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Home » Community » PR, media coverage, articles and documentation » New user observations
New user observations [message #4179] Thu, 27 July 2006 19:04 Go to next message
rbmatt is currently offline  rbmatt
Messages: 90
Registered: July 2006
Location: Tennesse, USA
Member

I’ve been using Ultimate++ for about a week, and I love it. I’m already looking for ways that I can give back to the project. Here are some of my observations/suggestions that you can choose to implement, ignore, discuss, etc.
1. Unify website parts locations: Content seems to be spread over too many places. Right now the main website is at http://upp.sourceforge.net, there is good content on the SF page http://sourceforge.net/projects/upp , the forums are at http://www.arilect.com/upp/forum/, and there are wikis at both http://www.arilect.com/mediawiki152/ and http://upp.wikispaces.com/. This is confusing to new users. Put it all under one domain name.
2. Add a “New Users Guide”: Very simple, but it would explain the basics to new users. First a VERY basic feature set that hooks the reader and makes him want to read more. The guide would point them to the forums, wiki, tutorials, and Assist++. It would do a very basic overview of TheIDE. There is some good information out there, it just needs to be compiled into one place and labeled for new users.
3. More user interaction: Mirek, you have been awesome helping me. But I’m afraid if we get a lot of new users you won’t be able to help everyone. It would really help if some of the people familiar with U++ would stand up and be a little more active in the forums.
4. Put help menu in TheIDE: Yea, I know there’s plenty of good stuff built-in. But there is no help menu. New users will hit the F1 key and look for the help menu in the top right of the menu bar. F1 doesn’t do anything and there’s no help menu. I suggest moving at very minimum “Help Index” and “About” to the help menu.
5. Describe and screenshot examples on website: New users that have no clue about U++ API typically have no clue what the examples are doing. Explain the code (simple is fine).
6. Make packages for Linux: I know you’ve mentioned this before, but I think it’s quite important. Try to get a package in the Debian repository so users can apt-get it.
7. Make it run on Mac: I know it’s on the roadmap. I know it’s going to take a lot. I just think it’s really important.
8. Get some more PR from digg: I see that U++ was dugg once before over 150 days ago. I’ll be glad to submit to digg if there is something “newsworthy.” Note digg users love Ubuntu and Apple- so making a native Debian package (that can be gotten with apt-get) and Mac version would be huge.
9. Wikipedia article: Mirek posted that this was needed back in February. I say why not?
10. Setup development “blog”: New users (and Google) love to see news on the main page. It makes the project look alive. Basically, someone (a developer, a PR person, or a programmer) needs to post dated material to the site.
11. Make website more search engine friendly: Ok, I saw that this has been discussed on here before. I would definitely go towards a CSS-based site with emphasis on heading tags and compliant markup. You’d be surprised how much it helps (I used to work for a web host). But not really a big deal, I think the website is fine visually.

Discuss the list if you want. I'll be glad to help anywhere I can, just point me where you want me.
Re: New user observations [message #4181 is a reply to message #4179] Thu, 27 July 2006 21:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mirek is currently offline  mirek
Messages: 11830
Registered: November 2005
Ultimate Member
Well, most of those things would be nice to happen.

The real trouble, and I am not happy to speak about it, is that project at the moment is seriously "undermanned". I consider this my fault, but so far we were not able to attract huge number of contributors and maintainers. Maybe it is time to try again - last time when I gave up searching for website maintainer, I put together the current website using tools I had at hand (that is, website is 100% generated using U++ Smile

I know it is closed circle - no team to make PR buzz results in no attraction to new people that would do PR and rest Wink

Anyway, let us make another try. This time, with quite a lot of people really starting to understant U++, it might be better. We need:

- linux maintainer
- website maintainer
- PR/documentation people (write articles about U++)

..feel free to add...

BTW, current "active" U++ team could be listed as:

- me, doing almost everything Wink
- Tom Rylek, U++ co-author, the only other person at the moment with write access to 'uppsrc'
- Daniel Kos - third person that knows U++ really in depth, regular dev release mainainer.
- Arilect - maintains this forum (speaking about it, what is your full name, ari? Smile
- Sandor Hojtsy - should sync website, but frankly there were not many changes to it... we would need www maintainer instead I think

Then there is quite a lot of knowledgeable contributors, full list is in TheIDE.

