Eternity needs a new website, we want your suggestions

Let's cut to brass tacks. https://www.doomworld.com/eternity/ is exceptionally outdated, and its temporary disappearance highlighted just how badly it needs replacing. I don't like it, Quasar doesn't like it, nobody I know likes it, and it doesn't even have the slight charm that's carried by the sort of older sites that make use of the marquee and/or blink elements.

 

We need a new website, but the Quasar and I are confident in our total lack of skills in web design, and it's hard to commit yourself to something you're bad at when there are other things you have to do for the same project that you're better at and will enjoy more. Suggestions are encouraged, be they frameworks, or themes for frameworks, that would be suited to task, or any other ideas you think may help.

 

What I think personally think we could do with:

  • A nice dark theme
  • A decent way of displaying a bunch of pretty screenshots on the index that show off Eternity's renderer, be they a slideshow-type dealie with arrows on the left/right of image or a more Steam front-page interface with the dots at the bottom of the image
  • Links to this subforum, and the wiki, and other Eternity-related things as the header

 

I personally would like static hosting (which would mean we could use a free host like gh-pages or the like, and would also be faster), but I think we should do whatever is needed just to get a site that doesn't look awful out there.

Edited by Altazimuth

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Have you tried contacting Tormentor667? He did the in-development ZDoom site redesign, which looks really nice.

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It's something I considered, though I'm somewhat hesitant to directly ask people for help (I'm always loath to cause a bother). I had seen the redesign a while ago, and it looked phenomenal, but there is a concern in my mind about any new Eternity site looking too similar to the in-dev ZDoom site. Eternity and ZDoom have distinct personalities to them, and I think they require some level of distinction in their site designs to reflect this.

 

EDIT: I should clarify, basic layout would probably end up sharing some similarities with a new Eternity site redesign just by virtue of the ZDoom site redesign being extremely effective at conveying what it needs to, and whilst there's more than one way to skin a cat, some ways are better than others, and the approach the ZDoom site redesign takes is easily one of the best project sites I've ever seen.

Edited by Altazimuth
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If you like Tormentor's work there's no reason you shouldn't contact him.

 

I'll bring this to the attention of the ZDoom forums. I can't make any promises but if Tormentor proves to be unavailable, there may be some other talent who doesn't regularly visit here who may be interested.

 

I'd offer to do it, myself, but I don't do Bootstrap sites - and that clearly seems to be what you favor.

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If you want to spend few resources there's nothing wrong with using Bootstrap. With it you'll get something good looking in no time if you have some basic HTML and CSS knowledge. And it will work great on both big screens and mobile devices.

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Thanks for your suggestions.

 

Rachael: Fair enough, that's more just one of my personal hang-ups. I'll see about reaching out to him at some point. Thanks for posting on the ZDoom forums about this.

 

boris: I could give it a try, though in the past I've always been pretty terrible with just about anything web-dev related, especially when it comes to aesthetics.

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Why not just update the old website instead of starting from scratch? Preserve all old posts. Change only obsolete stuff and graphics. Ask Quasar for the source code, and perhaps keep the data and layout (so you don't have to work with outdated frameworks too).

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The last post was in 2009; whilst I appreciate preservation, I don't see the need to bring the old posts over to a new site. A good chunk of the links are dead, and most of the information from that time isn't relevant any more (with anything that was relevant being on the wiki). Personally, I don't think it's worth the effort of trying to rework the site into something shiny and new; additionally, trying to work in the old websites constrains us in unwanted ways.

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Since I want to support Eternity I'm willing to build it for free, but it will need some hosting, ideally one with cpanel for database management and at least one mysql database available as I build primarily on the content management system and a custom framework (£32/$39 for site licence) within Wordpress right now.

 

If you really need free hosting, with access to an FTP I can build an xhtml/css site anywhere.

 

I've not used bootstrap before but it looks professional, could be a good option.

Edited by Pinchy
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4 minutes ago, Pinchy said:

Since I want to support Eternity I'm willing to build it for free, but it will need some hosting, ideally one with cpanel for database management and at least one mysql database available as I build primarily on the content management system and a custom framework (£32/$39 for site licence) within Wordpress right now.

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What exactly is that Cacodemon concerned about? Sorry but I'm also a newbie with the web.

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No idea, but it's probably an attempt at elitism as it ignored the two options below it.

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He's making fun of you because hosting is not an issue, Doomworld itself hosts many sites actually (most of them dead, however, and I'm not sure how many survived the recent move).

 

Also, Wordpress is more for bloggers and small businesses that just want to get a site up and running, right? I'd think Eternity would be better served with a page written by hand than some prefab stuff.

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I see, I'll clear everything up here then. I thought hosting was an issue because of this:

 

On 3/25/2017 at 0:07 AM, Altazimuth said:

I personally would like static hosting (which would mean we could use a free host like gh-pages or the like, and would also be faster), but I think we should do whatever is needed just to get a site that doesn't look awful out there.

 

I saw the title of the post then had a conversation with Altaz about the kind of websites I build since I do it for a profession and jotted some things into a post quickly to get some ideas out there.

 

I put down 3 different options for site structure so that he can choose what one suits him the most, if you want to just keep it in the same place I can work on it within that directory, or build it offsite and have it put in later.

 

It's been a while since I've built anything static, but the requirements here are simple so it shouldn't be a problem.

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Well I don't want to be overly inflexible. I'm just not sure if dynamic web pages are required for a site of this nature.  I simply know what I think might look good and be functional, I don't know how to best go about that.

Edited by Altazimuth

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My advice is to do what chocolate doom does: treat the wiki as the main website. Make sure it has all the relevant content that is on the other sites (it probably does already) and then redirect the other legacy locations to the wiki address.

 

Rationale: you are already running the wiki, so this does not involve any additional burden on the already strapped team. There's a very low barrier for entry for contributors to edit the wiki. Driving more people at it by not having a confusing array of other sites around might help. It looks nice enough out of the box, but can be themed further if necessary. You already have a lot of experience with managing and theming mediawiki from running doomwiki.

 

I'd go a step further and buy a (relatively cheap) domain for Eternity (in UK money, eternity-engine.org would be £10/year, eternity.ee would be even cheaper 7 EUR a year, ish. I think that looks pretty nice. OR you could go premium and get eternity.engineering for about £50/year). I'm sure Bloodshedder would be happy to configure his webserver to accept your domain as an alternative (or canonical) for the wiki (leaving the .youfailit.net as a deprecated but still working)

 

Edit: there are some interesting quite advanced mediawiki themes/skins out there, but I'd be a bit careful about using any in case they break with updates etc. -- http://www.mediawikibootstrapskin.co.uk/index.php?title=Main_Page , http://web.archive.org/web/20130119194324/http://www.ovirt.org/Home

Edited by Jon
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Speaking of building the website from the wiki, ZDoom does that (partly). For instance, this page is built from that one, and likewise here from there. The track involves using the MediaWiki action "render" (e.g.) to get the page content which you can just sandwich between a header and a footer (for style and other elements, like the navigation bar). From the outside, it doesn't look like a wiki page; but you get the benefit of something that can be updated quickly by anyone in the wiki admin team.

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I looked at the site, and I don't really see anything wrong with it except "[an error occurred while processing this directive]". It's not hideous or even remotely like the websites of the 90s, and I've seen more than my share of those old Geocities sites. The only thing I think it needs is a new 'Team Eternity' text, and a different color scheme, maybe darker. You might only need to change the background to solid black or a subtle blackish pattern and that alone would make it better. The blue links could be a lighter shade of blue, like turquoise blue or cyan (better with the black background). And who or what is that guy on the top left? Nothing wrong with it. Just curious.

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The Eternity website used to be dark, and had a lot of exposition about the total conversion. I think it went for this theme when the TC entered limbo, and the TC page was replaced by the Chex Quest page.

 

The top left character is Halif, a dwarf from the TC. His presence along with everything else got me psyched about the Eternity TC...

Edited by printz

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Well you could go with blue and gold theme (though maybe darken the hues a bit), which would match the logo whilst also not being extremely bright, or just a general dark theme. I'd at least like something that's responsive.

Edited by Altazimuth

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Things have been on ice, mostly due to life stuff. I'll probably go around poking some people before the end of next week.

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