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I have read through this thread a number of times over the last couple of weeks. Having had some unexpected time to spend here at the monastery has allowed me the opportunity to browse around, try a few things, get a feeling for the usability of the site in general. I conclude that the site is (as it always has been) enormously useful. It is not an eye-candy site, and I do like eye-candy!( Staunch user of e17 regardless of how often it confuses me and it's constant state of beta-we will release someday....maybe ).

However, I don't come here for eye-candy, I come here to learn and to participate. I come here because I think Perl is the coolest thing since the Z-80 micro-processor, and it continues to be high on the list of cool in a world where 3D printing is just beginning to be cool. That is a long way from the Z-80! Talk about sustainability!

  • Are there things about this site that I might consider changing if I were level 40 - God-of-all-Gods? Yes.
  • Would they change the way the site looks? Yes.
  • Would they make the site more usable? Yes(to me...)
  • Would anyone else like it? Questionable.
  • Would everyone like it? Most assuredly not!
  • Will I be disappointed if things don't change? Yes
  • Will I be disappointed if things do change? Yes
  • Will this site diminish in value if things don't change? Maybe

Those last three: A community is an evolving thing, just like Perl is an evolving language. If it don't change, it is probably in rigor mortise. Change is good, sometimes even if the initial result is bad. That is the way evolution works. Change proves that a system is working. It does not prove improvement however. There are two questions which I feel need to be asked when deciding whether to change something or not:

  • What is the compelling reason to change?
  • What is the compelling reason not to change?

If the answer to either or both of those questions is driven by something other than a motivation to address a real problem, then return to question 1 and continue iterating until something breaks loose.

I can almost guarantee that I will be unhappy with some change that is made. I am opinionated, and I have a lousy sense of style. Is that important? No.

There is a difficult balance to maintain when operating in a community like this. PerlMonks is about Perl. But Perl is about so very many things! Web sites, command line tools, GUI tools, bioinformatics, databases, linguistics, ...and on and on. That is part of what makes Perl so cool to me. It is also part of what makes this site so good. It manages to stay focused on Perl without being overtly exclusive.

PerlMonks is a very inclusive site

And there in lies the real danger of resisting change. As I perused various other postings regarding the technical challenges and resource challenges posed by making changes, I was reminded of some of the projects that I have been involved with. Those challenges are very real and very important. I hope that they are not insurmountable, because the value of change is very real and very important too.

I have been using the site on my GalaxyTab 10.1 this last week or so. It took me a fair amount of time to get the site tweaked to where my old farmers fingers could move about the site without the utter frustration of ending up somewhere that I did not want to go. I have finally made a few mods in the "Display" settings which make it a lot easier. I ran into a node somewhere that mentioned an effort aimed at small/touch screens...something about "/bare/perlmonks" if I recall correctly. Frankly, I think that is a darn good idea! It is an effort that addresses a changing environment. Signs of life!

I recently proposed a change to the "Nodes to consider" section. Looking back with what I know now, I may not have made that RFC here. But I did not know then what I know now, and I would not have learned how to "tweak" things if I had not made that suggestion. I would not have been as vested in it if I had not posted. Some of you knew right away that the suggestion has limited value and pointed that out. I still had to experience it for myself to really know what they meant. Along the way, someone pointed out via cb that there was a css mod which improved that section. I would likely not have known about that without posting as I did, and would not probably have been able to make the site work better on my GalaxyTab. My suggestion, as silly as it might have seemed to some, brought value(learning) to me.

I hope that suggestions for change to the site are handled for others the way you handled it with me. That is inclusively.

The suggestion that the site presentation be changed does have value. It may not be itself presented with a great deal of tact, but it is valid. Is it important? Maybe...

Is presentation ever important? Yes.

Is it a compelling issue for PerlMonks? Not yet...

I hope I am still around when it becomes so. I would like to think that this community and (selfishly) I am around to know that we have lasted long enough to require that much change...

Update: fixed unterminated italics tag pointed out by jdporter. Thanks!

Following is what I added to the "Display" settings node to make things work nicely on the tablet...just in case there is someone like me out there still fumbling about...

/* The following locks the nodelet container in place at the top right + of the screen, re-sizes the monkbar to make room for the nodelet nod +e, hides the footer, and makes both the main-content and nodelet cont +ainer scrollable when needed. The nodelet container and main content +both need to be in <div> mode to make this work. The downside is tha +t the cb no longer floats in it's own window, and the nodelet headers + get a bit screwed up in that they are no longer nicely aligned. How +ever, this works really well on a tablet.*/ tbody.nodelet td, td.nodebody {background-color: #C0ADAD;} #titlebar-top {background-color: #A89E9E; height:70px;} #titlebar-bottom {background-color: #B8C1C4;} div {border-width: 1px; border-color: red; border-style: groove;} #monkbar, #titlebar-top, #titlebar-bottom { width: 81%; float: left} h3.superdoc {font-size: 15px; font-family: sans; font-style: italic;} ul.topnavmenu.inline-list { font-size: 11px;} .main_content {position: absolute; top:160px; left 10px; width: 80%; h +eight: 100%; overflow: auto; background-color: #D3CBCB;} #nodelet_container {position: fixed; top: 15px; right: 16px; height: 9 +8%; width: 18%; overflow: auto; background-color: #A89E9E; } span.title { width: 100%; text-decoration: underline; text-align: center; background-color: rgb(108, 143, 143); } #footer {display: none; position: relative; bottom: 850px;}

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