For the past two weeks I’ve been working on a new design for the website. I have just published the result – www.getgnulinux.org
The old design has been bugging me for a while now, and these days you see so many websites with beautiful designs, that I thought that getgnulinux.org couldn’t stay behind. In addition to that, viewing the website on a mobile devices with a small screen was absolutely horrible. The typeface was just not suitable for small screens, making it almost impossible to read the text (one would have to zoom in to read). Not to mention that desktops these days have bigger screens, and you want to fill those wide screens up nicely too.
So I’m hoping that this new layout will solve the above issues. It is far from perfect, I realize that. Designing has never really been up my alley (I prefer coding and back-end stuff), and I had to learn from existing websites to get an idea of how things should be done. But to my surprise, working on this new design has actually been a lot of fun (and a little addictive, I must say).
Recent advances in web technology allow you to do very neat things, with very little effort. And so I haven’t been shy to use these technologies to the fullest. For starters, I made the transition from XHTML to HTML5, which is supposed to be friendlier with mobile devices. I used HTML5 Boilerplate to implement what are considered to be best practices when building websites with HTML5 and CSS3. JQuery and several jQuery plug-ins were used to make the website more interactive. What’s also exciting is that modern web browsers have excellent support for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) now, so I’ve replaced some of the PNG images on the website with SVG images. These images can scale to any size, and as a result they will look sharp no matter the size of the screen. Some older web browsers don’t support SVG, however, so I used Modernizr and SVGeezy to provide PNG fallbacks.
Fixing the layout was the first step to get to the next milestone, getgnulinux 2.0. There are some open bug reports that still need to be taken care of. I’ve been postponing them because they require that the content of the website be updated, and I don’t think my writing skills are so great. But now that I’ve taken care of the layout, I feel like working on the content too.
I am considering the new layout a work-in-progress. I’m still not 100% satisfied with it, but I feel I’ve kind of reached a maximum of my capabilities with this layout. If anyone wants to help out with improving the layout or the content, don’t hesitate to get in touch! I could really use the extra help. And of course I would like to hear from you, the reader, what you think of the new layout (positive or negative).