[smalltalk-central] dialect icon?

Mark D. Roberts mroberts at cincom.com
Sat Sep 2 02:15:38 BST 2006

At 10:02 PM 9/1/2006, you wrote:
>You know how slash-dot has an icon in the upper right hand side of each 
>entry, which shows the topic category?  Would we be able to add a similar 
>idea to S-C, where each news entry could have a dialect icon?  Any maybe 
>[|] for cross-Smalltalk entries

Yes, it's do-able. I've added it to the to-do list:


I would like to raise two points about this:

First, the to-do list is just getting longer and longer. Unless we can find 
somebody who is willing to get seriously involved in helping with 
development of the site application, then we need to be realistic about 
functionality and roll-out dates. At the present rate of work on the site 
application, Smalltalk-Central won't be ready for roll-out for a few more 
months. Between now and the end of October, I won't have as much time to 
work on it. I will do as much as I can, but there is a lot that remains to 
be done.

I'm not going to try to find people to help with this. I've done this in 
the past with very little luck, so I will defer this task to somebody else.

In light of this, I'd like to propose that we start to think about January 
2007 as a possible roll-out date.

Second, w.r.t. icons for news items à la slash-dot, personally, I would 
only implement this if we first have some high-quality icons.

I strongly disagree with the idea that "any icons are better than no icons 
at all". Rather, I submit to you that if we want to improve the public 
perception of Smalltalk we should take the position that "no icons at all 
are better than mediocre icons". I don't agree with the idea that it's OK 
to use something mediocre first and replace it with something better later. 
The only way the Smalltalk "brand" is going to improve is if we just stop 
adding more mediocre stuff to the heap.

The professional way to do this is to get some real money and hire a real 
designer to do some real work. I've been reading the thread about the 
Smalltalk Logo on c.l.s., and honestly I think it's sort of a waste of 
time. The first message attacking Bob's idea pretty much sums up the 
problem when the author asks "Where can one get all the wonderful graphic 
logos developed?". Well, it costs money and you need somebody who is a 
professional designer. Anybody who doesn't understand this fundamental 
point shouldn't even be complaining.

As long as the Smalltalk Industry doesn't have the money to hire a real 
graphic designer, we're just going to be kicking around a bunch of 
half-baked things that non-designers cobbled together with Photoshop. There 
may be some people out there in the community with more talent, but I 
really just don't see it. Mostly, I see bad taste.

A last point about this: a lot of people in the community want to weigh in 
on logos and graphics and designs, but I don't see them getting involved in 
working on the important things that we need like a FAQ, tutorials, and 
up-to-date on-line documentation. I cannot escape the conclusion that our 
priorities as a community are simply wrong-headed. We just don't have the 
resources to even be talking about a lot of this stuff.

I submit that we need to get the basic content straightened out before we 
worry about the eye candy.



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