New Site

So, finally, I've put some work into a new site along with a friend of mine. This is the first draft:

How do you feel about the general direction?

News will be handled through word press, so I will give everyone a wordpress account to post news items. With luck we'll be able to create themes in the wiki and forums to create a more consistent look. I'll also be looking into updating the wiki software to the latest version. And I can finally dump the pain in the ass that is mambo.

The site is intended to be simpler and streamlined.

Some known technical issues:

  1. Links on news page don't work as they are relative to the root directory, and don't move up out of news.
  2. The front page doesn't have a link to the news site directly, only the RSS feeds themselves.
  3. Webstart links are not hooked in yet. The intent is they will go with the movies (reducing the webstart links to only the most impressive demos).
  4. Some appearance glitches here and there.

    My hope is that we can take care of the main issues and go ahead and make this the main page soon (even while the look is being solidified). The only thing that would stop this is if a developer really feels this is the wrong direction.

    Let me know what you think.
mojomonk said:

How do you feel about the general direction?

Great new look! 8) And much better layout!

Additional points which should be addressed:
- color scheme at the bottom has low contrast
- donate stuff does not fit that well (design wise) (+ is quite big)
- news should be placed more prominent (did you mean that already?)

This isn't a site…it's a two page portal. :o

If this is the kind of "site" we want I would suggest integrating it into Trac as then it would be extremely simple to maintain (as the whole thing is a wiki), will provide issue tracking that is far better than, and even provides a lot of features for SVN navigation.  I don't necessarily feel this is the wrong direction, but my first impression of the page is that there isn't much to show so everything has been blown up to fill the page. We have so much stuff we could show off it would be easy to jam-pack the main page with information.  Now, I believe in simplicity in design to the end that it is not overwhelming to the user, but I think we could get a friendly middle-ground.

Anyone else agree?

Also, I think we could do something better with displaying videos, like in a inline DHTML frame that pops up.

Honestly, I'm not quite sure what you are suggesting. Can you point to an example site that does what you want?

I used Unity 3D's site ( as inspiration.

I don't really think the page is that bad, it's just everything is too big.  If everything were scaled down a bit, the news items weren't on the bottom (preferably left or right side) and grammar and spell check were used for the content already there it would be too bad.  However, the fact that we rely on the community so much for content already I think it would make sense to consider using a wiki as the site.  I prefer Trac, but we're already using Doku so that would be fine with me as well.  I just fear we're going to end up with a static site that nobody ever goes to if we are relying on someone to develop it for us and it is totally disparate from the content people actually use (wiki, forum, etc.) and if it's a wiki it doesn't require any special mechanism to give people permission to modify.  We could lock the main pages from being modified and leave the rest open for any registered user.  This also allows users to create pages for information and we can simply add a link from the main page or elsewhere to that content after we've approved it.

The news items deserve more prominent placement on the frontpage (didn't even see them at first). Other than that I really like the new design.

Well, I understand (i think) what darkfrog is saying, but I don't really feel that the entire community needs to feel the same…  Nor do I feel that the front page need to be something that we all go to often.  Seems to me like the front page and demos, etc. are more useful as ways to funnel new people to the information they need to decide if jME is right for them.  I like the new design and think it does this.  My only two comments are:

  1. The callout text is a bit hard to read.  Might be my eyes, or my screen, but having that text have a darker outline would be nice.
  2. I like the new demos page and especially like the idea of having movie and webstart links…  is it possible to have the videos come up over the page rather than as a separate page?

    Other than that and some of the comments others have said, I like it. :slight_smile:

Darkfrog, I understand what you are saying now. One of the goals in my mind was to move away from the "Development" page to more of a "Product" page. So, I went with somewhat of an "elevator pitch" page that contains the Wow factor, then lead to a greater information in the wiki/forum/google sections if a user is interested. I'm not particularly happy with Doku wiki either, and don't have a problem with seeing Trac implemented at the "more information" side of things (transferring the doku wiki content to Trac will be a pain). Personally, I don't have a problem with moving everything development related to the google code side of things.

