New website proposal

the motivation

Our website is our public face, and it seems people want to know what we do and what our space is about, as well as our tools and how payment works.

Our wiki is out of date, complex to use and there isn’t much engagement and it’s soon to be archived.

what I’ve made

I feel like both these can be solved in one go and so I made a new website that covers both:

  • It can be our public face, and be useful to people browsing
  • It has a list of areas, each area has a list of notable tools which have their own page. This lets people who are more interested browse around virtually.
  • It is concise - there’s no room for twaddle, just the content that’s relevant.
  • Google Docs can be used to generate content so anyone can write content in whatever software they want
  • It’s based on markdown files - keeps formatting sane. It alsos uses “front matter” which is where meta information lives. E.G. The Laser Cutter page has front matter that says it lives inside Visual Arts area. Therefore when loading the visual arts area page, the laser cutter shows up in the list of tools there. This reduces duplication and unneccessary folders.

At this stage I want to see if what I’ve done is better or worse than the current site. If people think it’s not as good I’m happy to have learned a new tool and made a thing.
If there’s ideas and comments please do say below.

A direct alternative to this proposal is to use wordpress where everyone has their own account and can modify the site as they see fit :slight_smile:

If the space wants to eventually use this site as their own then they’ll be welcome to take it over and I’ll be happy to offer support. At this stage support will involve indexing new content, and whatever people feel is needed.

Check it out:

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On the front page just underneath the “Our front doors are painted like a sunset and can be open out onto Pollard Street East.” maybe add a picture of the front door.
Since we seem to still have people heading for the blue doors on open evening

Website looks good!

I assume more areas are to be added in time?

I see this is done with Hugo – I strongly approve of using such a technology. It makes serving the site way easier. Are you intending to put it in our github and then have a CI pipeline deploy updates from master?

I agree that wiki can be complex unless you understand the nuances. How will that information be transferred here? How do we make this for public use and accessible but still allow for guides and more complex information? For example I would like to put across information on setting up software for the laser cutter and add some tips and tricks, does fit this format?

Information about setting up software for the laser and the like is (AIUI) intended to end up in Moodle, with all the training and usage materials - as well as being used for training tools that have no training requirement can have public ‘courses’ containing the information

Thanks guys for the responses!

  • @garlicbread A photo of the front doors sounds like a great idea.
  • @Alexander_Lang correct, currently I’ve just added a couple of areas and tools in just to illustrate the concept before putting the work in for all the spaces
  • Glad you like Hugo @kinnison! I currently use Netlify which auto-deploys on push to master but I think something that’s functionally equivalent with the infrastructure at the space would be brilliant. Maybe GitHub Actions?
  • I’m hoping a combination of Moodle and the site will work well. There shouldn’t be a need for another system. We can keep the wiki archived and see if anyone updates it over time perhaps

@Cone this looks awesome :smiley:

I’m a bit hesitant over if moodle will replace the existing wiki, since moodle comes across as more of a here’s a list of things you need to know before you can use the tool induction kind of thing.
Also can anyone just dive in and add stuff to it? or is that limited to admins of some kind or another?

So for example there’s a section on how to go from Solidworks across to an svg for Visicut, but that’s something you don’t really need to know for the most part unless your using Solidworks for example.
Or another one might be things that you wouldn’t normally need to know (like etching a pcb using the laser cutter and spray paint)

Personally I’m planning on doing my own youtube channel and own website with stuff on so it doesn’t affect me that much anyways
But it’ll be interesting to see how things fit together.

Moodle has support for structured training, but also has scope for publicly-visible pages that require no registration or enrollment (the term used when someone requests training on a tool). To edit these you do need to have permissions on the page in question, but these are easily granted, and this approach has advantages - I’m of the opinion that most members shouldn’t be able to edit the list of allowed laser materials, given that a laser maintainer needs to check changes to that list.

If we find that it is not working, there is nothing stopping us from doing something else - this wouldn’t be the first change the space has had in our documentation systems and I doubt it will be the last.