A bit over a month or so I volunteered to do some spring cleaning and updating to the MinGW
website. An unexpected job change threw a wrench into my original timetable... but I have been
taking advantage of what should be a light week to get some serious work done.
I have just committed my changes-to-date to the CVS repository. The current status
consists of one consolidated FAQ being produced from the three currently listed on the site (I
altered link language describing the "Download" page as being a FAQ). The "old FAQ" has been
appended to the "current FAQ" at its existing location... and work is approximately 30%
complete towards assimilating the content. No site format or look-and-feel matters are being
altered, nor do I have any plans to with upcoming updates.
Comments I found embedded with the HTML code indicated that a decision was made some time
ago to break apart the FAQ because it was felt to be too unwieldy and cumbersome. In my humble
opinion, I think it just makes better sense to have a single FAQ and manage complexity by
dividing it into logical sections ("MinGW basics", "development questions", "third-party
components", etc)... rather than having multiple overlapping FAQ's littered about the place.
I'm also steering away from the practice of writing a separate HTML document for EACH question
and then gluing them together with server-side includes. Menubars and headers/footers are
great uses of SSI's, but perhaps it is less appropriate for this form of usage. I am more than
eager to receive intelligent rebuttals or angry retorts regarding either of these points,
I have been told that a nightly cron job checks out the CVS files to a staging area...
although I'm not sure how to access this staging area for viewing online, nor am I completely
sure whether my commit this evening made it in time for the cron job. If some more experienced
old-timers would like to provide more information to the group about this subject, please feel
free! I do know that you can view my progress immediately by doing a checkout of the "htdocs"
directory. However, as the HTML uses server-side includes you will not be able to simply
browse them on a local filesystem... you will need to parse them through a SSI-capable
webserver (I have Apache running on my laptop).
I understand that [mingw-editor] is the appropriate forum for discussion changes to the
website and documentation, and I'm cross-posting this to [mingw-dvlpr] as a one-time-only
thing... since [mingw-editor] is such an extremely low-traffic mailing list I imagine that many
people would not check it regularly without a heads-up. I will be posting nightly updates on
my status this week, postings going to [mingw-editor] only. Please reply to the [mingw-editor]
address only if you want to reply to this particular message, as to avoid getting on the nerves
of those not wishing to be bothered by this discussion!
PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT THE PROGRESS I AM MAKING IF YOU FEEL THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE OPINIONS ON
http://www.MINGW.ORG'S CONTENT! The earlier in the process I receive any feedback, the better. If
the core team is unhappy with any aspect of the direction I'm heading in, I will gladly yield
to the group's wishes. It's just that I will probably be much more cheerful and willing to
contribute much more time if I'm given negative feedback BEFORE putting in 20-40 hours of work
rather than AFTER wasting that much time and having to undo it! <smile>
As mentioned, my planned work over the next couple of days is in completing the process of
merging the two FAQ's into one seamless unit. I will then add some newer Q's to the FAQ (such
as "How do I use MinGW within a Cygwin environment?")... while arranging the FAQ into logical
sections based on meta topics. Finally, I will break off sections that are more appropriate
for the "Download" or "Documentation" pages... and do a little spring cleaning over there (i.e.
doing a better job on the "Downloads" page of explaining the recent change to single-file