2012/8/27 Doug Blank <doug.blank@gmail.com>
On Sun, Aug 26, 2012 at 2:34 PM, Jason Simanek <jsimanek@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> I've spent this morning looking over parts of the Gramps-Connect HTML +
> CSS + JavaScript. I am hoping to contribute a little and work with Doug
> and whoever else is involved to make the Gramps-Connect better and maybe
> even responsive so that it will adapt well to smaller screens.
> However, I also took a look at the Narrative Web template file. I was
> considering the amount of work needed to improve that as well since it
> has been stated that Gramps-Connect and Narrative Web would have shared
> resources.
> I can't remember who worked with Rob on that HTML-generator code for the
> narrativeweb.py file, but to me it looks completely unapproachable. Last
> time I worked on Narrative web the template was largely HTML with Python
> handling the dynamic aspects. It was relatively easy to read and alter.
> This current narrativeweb.py file is not that way. There is little or no
> visible HTML in the file. I can kind of decipher this new HTML-generator
> code, but there's no way I or probably any web designer is going to feel
> comfortable writing new HTML with this mechanism.
> However clever this HTML-generator is, I think its continued use will
> only make the Narrative Web plugin less attractive to potential web
> dev/designer contributors. And it has almost no relationship to the
> template methods used on the new Gramps-Connect codebase.
> I recommend divorcing the Gramps-Connect and Narrative Web resources. I
> think there is and will continue to be a lot of interest in
> Gramps-Connect. I think its HTML, CSS and JavaScript should be developed
> to be as efficient and modern as possible. Trying to accomplish that
> feat will be difficult enough without anchoring it to the aging and
> now-difficult-to-update Narrative Web code.
> Leave Narrative Web where it is (stable, useful) and develop a new,
> cutting edge web platform on Gramps-Connect. Then, once Gramps-Connect
> has stabilized, rebuild the Narrative Web template based on Gramps-Connect.
> I hope I am not offending anyone. This is just my perspective and
> opinion as a professional web designer and developer.


Thanks for this analysis! I hadn't thought about it this way, but I
think you hit the nail on the head.

The Python+HTML interface in Narrative web is a great system. It's
just that it is designed for programmers. You are correctly pointing
out that it moves everything into one system.

Django, on the other hand, allows (no, forces) the visual design to be
separated from the programming logic. The Narrative Web re-design that
Benny mentioned I was interest in was more about breaking Narr Web
into smaller pieces. But we should consider this dimension as well. I
think it would be possible to re-use the src/data/templates in
Narrative Web (eg, use them to generate the static web-pages of Narr

Actually, one might be able to use Django to generate the static
pages... it would only require the templating system.

Yes, that would be great if easily done. Django is mature and shipped everywhere, even as a dependency for narweb, that would not be that bad an option.

Splitting visualization from the code would be most welcome. It is powerfull as it now for programmers, but saying to users they can try to change layout with css only is not userfriendly anymore.