Mirek
Re: New user observations [message #4182 is a reply to message #4181] Thu, 27 July 2006 21:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mirek is currently offline  mirek
Messages: 11830
Registered: November 2005
Ultimate Member
Well, thinking about it, maybe the most important addition to the team is some team manager? Smile

Mirek
Re: New user observations [message #4184 is a reply to message #4179] Thu, 27 July 2006 23:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zsolt is currently offline  zsolt
Messages: 576
Registered: December 2005
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Contributor
I think, the main problem of upp is, that it is unknown to the public.
For example I wrote an app with upp and posted some bugfixes while I develpoed my system. If upp had more users it had a lot of contributors, I think.
My opinion is, that the main problem of potential upp users is, that it is almost impossible to convince their bosses about using upp instead of java or dotnet. And this is because the lack of PR.
So for the upp project, the most valuabe person would be a native english speaking man who finds out PR campaigns and writes tons of articles and posts them to the media.
You know: to have that critical mass...
Re: New user observations [message #4185 is a reply to message #4184] Thu, 27 July 2006 23:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mirek is currently offline  mirek
Messages: 11830
Registered: November 2005
Ultimate Member
Well, I guess everybody (except Ari Wink agrees about that Wink

Mirek
Re: New user observations [message #4186 is a reply to message #4179] Fri, 28 July 2006 05:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fudadmin is currently offline  fudadmin
Messages: 1298
Registered: November 2005
Location: London, UK
Senior Contributor
Administrator
rbmatt wrote on Thu, 27 July 2006 18:04

I’ve been using Ultimate++ for about a week, and I love it. I’m already looking for ways that I can give back to the project. Here are some of my observations/suggestions that you can choose to implement, ignore, discuss, etc.
1. Unify website parts locations: Content seems to be spread over too many places. Right now the main website is at http://upp.sourceforge.net, there is good content on the SF page http://sourceforge.net/projects/upp , the forums are at http://www.arilect.com/upp/forum/, and there are wikis at both http://www.arilect.com/mediawiki152/ and http://upp.wikispaces.com/. This is confusing to new users.

Put it all under one domain name.


Thanks for your enthusiasm.
Some comments:

Sorry, but one domain name is bad.
Reason 1:
Most of good open source projects are hosted on sourceforge.net. This is one of the best ways to find them. Do you propose to remove Ultimate++ from there?

Reason 2:
On the other hand, sourceforge is slow and not reliable. Updating, installing etc. is a big headache and a waste of time. Both for users and admins. That's why most of sourceforge good projects have their other domains.

P.S.
Btw, somehow wxWidgets etc. users are not confused. Smile

Quote:


2. Add a “New Users Guide”: Very simple, but it would explain the basics to new users. First a VERY basic feature set that hooks the reader and makes him want to read more. The guide would point them to the forums, wiki, tutorials, and Assist++. It would do a very basic overview of TheIDE. There is some good information out there, it just needs to be compiled into one place and labeled for new users.



You (and anyone) can start writing (and editing) it here on forums. I'll make it sticky.


Quote:


3. More user interaction: Mirek, you have been awesome helping me. But I’m afraid if we get a lot of new users you won’t be able to help everyone. It would really help if some of the people familiar with U++ would stand up and be a little more active in the forums.



How many "familiar with u++" do we have here?
And how long does it take to become "familiar"?

P.S.
After some intensive 6 months I'm still not confidently familiar with u++. Because it's a Guisberg... Smile. On the other hand, do not expect a lot from other (on average 15) regular forum visitors. 10 of which are regularly changing newbies...
Also, there was an opinion that u++ users prefer not to participate in forum communications...


Quote:


4. Put help menu in TheIDE: Yea, I know there’s plenty of good stuff built-in. But there is no help menu. New users will hit the F1 key and look for the help menu in the top right of the menu bar. F1 doesn’t do anything and there’s no help menu. I suggest moving at very minimum “Help Index” and “About” to the help menu.



Fixing F1 help is against PR "strategy" and you can do nothing about it... Wink

Quote:


5. Describe and screenshot examples on website: New users that have no clue about U++ API typically have no clue what the examples are doing. Explain the code (simple is fine).



Who can and has time?

Quote:


6. Make packages for Linux: I know you’ve mentioned this before, but I think it’s quite important. Try to get a package in the Debian repository so users can apt-get it.



