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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:28 pm 
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I know this is 4 months old, but can I bump it back into conversation?

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Rainwarrior said:
I'd probably make it look something like this:

Logo, possibly a brief paragraph describing the site's purpose
Link to Forums
Link to Wiki
Smaller link to archived version of old main page
Footer with host information


Exactly what I was going to say.

When you click on the main page and see that everything is over 5 years old, a new person might think, "oh this website isn't being maintained, I better go somewhere else"

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:37 pm 
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I still think this is an issue that could be discussed further.

BTW, I designed a few websites (many years ago). I wrote all the HTML by hand (as opposed to using a web design tool), because I'm a nerd.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:09 pm 
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The "programming guide" and "reference guide" sections could use some updating, certainly.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 12:29 pm 
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I mentioned it in a recent thread, but it's probably more relevant here:

To prevent search engines from linking to outdated documents directly, can we make an exclusion for the collection of documents hosted from the main page? (robots.txt or whatever)

I couldn't come up with any google searches that linked to any of these directly, I'm just responding to the claim that it happens in the thread I linked above.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 12:50 pm 
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I find it very odd that the main page is outdated, not particularly useful, and containing incorrect information (Is this accurate? I've heard that it does.)

Is it just waiting on someone to take the initiative to design a front page? Clean links to the forum and wiki would be much more helpful.

I can understand that a lot of people have nostalgia for the front page the way it is (nostalgia blinders?) but as someone who has joined in the past year, I have to say it's an eye sore, and not an inviting place to land as your first stop to see if it's possible to make an NES game. The forum and wiki look good though.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 12:58 pm 
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Quote:
incorrect information...is this accurate?


Yes.

I'm more concerned that it looks like no one's updated the page since 2004. It might turn off new visitors.

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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 1:22 pm 
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In the interim, I propose moving the old front page to something like "old_docs.html" and then making a new front page that links to forums, wikis, and compos.

But then the last time I asked for a second or objection to a reorganization, I got a bunch of seconds but didn't get objections until the change had already landed.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 1:40 pm 
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Good point, do you want to do another poll?

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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 2:10 pm 
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Maybe a longer time before implementation? Making sure everyone has a chance to ring in.

Looks like the topic was posted on the 27th and Bregalad is lost by the changes on the 28th.

I doubt this one would affect people near as much though.

Personally, I know when I first started, I had a lot of pessimism about how possible it even was to develop NES games. The main page does no favors on this.

I still stand by the sentiment that NES development seems inapproachable as a beginner. Even if the actual programming is too complex to grasp at first look, I think a beginner should get an inviting sense that making games for NES is possible and has and is being done. If you google "NES Development", the main page is the first result. Then there's the NES Development Tools page, which is on the Wiki so it looks better, but it's too long, it's not curated, as a beginner, I don't know what's what and it looks mostly like a bunch of hacker tools. This isn't beginner friendly.

I'm not sure why these two are the first to come up, but if that's inevitable, I think the pages could be utilized to appeal to beginners.

I think the main page should be warm and inviting. I'd imagine a light background and maybe even some pictures of homebrew characters. People might identify and say, "I know that game! I want to do something like that!"

I think the tools page would be for the better if it was targeted toward the beginner and waaay slimmed down. At the same time, maybe add some new background information on what an assembler is and maybe the differences in options, before presenting the three main options available. I'd take out all of the text tiles. Those are only "tools" by a loose abstraction. Most of the software is outdated. There could be like... ten tools there. And it could give the beginner a sense that there are things which will do what they want, rather than feeling like they're swimming in outdated 90s info.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 2:35 pm 
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tepples wrote:
I propose moving the old front page to something like "old_docs.html" and then making a new front page that links to forums, wikis, and compos.

Yes, that's exactly what I'd like to see.

tepples wrote:
the last time I asked for a second or objection to a reorganization, I got a bunch of seconds but didn't get objections until the change had already landed.

