Robyduck and I have been working on a total revamp of spins.fedoraproject.org. Behold, what spins.fpo looks like today:
Different kinds of spins
So one issue we have with spins is that there are different *kinds* of spins:
- Desktop Spins There are desktop spins that each feature a different desktop environment on top of Fedora. While you can install multiple desktop environments by default, most people stick to one most of the time, and you certainly can’t use more than one in a given session. These spins are much more about the environment you use Fedora in rather than applications layered on top.
- Functional Spins There are functional spins that consist of application bundles and configuration that you could honestly package-group install on any desktop and be able to use productively – Games, Design Suite, Robotics, etc. They are more purpose-directed than the desktop spins, which are more for general computing environments.
- ARM builds (These aren’t actually spins but fell into the fray as they needed a home too!) Now that ARM is a top-level / supported architecture, we have ARM builds for many versions of Fedora. These images are solely architecture-based and cater to a very specific community and very specific use cases / hardware beyond traditional servers, workstations, and laptops.
We made a decision to split the desktop spins away from the functional spins. Functional spins will be housed at a new site catered specifically for them: labs.fedoraproject.org. ARM builds will also have their own one-page site with references to important documentation and the Fedora ARM community as well.
Here’s a rough diagram to illustrate:
Desktop Spins (spins.fpo)
(These mockups are huge by the way. Sorry 🙂 )
For the front page of the spins.fedoraproject.org site – since they are all desktops, we thought a full-width, large-size screenshot of what the desktop looks like in that spin would help folks figure out which ones they wanted to explore. (Note this mockup does not include Sugar but Sugar will be included in the final design:)
Rather than the tabbed approach we use today, we decided to consolidate all of the information on each spin’s individual details page to a one-pager. Spin SIGs can provide as much or as little data about the spin as they like. There are section they can use to highlight specific apps or features of their desktop, or they can opt to not use that display and instead just focus on the description and support content.
Functional Spins (labs.fpo)
The functional spins are more domain / goal-oriented than the desktop spins, so the previews on the front page are smaller and don’t necessarily feature desktop screenshots.
Similar to how the desktop spins’ details pages work, the lab spins details pages are one-pagers as compared to their current multi-tab incarnations. Again, the SIGs in charge can get as detailed or as brief as they’d like. Here’s the Design Suite’s details page:
So I’m still sorting out some issues with the usage of the ARM trademark here, so none of this is super-final in terms of the graphic design / lack of trademark notices / disclaimers / etc. This is strictly an incomplete work-in-progress. That being said, I’ve been picking the #fedora-arm folks’ brains a lot lately to understand our ARM offerings, their use cases, and ideal ways to represent them for the target audience. My thinking here is a simple one-pager that lists out all of the options by the major usage categories – headless and desktop computing – and just making it really easy to find the version you need across all of the many available options. The other thing here that the #fedora-devel and #fedora-arm folks suggested are links to the ARM wiki documentation for installing these images as well as references to the Fedora ARM mailing list and IRC channels to provide some support for folks using the page.
Anyway here’s where that mockup is at now:
Whoah cool. You guys have it all under control then?
NOOOOOOOO!!!!11 NOT TRUE!
We need your help. There are so many spins and versions of Fedora we’re juggling here, and neither of us is an expert in all or even most of them. We’re trying to adapt / convert the existing content / assets for these spins/versions of Fedora, but we really need help from the folks who maintain / use these spins to fully develop the content we need for their pages to come out looking great.
Robyduck sent out a bunch of messages to the various SIGs involved but we haven’t gotten a great response yet. Time is short to get these pages built in time for F22, so we really need all the help we can get. If you are an owner or even interested user in any of the spins featured in these mockups (or ARM,) can you get in touch and help us perfect the content for your spin / ARM build of interest?
By the way, you can follow the process of the mockups here in the git repo for them. Robyduck is coding them up about as fast as I can crank designs out but I am sure he would appreciate some coding assistance too!!