Who can and has time (the Debian repository)?

Quote:


7. Make it run on Mac: I know it’s on the roadmap. I know it’s going to take a lot. I just think it’s really important.



Who can and has time?

Quote:


8. Get some more PR from digg: I see that U++ was dugg once before over 150 days ago. I’ll be glad to submit to digg if there is something “newsworthy.” Note digg users love Ubuntu and Apple- so making a native Debian package (that can be gotten with apt-get) and Mac version would be huge.



Who can and has time?

Quote:


9. Wikipedia article: Mirek posted that this was needed back in February. I say why not?



You (and anyone) can start writing (and editing) it here on forums. Then we will post it. Otherwise, some language and PR strategical mistakes might be fatal... Smile

Quote:


10. Setup development “blog”: New users (and Google) love to see news on the main page. It makes the project look alive. Basically, someone (a developer, a PR person, or a programmer) needs to post dated material to the site.

11. Make website more search engine friendly: Ok, I saw that this has been discussed on here before. I would definitely go towards a CSS-based site with emphasis on heading tags and compliant markup. You’d be surprised how much it helps (I used to work for a web host). But not really a big deal, I think the website is fine visually.



I think those 2 last things are the most important if you have skills and understanding. I've spent a lot of time experimenting here on arilect with different software for these kind of purposes but didn't want to make those experiments public (partly due to possible confusion you mentioned in the beginning Smile )

What could you do? And where your heart lies?
P.S. Web...? Smile
Edited:
Aris.

[Updated on: Fri, 28 July 2006 05:24]

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Re: New user observations [message #4187 is a reply to message #4186] Fri, 28 July 2006 08:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mirek is currently offline  mirek
Messages: 11830
Registered: November 2005
Ultimate Member
Quote:


Also, there was an opinion that u++ users prefer not to participate in forum communications...



Interestingly enough, there are signs that some people are pretty familiar with U++ and we never heard about them Smile

E.g. see the last mailing list contribution...

Anyway, that does not help too much here.

Quote:


Fixing F1 help is against PR "strategy" and you can do nothing about it... Wink



Why do you think so? Why "against PR strategy"?

There is just work that is already done (e.g. new Image and most of Chameleon) and work that is on ToDo and has to be done yet Wink

Quote:


Quote:


7. Make it run on Mac: I know it’s on the roadmap. I know it’s going to take a lot. I just think it’s really important.



Who can and has time?



Me? Smile

Mirek

[Updated on: Fri, 28 July 2006 08:47]

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Re: New user observations [message #4278 is a reply to message #4179] Mon, 31 July 2006 11:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pivica is currently offline  pivica
Messages: 57
Registered: November 2005
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Member
I could help with next two things:

1. Web site. Currently u++ code generates web site. That is a good solution for generating document, reference and manual pages. But with this solution it is difficult to have dynamic web site (users, news, ...). Good solution is to use CMS for this. I have good working experience with Drupal CMS (www.drupal.org); made two web sites with it (www.linux-beograd.org.yu and www.cultrim.com) and currently working on one more, also with Drupal.
Drupal offers many features: users, roles, news, books, forum (also have module for fud forum integration), built in search engine, blog ...

Maybe it is a good idea to switch U++ site to CMS, and if we chose Drupal I am willing to make site, administer and teach at least one more person to administer site.

Only problem is how to transfer topic documentation to Drupal. Maybe it is possible to write some U++ code and automate process.

2. I am using Debian and Ubuntu and will try this week to make packages for it.

[Updated on: Mon, 31 July 2006 11:41]

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Re: New user observations [message #4279 is a reply to message #4278] Mon, 31 July 2006 12:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mirek is currently offline  mirek
Messages: 11830
Registered: November 2005
Ultimate Member
Add 1: The trouble is that sf.net website service is quite limited - e.g. we were unable to setup the forum running there, that is why it runs on arilect....

Mirek
Re: New user observations [message #4282 is a reply to message #4279] Mon, 31 July 2006 13:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pivica is currently offline  pivica
Messages: 57
Registered: November 2005
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Member
Quote:

Add 1: The trouble is that sf.net website service is quite limited - e.g. we were unable to setup the forum running there, that is why it runs on arilect....