Is this a good goal? Seems that jme is surpassing the basic development project and entering the realm of true product. If there is disagreement here, by all means let me know.

So far, feedback is positive and I'll work on:

Scale issues (donate in particular)

Contrast issues

News needs to be more prominent.


Just saw Josh's post:

That's basically what I was going for. Basically: Wow, this looks interesting, media is cool, let me look further, join forum/wiki. Like you said, the front page is just a way of getting people hooked in the first few minutes and not really need the front page anymore. (we'll of course update the news and media as needed).

  1. I'll work on the contrast some more.
  2. Videos are going to a separate page? That is not intended behavior… it should darken the screen and play the movie in the center. Can you try one more time?

How would you guys like to make the news more prominent?

DF mentions left/right sides. Is this the consensus?

In Firefox I click a video and it goes directly to the MOV file and plays in QuickTime on a new page.

I don't believe moving between wikis would be a big deal, I think they all maintain the same "wiki formatting", so it should just be a matter of copy and paste.  Mark, you make a good point about Google Code, they provide a wiki and we could leverage that instead.  Perhaps if we push downloads, wiki, source code, web starts, etc. to the Google Code site we would only need hosting anymore for the forum.  I think Google Code supports a custom "start page" as well (like does), but I'm not sure about that.


jME is capable of delivering state-of-the-art graphics with it's large features set and ease of use!

Should be:

jME is capable of delivering state-of-the-art graphics with its large feature set and ease of use!

Minor thing, but a pet peeve. :o  Also, the RSS takes forever to load on my side...not sure what's going on there but it slows down the page a lot from finalizing the load.

Also, the "get started using jME" *** BANANA HERE *** "download jME" annoys as well.  Having text on top and bottom pointing to the same thing makes the flow incredibly inconsistent with the other icons right below it.  Further, it would probably be a good idea to have "get started…" point to a tutorial for getting going and even gives instructions on how to download jME.

typo fixed…

are you saying to not have "get started using jME" point to anything or remove it completely?

EDIT: Yeah, not sure why the RSS feed is so slow. Trying to figure that out.

EDIT 2: What version of Firefox?

how about an embedded youtube playlist thingy for movies…faster, always up to date etc (though lower quality)… could be additional to some high quality ones (those on site download a .mov and play separately in my firefox too).

like josh's youtube collection:

The intent wasn’t so much for the playing of movies as a way of making the webstart links a bit flashier. But the fact that the movies are playing in a separate window isn’t good. Apparently that javascript is a bit buggy.

I don’t mind creating a “theater” page or something similar for general movies and use YouTube. But I like specific movies tied to the webstart links… if the effect loads properly. You should see:

Modified the link if someone that had it broken previously could shift-reload to see if it is now fixed.

Looks good here at the office.  I'll check again back at home tonight.

Yeah, it's working better now, but the video seems kinda small.  I would think a larger size would be more impressive (particularly with water) as it shows the details.

The get started text either needs to be removed or refactored so it has an icon associated with it and points to a tutorial.  I don't know what's loading the RSS feeds, but you may want to see about having a background thread that reloads to a cache and then it's not requesting per page load, but background updating after a certain amount of time.  This will keep the lag from hitting the clients.

Just a suggestion, but for a good example of a product site I would recommend

Ok, I think we got the majority of suggestions/fixes in place. Check out the new site and look for anything blatantly bad. If the majority agree, I think it's ready to move to the main site and start getting community feedback. It'll be nice to dump Mambo.

Once that happens, I'll work on the forum theme to tie the forum into the site better. Then start looking into the wiki.

Sorry, what has been fixed?  Either I'm pointing to the wrong version or it looks (at least nearly) identical to the way it did before.  I thought the news was going to be moved to the side?  I also thought something was going to happen with the links on the right side?

I really still feel like it looks very unprofessional. :frowning: