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Make the blog more prominent on the front page, to create a better first impr...


Description Neil Burgin 2019-03-04 14:14:04 CET
Hanging around on reddit, I've been getting the impression that there's a misconception (and has been for quite some time) that Xfce is a dead or dying project.

It is my understanding that due to the general lack of marketing/publicity in most FOSS projects, a lot of its consumers have compensated by developing a heuristic where they check a project for "life signs" before they even consider using it. This usually comes in the form of checking its release history, since even a project that doesn't otherwise actively market itself will still have release announcements.

Meanwhile Xfce hasn't officially "released" since 2015. Yes, most individual components have updated since then, and if you use a downstream distribution like Xubuntu you're not actually using software from 2015 even if the whole thing is still nominally still on 14.12. But right now, you go to xfce.org and right in the center, you see "LATEST NEWS: Xfce 4.12 released Feb 28 2015". 

This is probably a deterrent for potential users. At a cursory glance, the situation doesn't _look_ good even if there's nothing wrong with it on a technical level. Rather than suggest actually changing the release model for superficial reasons, though, I'm here because I think an easy step that would go a long way to mitigate this is simply to change the front page of the website.

Now, I said that FOSS generally lacks actual marketing, but one thing Xfce does _already_ have towards that end is the official blog. That blog shows _much_ more recent signs of life than the release news.

But right now, the main page has it off to the right rather than in the center (or in the case of the mobile view, further down towards the bottom of the page), and its dates are in small print rather than the big eye-catching "calendar" thing that "Feb. 2015" gets. I imagine a lot of people see that the "latest news" is 2015, and just respond with a big fat "NOPE" and close the browser tab before even noticing the blog. Then they cross Xfce off their list of options and go look at MATE or Budgie or something

So I imagine the key to a better first impression (that doesn't make the whole thing look like a ghost town) is to put the blog in a much more prominent position than it is now. 

The key is that way the first thing people see isn't from four years ago. If the first date you see is "2019" instead of "2015", that creates a much better first impression that indicates the project is healthy and active. I don't have a specific layout in mind but I think just making sure the Blog is the most eyecatching thing that people see when they first come to the site is probably a very worthwhile low-hanging fruit for rehabilitating Xfce's public image.
Comment 1 Kevin Bowen editbugs 2020-01-14 21:31:55 CET
Created attachment 9380 
Patch to swap latest news and blog post positions

This patch will swap the positions of the "Latest News" and "On the Xfce Blog" posts. "Latest News" has been renamed to "Xfce Release Updates". This will allow the recent/current activity to be featured a bit more prominently than it currently is.
Comment 2 Skunnyk editbugs 2020-02-09 19:22:53 CET
Thank you Kevin ! Patch has been applied in https://git.xfce.org/www/www.xfce.org/commit/?id=e7b4708b02344a69fba2d3e626e024f76f3fa4f5

Bug #15170

Reported by:
Neil Burgin
Reported on: 2019-03-04
Last modified on: 2020-02-09


CC List:
3 users




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