OK, not quite a new layout, but an attempt to get rid of some whitespace and those honking big HRs. Work in progress at User:Jpatokal/Main Page. Jpatokal 11:09, 23 Mar 2005 (EST)
Hmm-m, can't seem to get NOTOC working...? So never mind the main guide box, but the Travel news and Wikitravel Project sections are now prettyformatted. Opinions, please. Jpatokal 11:22, 23 Mar 2005 (EST)
What do you think about saving a little more on Logbook layout by moving previous entries, Today over the frame (as in my Main Page proposition)? Also if you don't think making continent names inline, maybe, at least, kill whitespace under (eg. no vertical whitespace between Europe title and Rome, Paris, Belfast entries). Another idea -- to consider removing  tags on Main Page.
Frankly, I am bored of the main page. It looks like it is doing a great job of announcing "Hey, nothing is happening on this site", which is of course not true. --Ravikiran 01:29, 31 Jan 2006 (EST)
So what are you suggesting? Automated "tickers" for things like the newest articles or news items from Wikinews would be nice, but need a lot of work to set up. For occasional visitors, the DotM and the admittedly infrequent changes in the destination lists should be enough to keep them entertained, I hope. Jpatokal 06:43, 31 Jan 2006 (EST)
Yeah, but ... it's been a while since we've had a Main Page change, and I think it's in order.
How about splitting the page into a "project" home page and a "guide" home page? I think it would be easier to find things if this were the case.
Some other ideas: change DotM to DotWeek; featured user of the month (project page); automated feed of 5-10 most edited pages in the last few days; "challenge" projects ("let's all work on London"). --Evan 11:23, 31 Jan 2006 (EST)
I agree with Ravikiran. The front page design has definitely passed its expiry date. WindHorse 31 Jan 06
Tangent: I would love to see a "Collaboration" or "Challenge" destination regularly featured. I started the "Collaboration of the week" discussion on Wikitravel talk:Articles needing attention (actually, I started it in the pub), but it didn't go anywhere at the time. Hypatia 01:19, 15 Feb 2006 (EST)
There is currently (2 April 06) a discussion going on at the talk page for Wikitravel:Destination of the Month candidates, about possibly adding an "Off The Beaten Path" box to the Main Page. Todd VerBeek has genned up a sample of what this might look like, appearing on the Wikitravel:Graffiti wall. The idea is to accommodate a wider range of DotMs than can currently be done, since there's beginning to be a substantial backlog of attractive candidates. This idea seems to have legs; if interested, drop by the talk page ahd join the discussion. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 23:33, 2 April 2006 (EDT)
Protecting and template-ifying the Main Page
Time to raise this again, not for the first time...
So I'd like to suggest that the Main Page be protected, but the content sections — Travel guide, Travel news, DotM, CotW &dmash; be read in via templates that are freely editable. This would both make vandalism a little more difficult and make keeping the page fresh and up to date a little easier — it's a real pain to find the correct section in the Main Page now, esp. since the Edit links are disabled.
If we're going to go ahead with this, it would make sense to simultaneously implement the guide/portal split and add in the "Off the beaten path" DotM discussed over there. Thoughts? Jpatokal 23:39, 13 April 2006 (EDT)
Protecting the front page is a concession that an occasional (0-5 times a day according to my count) vandal is more powerful than our collective effort. I don't think that's in any way true. Having the Main Page free for anyone to edit really shows that we mean it when we say anyone can edit any page.
A protected Main Page tells people that they have to go looking into the wiki to find the area that they're really allowed to edit, and they never really know which page is too important for us to live up to our principles. Is London too important? Asia? Minot? Protected pages make a distinction between the insiders and the outsiders; the face we show to the world is a statement of hypocrisy and distrust instead of MeatBall:AssumeGoodFaith.
Finally, I think from a security standpoint, it's better to leave the Main Page open. Anyone can edit it, which means anyone can revert, too. We can count on the whole Wikitravel community to maintain it, rather than a tiny minority. It gets new users in the habit of reverting. It doesn't alienate people and make enemies. People won't look for a way around the protection. It is a magnet for vandalism, which means we don't have to watch the rest of our articles so closely.
I think templatizing the main page sounds great, and I think making a guide/portal split is also a good idea. I don't think protecting the main page is necessary or preferable. --Evan 10:14, 14 April 2006 (EDT)
So I've done a first draft of the new Main Page (only) on User:Jpatokal/Main Page, comments welcome. And yes, it's mostly ripped off Wikipedia, but if it ain't broken... No templatizing yet, and the Travel news section has the extra line in there because I can't fix that without breaking the currently used templates. Jpatokal 11:28, 27 April 2006 (EDT)
On first look I like what you've done! I certainly prefer having the DotMs highlighted and pulled out of their corner... and yay for easier editing with templates...Majnoona 14:39, 27 April 2006 (EDT)
I'm extremely pleased to see the featured and unbeaten destinations both clearly highlighted. Great job! -- Colin 15:07, 27 April 2006 (EDT)
So now we need to design and name the project/community portal/workspace. Any takers? 126.96.36.199 22:07, 27 April 2006 (EDT)
The new main page looks really great. I'm happy to see the changes, and I think dividing the content from the project info has been long coming. Thanks to everyone who made this happen -- Jani and Todd in particular. --Evan 17:39, 1 May 2006 (EDT)
Now it's your turn to finally get Mark's skin installed. =P Jpatokal 23:20, 1 May 2006 (EDT)