Some thoughts about www.freebsd.org, and call for volunteers

Murray Stokely murray at stokely.org
Sun Apr 27 09:15:45 UTC 2008


I've been thinking of various ways to make the content we present on
http://www.FreeBSD.org more compelling and up to date.  A more
complete description of some ideas I'm planning to work on is posted
here :

http://murrayfreebsd.blogspot.com/2008/04/thoughts-on-wwwfreebsdorg-2-of-2.html

If anyone is interested in helping to implement any of these ideas
please let me know.  Some of the concrete things I'd like to see in
the near future include :

    * Better integration with CVSWeb, P4Web, ohlone.net, and cia.vc. A
number of sites offering third party open source metrics have become
available in recent years such as ohloh.net and cia.vc. We should
ensure that our content is available on those sites and better utilize
some of the features they provide. For example, customizable RSS feeds
of code changes in specific subtrees should be made available, perhaps
even only those changes that match complex search queries. Dynamic
lists of the most active developers, or the parts of the source tree
that are changing most rapidly could be displayed.

    * Better utilization of our own structured data. We have
geographic information about usergroups and events, and so it is
natural to display the information to the user as a map rather than an
extremely long list on one giant HTML page. It would be even better if
this could be displayed as an image map or with javascript popups or
integrated to one of the large online maps services.

    * Enabling comments and feedback on items posted to the site.
Readers of the site should have the opportunity to comment on
newsflash entries and vote on development project ideas/priorities.
Requiring updaters of the site to manually edit news.xml may not be
the best way to handle this. Perhaps some kind of blogging software
could be used which is then scraped into a static newsflash.html file
while providing links back to the official blog to facilitate user
comments.

    * Integrate with other web sites. Since we have structured data
representing events and other content on the site, we could construct
links to videos or photos tagged as 'freebsd' on Flickr or YouTube
during the days of each conference. There is no excuse for the
technical content from any recent BSD conference not ending up there.
Likewise, we should automatically update public Google/Yahoo
calendars, and allow anyone visiting the site to instantly add an
event to the calendar software of their choice.

I've written a prototype web application to replace the Ideas database
(ideas.xml) at http://apps.stokely.org/ideas.  This application allows
users to add new development project ideas, to comment or vote on
existing ideas, to search the database, and to subscribe to RSS feeds
of a specific search or the comments and activity on a specific idea.

                       - Murray


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