just" be to approve and reject contents instead of writing them from scratch.
    I will be happy to do this in my spare time, and I believe there is also someone else who could share 10 minutes a week to do it :)

    The fiddle needs more assets, nothing more. I don't think it would be so hard to add some royalty free images :)
    Overall the issue is not the fiddle itself, but the lack of documentation and tutorials making use of it.

    As said, I never used the cross promo thing but it may still be working :)
  • HJey @pie I wasn't trying to say say we didn't need admins.. I was attempting to say we need admins who are going to actively administrate. It's great you have volunteered to help on this, awesome stuff!

    I agree regarding the fiddle but somebody needs to do this before it's added I think.

    Re the cross promo thing. Somebody needs to test it before it would be included I think.

    At the end of the day everything seems to come down to people who can do a particular task and if they are wiling to invest time and effort into it.
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  • I have finished work on the Gideros API Reference page. I'd appreciate feedback please...
    http://g2d.atwebpages.com/reference.html

    Likes: Apollo14, jdbc

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  • Apollo14Apollo14 Member
    edited February 14
    antix said:

    I have finished work on the Gideros API Reference page. I'd appreciate feedback please...
    http://g2d.atwebpages.com/reference.html

    Bookmarked it! I'll use it extensively and provide feedback! :) Many THX!

    Likes: antix

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  • New reference doesn't have static links like
    http://docs.giderosmobile.com/reference/enhancement/macrofunctions
    The only link available is http://g2d.atwebpages.com/reference.html

    It may be inconvenient to share links on forum, etc.
  • @Apollo14 you can still link to individual classes with the new system, you just won;t see the API Tree on the left hand side of the document when you open that link.

    Pointing people to the API Reference really should be adequate as the Tree makes things very easy to find.

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  • also i liked that in the tree i see the functions too not just the classes.
  • @keszegh I considered having the classes and then sub nodes inside those for all of the methods but decided it was better to just have the classes because when you have expanded a few classes suddenly the tree becomes very large and becomes difficult to navigate.

    The way the current system manages alleviates the rapid expansion issue is to collapse a class when you select another. Whilst that does work, it also becomes annoying if the user was not done in the previous class, which has now been collapsed.
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  • @antix, is it not possible to list functions in another column then?
  • antixantix Member
    edited February 14
    @keszegh I don't think that would work very well.

    If there was a third column then the user has to click the class, then the method in the third colummn. If there was a second row in the left column (underneath the existing tree) then the user is still going to have to click the class in the top tree and then click the method in the bottom tree.

    When the user clicks the class currently the class is displayed in the right column and all of the functions are listed there anyway. I think it functions pretty well and it doesn't really take much longer to navigate through the methods than the current system does. Are you finding it cumbersome?

    I've also just uploaded a new version of the API Reference which now 100% sizes itself correctly on window resizing as previously when the bar at the top changed height.. everything went wonky :D

    Oh and if anyone finds the site slow.. it's because it's a 100% free host. The production site will run much faster :)
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  • @antix, when there are many functions, like Mesh then i find it hard to find one i need when they are listed consecutively and not in a column. also if i'm in the middle of mesh description and i want to chech another function of it then i need to click mesh to get to the top then scroll down a bit to see the list of functions, then search in the mass of function names and click on it. for me the current reference system seems more effective.

    actually, the only thing i did not like is that in the current reference clicking on a class serves both as expand/collapse and also to show that class description. so sometimes i need to click twice (collapse and then expand) on it just to see class description. aside from this it works perfect for me.
  • I'd like to ask everyone how they feel about the current donation system. Do you like it or do you not like it?

    Personally I'm not overly fond of it as every time I donated I voted for upgrades to infrastructure (like tutorials and documentation) but this never happened.

    I was wondering if there couldn't just be a donation amount and a button to donate. I feel this approach would not make people who donated for a specific feature feel let down when that feature never got any attention.

    Another benefit of this would be that the download page could be one page, not several as it is currently :)
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