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Old 12-15-2005, 11:12 PM
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Chapter Webpage Design Requirements/Essentials

People, I have seen some indication that the chapter website designs should be to some extent standardised, and I tend to agree with that. For one thing - we are all together in this, and for another it helps to simplify the design and production of the sites.

We need to use this thread to fine down exactly what is needed in the content and layout of the pages themselves. There is another thread here dealing with hosting at FTE, and I saw tonight how the Virginia chapter was doing with theirs - it looks good. I think we can fine tune a basic format that would be shared, and in fact DW3 can generate templates for exactly that.

NOT FOR EVERY LAST THING that the chapters put up, but as far as general outline, link and navigation bars, and basic stuff we should all have at these sites.

Such as links to:
FTE
The FTE Forums
The specific Chapters Forums
The chapters Event Calendar
The FTE Event Calendar
The Chapter Gallery
A page or a post explaining how to join the chapter
The FTE RULES/GUIDELINES for Posting
A list of Chapter leader and Chapter Officials (Chapter Webmaster, Treasurer, etc...)
A Chapter Store for chapter merchandise, if so desired.
MOTOR HAVEN
Member Application for FTE itself

It has also been proposed to have a members list available to chapter members only.

I am sure I have missed several somethings here. The VA chapter is at:

http://virginiachapter.ford-trucks.net

A very good example of the direction we are moving in. I like the nav bars, and the city listing. Any other chapters who have a web page up, please drop the address in this thread so we can look around and compare.

I have dragged my heals on this long enough, its time to "hunt or go home"...
(Figure of speach)
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Old 12-16-2005, 07:50 PM
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More ideas-

I think we want (while reserving a lot of originality and creativety to the chapters) for the Chapter Webpages to LOOK LIKE FTE to some extent. So that they same part of a greater whole.

I'm looking at how the FTE page graphics are put together, and will have an example pretty soon of a basic page that allows for "Fill In The Blank" adaptation to tailor them for individual chapters. The goal is to come up with something that Chapter members that may not have a lot of webpage editing experiaence can work with, and possibly a support group to help chapters out, if any are willing to volunteer to do so.

In brief, the header graphics from FTE would be on top, I'm looking at the background tonight and how it is rendered to fit the top center graphic.

Another point will be the menu bar that runs left to right across the top. I haven't looked into it yet, but it might be a PERL script. I have not worked with PERL before, and may need help with it.

In my early days tinkering with pages, one solution was to go find html code and scripts that could be cut and pasted into a page with a plain html editor, or text editor, taken from sites that showed examples and gave explanations and instructions for using the code. I wonder if such a page, available only to Chapter Webmaster and/or CL's might be a valuable tool. It should not be accessable to just anyone though. (Regardless that "VIEW SOURCE" can be used to analyse almost everything on any page).

Much of FTE's code was written by Ken himself, and there is no way it should be given out to the general public. It is Ken Paynes 'Intellectual Property' and exposing it might involve security issues as well. I don't think we need to get into that, since "look alike" apps using JAVA might be possible, or not even needed to produce something ideal.

Anyway, this weekend I'm going to be tinkering with it, since I still am not up and walking as well as I need to be and this is a worthy project.

Ideas solicited here! (I can still post. Can you still reply?)

~Wolf out
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Old 12-17-2005, 07:45 AM
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All right, how does this grab Y'all for starters?

http://www.geocities.com/tennesseefte/sam1.html

This is a sample page intended to display where I'm at with it right now - A LOT WILL CHANGE! And try not to let the obligatory yahoo advertisements throw you - they won't be there on FTE.

ALSO; This page on yahoo will be deleted at some point when it's usefulness is at an end.

However, you can see roughly what I am driving at. What do you think?

NOTES: I skipped right over the navbar idea, and image mapped a graphic I made on the fly.
NAVBAR (the java applet) has an advert attached to it, else I'd have gone with it.
The header is a single graphic 980 pixels wide. I could not get the table from fte to come out evenly.
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Last edited by Greywolf; 12-17-2005 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 12-17-2005, 10:59 AM
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Have you gotten your webspace from Ken yet? The FTE, Member Area, and ClubFTE links in the blue buttons on the bottom of the page are what come with the page(s). Those and a link to the Chapter forum and Join Chapter link, and maybe forum guidlines I would think are all that would really be necessary. Anything else is just gravy. . .once you follow the FTE link back to the main FTE home page, or even the chapter forum, then all of the standard links are at the top of the page.