I don't know for prices in other countries, but for LUG Belgrade we are paying 15 euros for 1 year of hosting; sometimes site is slow, but for that price it is ok. Why not changing provider for web site?
Re: New user observations [message #4283 is a reply to message #4282] Mon, 31 July 2006 13:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mirek is currently offline  mirek
Messages: 11830
Registered: November 2005
Ultimate Member
pivica wrote on Mon, 31 July 2006 07:03

Quote:

Add 1: The trouble is that sf.net website service is quite limited - e.g. we were unable to setup the forum running there, that is why it runs on arilect....


I don't know for prices in other countries, but for LUG Belgrade we are paying 15 euros for 1 year of hosting; sometimes site is slow, but for that price it is ok. Why not changing provider for web site?


Publicity. Being on sf.net has benefits. (in fact, I still pay for original www.ntllib.org, so that is the least problem).

Well, in fact, I feel that at some point in future U++ will move to its own website / domain, but I believe that time has not come yet... (the other reason is the possibility to make some potential income from google links etc - but we would need much more hits for that to have any sense).

Mirek
Re: New user observations [message #4284 is a reply to message #4179] Mon, 31 July 2006 13:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pivica is currently offline  pivica
Messages: 57
Registered: November 2005
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
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Quote:

Publicity. Being on sf.net has benefits.


What are the benefits for hosting web site on sf?
Re: New user observations [message #4285 is a reply to message #4284] Mon, 31 July 2006 13:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mirek is currently offline  mirek
Messages: 11830
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- .sf.net in domain Smile

- high google rating

- being listen in sf.net directory

In fact, it is also true that it would be possible to have the www outside sf.net and still be hosted, with redirection of www and use sf.net for svn and downloads.

Mirek
Re: New user observations [message #4290 is a reply to message #4285] Mon, 31 July 2006 17:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rbmatt is currently offline  rbmatt
Messages: 90
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Location: Tennesse, USA
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luzr wrote on Mon, 31 July 2006 07:35

In fact, it is also true that it would be possible to have the www outside sf.net and still be hosted, with redirection of www and use sf.net for svn and downloads.

That is how a lot of the bigger packages are listed, and I think that's where U++ will ultimately end up.
If you want to talk about hosting in the future, let me know. I might can work something out.
Re: New user observations [message #4304 is a reply to message #4285] Tue, 01 August 2006 00:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
exolon is currently offline  exolon
Messages: 62
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luzr wrote on Mon, 31 July 2006 12:35

- being listen in sf.net directory

Well, I found Ultimate++ through freshmeat, and I'm glad I did. Smile
Re: New user observations [message #4322 is a reply to message #4285] Tue, 01 August 2006 10:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pivica is currently offline  pivica
Messages: 57
Registered: November 2005
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Member
Quote:

- .sf.net in domain Smile

- high google rating

- being listen in sf.net directory


Never the less I think that sf limitation to the web site are more important.

Quote:

In fact, it is also true that it would be possible to have the www outside sf.net and still be hosted, with redirection of www and use sf.net for svn and downloads.


It would be a good solution. What about organizing a poll and see what U++ comunity think about this issue.
Re: New user observations [message #4325 is a reply to message #4322] Tue, 01 August 2006 10:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mirek is currently offline  mirek
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Well, I can tell you results of poll without makeing one: Everybody would want better and integrated www site Smile

The real question is whether somebody _capable_ would wish to spend several hours a week maintaining the website...

Mirek
Re: New user observations [message #4326 is a reply to message #4325] Tue, 01 August 2006 11:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mirek is currently offline  mirek
Messages: 11830
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Speaking about it, what should be the domain? upp.org and upp.com are already sold.

MIrek
Re: New user observations [message #4327 is a reply to message #4326] Tue, 01 August 2006 12:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zsolt is currently offline  zsolt
Messages: 576
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Location: Budapest, Hungary
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ultimateplusplus.org? its free
Re: New user observations [message #4328 is a reply to message #4325] Tue, 01 August 2006 13:06 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
pivica is currently offline  pivica
Messages: 57
Registered: November 2005
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
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Quote:

The real question is whether somebody _capable_ would wish to spend several hours a week maintaining the website...


I am willing and capable to build and maintain site in Drupal and also to teach one more person about administration.

ultimatepp.org is also free.
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