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Re: Mailing list archives: feeback requested on proposed improvements

From: David Booth <dbooth@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 18:15:37 -0500
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.0.20020327180424.02824b48@localhost>
To: Dominique HazaŽl-Massieux <dom@w3.org>, "Ian B. Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>, asgilman@iamdigex.net
Cc: wai-xtech@w3.org, steven.pemberton@cwi.nl
Dom (and others),

I didn't see any sign of my suggestions being incorporated in the new 
example that you posted at 
http://www.w3.org/2002/03/archives-improvements/ml-message , so I'm 
wondering if they were missed.  I had sent them only to the 
wai-xtech@w3.org list, which I thought you were requesting.

The most important suggestion I had was to put a hierarchical navigation 
line at the top of each page, to indicate the current position in the list 
hierarchy.  Here are my suggestions again, for the benefit of all.  If you 
or anyone else thinks that any of these suggestions would be ill-advised, 
please explain.  Thanks.

----

From: David Booth
Subject: Re: Proposed improvements to the mailing lists archives

Dom & Al,

Thanks for doing this.  I was just talking at lunch last week about the
confusing format of the list archives, and how I had not yet figured out
how to easily navigate them.

Here are my suggestions.  Note that I have created some annotated screen
shots for explanation, and also some suggested new HTML markup, all
referenced below.

1. At present, http://lists.w3.org/Archives/  yields nothing.  Make it
forward to http://lists.w3.org/ .

2. The hierarchical structure and navigation of the many lists is not
clearly reflected in the page format.  See this annotated example of a
message page:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Team/w3t-archive/2002Mar/att-0225/01-archive-msg-problems2.JPG

And this annotated example of a list page:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Team/w3t-archive/2002Mar/att-0225/02-archive-list-problems2.JPG

This problem can be solved by placing a consistent navigation line at the
top of each page, to indicate the current position in the hierarchical
structure, with the higher elements hot-linked, like these:

          [1] (Message)
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Team/w3t-archive/2002Mar/att-0225/03-archive-msg-format.html
          [2] (List)
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Team/w3t-archive/2002Mar/att-0227/01-archives-list-format.html
          [3] (Public)
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Team/w3t-archive/2002Mar/att-0225/04-archive-public-format.html
          [4] (Top)
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Team/w3t-archive/2002Mar/att-0225/05-archive-top.html

Note the addition of the navigation line at the top of each page, showing
our context in the list hierarchy.  Sorry about the crude arrows in the
navigation line.  They should be replaced with something more attractive,
but I didn't have anything else handy.

3. The pages above ([1] [2] [3] [4]) also contain a few other format
suggestions, to help clarify the pages, save space, and increase
consistency.  In particular, they contain the following suggested changes:

          In [1]: Moved the hierarchical navigation to the top of the page,
as explained above.  Moved the Starting and Ending dates to the same line
as one displaying the number of messages, to save vertical space.

          In [2]: Added the hierarchical navigation line to the top.

          In [3]: Changed the heading and title to "Mailing List Archives:
Public".   (The "Member" and "Team" versions should be changed
correspondingly.)  Added W3C logo and the hierarchical navigation line to
the top.

          In [4]: Changed the heading and title to be more user
friendly.  Changed the list descriptions to  be more consistent.  (So each
one is called ". . . list archives".)  I neglected to put the hierarchical
navigation line at the top, but maybe it should be there, for consistency
with [1] [2] and [3].

The MOST important of these suggestions is to use a hierarchical navigation
line at the top.

Thanks,

David Booth
W3C Fellow / Hewlett-Packard
Telephone: +1.617.253.1273

At 04:58 PM 3/27/2002 +0100, Dominique HazaŽl-Massieux wrote:
>Ian, David, Steven,
>
>I've tried to implement most of the suggestions I said I would. Would
>you care having a look at it and tell me what do you think? I'm
>especially interested on comments about the new message page which is
>much shorter now:
>http://www.w3.org/2002/03/archives-improvements/ml-message
>
>Al,
>
>The pages have changed noticeably and some of the changes we made
>together were affected: you might want to have a close look at it.
>
>Dom
>--
>Dominique HazaŽl-Massieux - http://www.w3.org/People/Dom/
>W3C's Webmaster
>mailto:dom@w3.org

David Booth
W3C Fellow / Hewlett-Packard
Telephone: +1.617.253.1273
Received on Wednesday, 27 March 2002 18:15:27 GMT

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