Those links are a good idea, but maybe not so much reguired but recommended?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyWolf
the chapter website designs should be to some extent standardised
Your scarin' me when you talk like this. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyWolf
I think we want (while reserving a lot of originality and creativety to the chapters) for the Chapter Webpages to LOOK LIKE FTE to some extent.
How is that possible with a standardized list of things to choose from on a fill in the blanks template?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyWolf
So that they same part of a greater whole.


I'd loathe to think that I may come on here one day to be told I need to start conforming to some cookie cutter standards decided on by someone else. Please don't take the uniqeness and creativity out of the individual Chapters. Wheres the sense of adventure and fun taking those first steps into uncharted waters going to be then?


Now, as an option for Chapters to have something to run with in the begining until they can have a member or they themselves learn the code to whip something up for themselves, then thats a great idea! As long as its an OPTION. . .


. . .Before I go any further, I just want to make sure I'm not missreading this becuase I can really emabrrase myself and others by going off on a rant This isn't so much about the webpages, but what it can open the door for and lead to down the road. . .See this kind of stuff in politics and in the history books, and it really gets under my skin. Its nothing personal
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Old 12-17-2005, 12:14 PM
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I can see the concern there, but I also know this -
Once I realised that the basic format of FTE was so wide open (background=WHITE, simple header at the top, very simple caption bars, and do what you want with the rest of the space...

Shoot, man! It wrote itself!!!

And who's to say the rest of the pages have to conform to the index? I just thought it looked pretty awesome that the doorway to the chapter page came out so similar to the main FTE page; with a twist.

It also made the chapter logo simpler - it doesn't need an FTE logo embedded in it if it is part of the same header as the FTE logo.

I expect the gallery page to be a whole nuther animal. Form dictates function.

As I said already - "Reserve creativety to the Chapters". But I still like the top header, and you can't beat plain white as a background color. Everything shows up well against it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franken-Truck
I'd loathe to think that I may come on here one day to be told I need to start conforming to some cookie cutter standards decided on by someone else.
Never happen. FTE was built on originality and creativety. Most of us are here in the first place because we do our own thing.

I like it because it's simple.

The only thing I find scarey about it is that my few hours of hacking and whacking came out so friggin' professional looking...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franken-Truck
The FTE, Member Area, and ClubFTE links in the blue buttons on the bottom of the page are what come with the page(s).
That's good to know. I had given up on a nifty horizontal navbar using script.

I suppose think of it as "Online FTE Stationary". Use it if you want, or don't. *shrugs*

But I tell Ya what - it would only take me minutes to set up the header and a navbar for any chapter that wanted to use it. The rest is up to the chapters. I can build similar logos to the TN one easily too. All anybody has to do is ask.

Anyone with Dreamweaver can do the same as I did...

~Wolf
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Last edited by Greywolf; 12-17-2005 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 12-17-2005, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyWolf
The only thing I find scarey about it is that my few hours of hacking and whacking came out so friggin' professional looking...
Can't argue with yah there, it looks great

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyWolf
I suppose think of it as "Online FTE Stationary". Use it if you want, or don't. *shrugs*

But I tell Ya what - it would only take me minutes to set up the header and a navbar for any chapter that wanted to use it. The rest is up to the chapters. I can build similar logos to the TN one easily too. All anybody has to do is ask.
If this is what you meant from the begining, then I appologize. There are very few things in this world that truely strike a nerve with me, and forced conformity is right near the top. Even just the mention of it is enough to get a responce out of me, but again, I appologize

Also, its only my opinion, I'm just one person. It would be great if others would chime in here becuase desicions like this probably need more than one opinion Maybe Ray can double post this in the CLF?
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Old 12-17-2005, 03:48 PM
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Whatever... (I almost was a "Valley Punk" once, but it made me sick inside...)

I think whoever goes with it - I will help make it happen. It's easy.

I see you though too....

I have big time problems with "AUTHORITY FIGURES", and always will.

I always have believed "ALTRUISM" was total BS

As regards "Stationary"...

Imagine that you had a webpage, or just a piece of paper that had a club fte sign at the top of it.

Whatever you want to do with the rest of it is all yours.....

THAT is what I see
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Last edited by Greywolf; 12-17-2005 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 12-18-2005, 04:22 PM
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Incidentally - I am purposely making the links at the site open new windows (TARGET=_BLANK), because it's easier and quicker to click them closed than it is to "REVERSE NAVIGATE" a website.

I also have started thinking about "THUMBNAILS" for the gallery to conserve bandwidth.

~Wolfie
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Old 12-18-2005, 04:22 PM
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