For easy editing I regrouped the code and text in different blocks. I think this is much easier to edit than the actual main page. (Sorry to say, but the indentations are horrible and confusing.)
I got rid of the big destinations column. It was only a list of countries grouped by continent, and to me it had no particular value. If country articles do get better than the CIA stuff we can move them under Selected articles - New destinations.
I moved the Community column up to a more prominent place and expanded the subsections. This is handier for newcomers.
I changed "Featured articles" into "Selected articles". I think we "feature" over 700 articles, but only a few are "selected" here.
I changed the layout of the subsections. They are like this: followed by articles on the same line. This way the length of the page is shorter and less scrolling is needed.
I changed "Hot topics" into "Specific topics". I couldn't figure out what was so hot about these articles. I'm pretty sure there must be a better term yet.
I'll try to play around with the colours (especially "Community") to make it a bit softer.
Ummm... I think "featured" means "highlighted" here. I'm not sure the blandification of the language is necessary. A "hot topic" is just a featured travel topic. Do you just want to call them "Travel Topics"? Topic is such a wide-open word. Otherwise, this looks great to me. -- Evan 13:38, 25 Nov 2003 (PST)
No problem with feature (I looked it up in a dictionary :-) I didn't like "Hot topics" because I thought it wasn't "specific" enough, but I don't really like "Specific topics" either. "Travel topics" is better -- or what about "Travel themes"? Oh, and I was thinking about renaming "News": what do you think about "Logbook"? DhDh 14:02, 25 Nov 2003 (PST)
I think we should we set a date & time to move this page to the actual Main Page?. What do you think about Friday 6 December 2003 at 8PM UTC -- or is that too soon? DhDh 11:38, 27 Nov 2003 (PST)
Well, I have one last comment. This page looks an awful lot like the Wikipedia Main Page. Is that really what we want? -- Evan 13:35, 27 Nov 2003 (PST)
AFAIC the answer is: no, not really. The problem is, I don't have enough imagination right now to make it different :-) I'll have a look at other websites (taking the TourBus) to get more ideas. And perhaps 6 December is too soon. DhDh 13:59, 27 Nov 2003 (PST)
Oh, I don't think that's necessary! I think maybe just changing the colors so they're not exactly the same might do it to differentiate. Sound fair? -- Evan 15:10, 27 Nov 2003 (PST)
OK, I'll play with them a bit more to see what I can come up with. Maybe I'll enter a few proposals, so we have a choice. BTW, do you agree with 6 December or not? DhDh 22:36, 27 Nov 2003 (PST)
Actually, I think this should go up right away. Let's just do it now! -- Evan 10:27, 28 Nov 2003 (PST)
Well, I experimented a bit to get to the format Evan proposed. The idea was to place the continents close to their actual place on a standard map (North America in the upper left corner, ..., Australasia in the lower right corner). That resulted in 3 columns. But this created a problem for the islands and the list of countries: these are the only 2 items left and it creates too much empty space. Anyone has an idea how to resolve that?
I'd like to continue in more or less the same style, but there might be other problems. I don't think there will be any new continents over the next few years :-) -- they're pretty stable. But the other items (phrasebooks, itineraries, travel topics) will probably be expanded: other expeditions will spring up in the future. So, if we want to keep a fixed number of columns, how are we going to resolve that?
Both parts in the "Wikitravel" section will probably be quite stable too. The first part has 6 items, which can also be placed in 3 columns. If we keep the last 3 entries in the logbook, these can be made to fit in 3 columns instead of rows.
Any answers, ideas or other ways to approach the problems? DhDh 14:19, 2 Dec 2003 (PST)
First off, I like the way this looks -- a lot! I'm coming up blank on how to fill in the big spaces that finish out the columns, though... that big hole in the middle of the main page looks really weird.
Another thing: Maj and I talked about taking out the "Guide" table, so it's just, y'know, all there. I tried it to see what folks thought: feel free to revert if it looks too weird.
Otherwise: looking great! We need to clear up some of that dead space, but otherwise good to go.
Oh, here's an idea: combine "The Rest" with "Islands" (since that's really kinda what "Islands" is about -- things that don't fall easily on a continent). Combine "Itineraries" and "travel themes", and keep phrasebooks. That would make three things on the bottom row. I know, it doesn't keep things separate by geography vs. not-geography, but. --Evan 09:38, 3 Dec 2003 (PST)
I just had to put the "Guide" table back in -- the section looked so orphaned without it :-( I did like the idea of combining things into "Other Destinations" and "Travel Topics" (I'm not sure if it should be themes or topics). One more question: what do we do if another item springs up besides phrasebooks, etc.? We could go on combining -- or we could just leave it until we get there... DhDh 12:26, 3 Dec 2003 (PST)
Just to be clear, for those who saw this page pop up in the Protection log: it was a slip of the mouse, totally an accident. I wasn't trying to shut down discussion about the Main Page, that's for sure! Sorry for the mixup. --Evan 10:08, 3 Dec 2003 (PST)