Perhaps, though the forum organization affects a lot of people here use on a daily basis. I don't think anybody here goes to the main page of nesdev.com every day; it's more of a honeypot trap for noobs. ;P

darryl.revok wrote:
I think the tools page would be for the better...

Please become a wiki editor and contribute!


By the way, since it was hinted at in the other thread, I do think we should preserve all those documents as-is. In a lot of cases when revising the wiki or documenting other things, it's important to be able to dig into old documents to see where misinformation came from. When you're digging through old emulator code and you want to know what the hell a "Namco 106" is, for example. Knowing the history of a mistake is very helpful in unravelling it.

If you want to fork old documents and make better versions of them, I won't stop you (though I'd rather just push to the wiki, personally). I you do, though, can I request that you don't just go and replace the old ones? (Add a "2" on the end of the filename or do something to distinguish versions at the very least. :P)


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 2:41 pm 
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Here's my quick and dirty mock-up of what it may look like, at least to get the old docs out of the way. I've even tuned it to look fine on the narrower screens of phones. I want to make an "IRC" button, but I'd also want a sixth button for aesthetic balance.

And yes, the pattern has been to push new versions of documents to the wiki. For example, PPU scrolling is based on loopy's "The skinny on NES scrolling" with a simple case and diagram of a scrolling seam at the top.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 5:20 pm 
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I would change "old docs" to "archive", and "endorsed by" to "affiliated with".

And from a design point of view, the 8-bit style red font on "NES info..." might look good in other elements on the screen, perhaps as Titles "Wiki", " Forum" (as a graphic)

(I'm assuming "lorem ipsum" will be replaced with some other text).

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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 8:47 pm 
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Looks pretty good for a start. That doesn't mean I think it's ready to put up, but I feel like it's a good direction.

Hopefully if we leave this up we'll get some of the more artistic members picking at it for a bit.

I like the click boxes that change color when you hover. I think they should be the same size though. Personally I think I'd go for making them all around the golden ratio rather than square, especially since there will be six.

Perhaps a option to balance it when IRC is added could be tutorial. I know the tutorial is unfinished now, but even a blank square would hold the spot for the time being.


Also, does anyone else have an opinion on the dark/light, matter? Most web users prefer light pages, according to this entirely non-scientific looking survey image: Image

The forum is dark but the wiki is white so I don't see why the front page HAS to fit into either. Dark pages relieve eye strain over long periods. I can see that and I like the darkness for the forum. We spent a bit of time here. But I think we should think about the purpose of the front page. It's not really even for us. We're already here, diggin' in the opcodes. The front page is for beginners, the new, the curious. The front page, I feel, is for someone who's always loved NES games and has a bunch of ideas and wants to see if it can be done. I think it should appeal to the widest group of people possible. Honestly, I don't think somebody even has to be particularly great with computers to make a great programmer. Even if someone comes into the community with no interest in programming, but art talent, that's valuable to us. They just need to see it's a vibrant community. In no small way, I feel the dark page hurts that on first impression, which is very important.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 9:35 pm 
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The reason is, presumably, to make it feel more NES-like, since I...can't actually think of any light-BG menus on the NES.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 10:03 pm 
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tepples wrote:
Here's my quick and dirty mock-up of what it may look like, at least to get the old docs out of the way.

Looks pretty good to me. I wouldn't spend ages trying to perfect it at this point. It seems already functional enough, and we can make it better with time.

Unrelated: Is it possible that we could start hosting the NESDev compo page on this server?

rainwarrior wrote:
I don't think anybody here goes to the main page of nesdev.com every day; it's more of a honeypot trap for noobs. ;P

That's definitely the case for me. There are a couple of valuable documents there though, just to name a few:

http://nesdev.com/6502_cpu.txt: Fairly good document about cycle-by-cycle behavior of the CPU. With some minor mistakes, I believe.
http://nesdev.com/apu_ref.txt: blargg's APU reference. Yes, ~the same information (and then some) is in the wiki, but here it's organized in a straightforward, unambiguous manner.

Maybe we should have a wiki page for links to docs like this, possibly with errata?

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