CodeStore Version 6 RFC

Codestore v6Remember my recent trip down memory lane? In it I hinted there might be a Version 6 of codestore by "Spring 2005". Well, it's looking like this is going to happen sooner rather than later.

This weekend I stole some time and made a start. It's going to take me a while as it's going to be the most radical overhaul this site has ever seen. There's a lot do and I need to squeeze it all in on the side, while doing some real work.

The fact that it's remained unchanged for almost 3 years shows I'm happy with the current look. But, there's more to it than looks. As the amount of content increases so does the patience required when trying to find what you're looking for. Hence the two key areas I want to improve are navigation and searching.

If you've ever wanted to change something about or add something to this site, now's the time to pipe-up and have your say. Remember this site is for you. It's all very well me making it how I think it should be, but it's not me that uses it. Well, that's a lie. I do use it. And I find it increasingly hard to find content I know for a fact is in here somewhere.

I'm also looking for a merry band of "beta" testers. I've got a rough version I'm happy enough to show people. If you've got some time and want to help out, drop me a line or leave a comment.


    • avatar
    • Brett
    • Mon 7 Feb 2005 04:41

    Hi Jake,

    I'm up for a beta test of the new site...

    I find it hard to get a feel for the depth of the content of the site, and I actually forget about articles sometimes because the site has a really blog-only feel..Maybe because for some reason my eyes never look to the nav to the right (trained to look left?)..

    I also not sure if the categories are useful. Usually i'm looking for a solution to get round a problem, or a good way to do something, so I don't know that's a form or an agent until I do it. Maybe more along the lines of the type of thing your trying to work with like html email, web printing, view navigation, search techniques, form valdiation, jake's handy web widgets etc..

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Mon 7 Feb 2005 05:33

    I'll show you next time we chat Brett. Need to make it look less like InSite first ;-)

    I agree about the blog-only feel and it's somethig I'm keen to rid the site of. Not sure how though. The homepage will change so that the right-hand column only show recent documents, which will probably be bigged-up a little more.

    Categories won't be used as much in the new version. Although they'll still be there they won't be used as the primary way of categorising documents.

    • avatar
    • Lee
    • Mon 7 Feb 2005 05:34

    Hi Jake,

    I'd also be willing to do some beta-testing for you if you like.

    I agree with Brett about the categories. Maybe one option would be to allow for articles to be linked to multiple categories, so that in Views some of the articles may actually be repeated. Makes it easier to find stuff.

  1. I'm willing to do some beta testing for you. It's the least I can do.

    Perhaps you can show only one blogentry, instead of the entire month. Or blogentries by week. Just a few thoughts

    • avatar
    • Doug
    • Mon 7 Feb 2005 06:29

    I can do some beta testing for you.

    As said above by Edsko, 'it's the least I can do' for what your site has done for me.

  2. please count me in as a beta tester, jake. i'd be more than willing to help.


    • avatar
    • Jono
    • Mon 7 Feb 2005 09:33

    I'll do what I can to help Jake.

    Few ideas:

    Display 'you also may be interested in these articles...' kind of thing, like amazon and other sites do after you've got a list of results?

    Top 10 Articles?

    Group search results into most popular articles/comments?

    • avatar
    • Sean
    • Mon 7 Feb 2005 11:01

    Count me in as well. I would be glad to help out in any way I can.

    • avatar
    • Jorge Coelho
    • Mon 7 Feb 2005 12:02

    I'm not sure if you are planning to touch the blog portion of the site, but I would recommend Author Highlighting, which would make your comments on an entry stand out (different formatting).

  3. I would also be available to Beta test your new site.



  4. Hiya Jake,

    I might be able to take a look or two if you want yet another beta tester, but looks like you've got a full stable already.

    Suggestions (aka things I'll implement when I have time on my runaway version of domblog):

    - Content Category Page with number of articles in each. It's a little too cheesy for a front page, but I've seen it on a number of other sites that are repositories of wisdom and it does help finding things -somewhat-. By and large though, it's a lot of relestate and work for something that only offers one way to get at the info- but it is quick and easy to use.

    If you're not already managing a keyword set for each article, adding keywords might make for a good replacement for the full text searching. I've noticed the FTsearch is starting to fall off in it's accuracy on my site... too much garbage,er, content I guess. I get the feeling there is an undocumented threshold on the search results in some way that keeps the result you really want to see form showing up. Keywords would cut down on this if the search was limited to them... but it means assigning keywords to hundreds of back articles.

    Consider a java replacement for the Notes search or consider using a third party tool (for promotional consideration, of course - dont' pay for it!)

    Better yet: just put a google search link on the page. Let them worry about it. You can pass your URL in a query to limit searches to your domain in google results (but I think you know this).

    Enable Author Awareness with same time. Then we can see if you're online just looking at your site. (only kidding... you'd never get a thing done)

    That's all I can think of. Have fun with it... it may be for US but it's YOUR baby, mate.


    • avatar
    • Anura
    • Mon 7 Feb 2005 16:02


    As with everyone else, I'm more than happy to help out if needed. Maybe you need an upside-down view from 'downunder'?

    My first comment is that being able to read all comments to articles would be a good idea. Often I find people add their own thoughts and ideas to your articles (and sometimes you correct them too!) but the article together with its comments add up to the complete learning experience for me. Highlighting your own comments would help too.

    As everyone else has said, search could be improved too. I'm not really sure why I struggle with it, but sometimes it takes effort to track down something that I know is really there. Of course, that might be a good thing as occasionally I have rediscovered a few gems along the way...

  5. I support Anura's comment that a major improvement would be an option to view an article with all its comments.

  6. Jake,

    Just in case you need another view from downunder,

    Ideas I would recommend:

    - Top 10 Articles

    - Articles of interest

    - Related articles.

    I would make the top 10 articles computed automatically, but use human selection for the Articles of interet and related articles,

    Just my 2c worth!

    Also, would be happy to beta test.


  7. I would also be available for a Beta test. Maybe my iMac could give you some cross-platform feedback on your new site.


  8. If you need one more tester I would be happy to help.

    One suggestion, I know you have asked people to contribute articles over the years but I don't remember seeing that many that were not authored by yourself Jake. Many of the responses to your own articles/posts have been pretty useful though. How about some (dare I say forum-like) place where updates to articles or contributions from readers (could be one paragraph how-to tips rather than full articles) are displayed?

    • avatar
    • Caroline
    • Tue 8 Feb 2005 02:39

    I think you're supposed to ask us why we visit and what we come to visit. These things should be most obvious in the design, whilst still allowing us to find the things we come to look for less frequently. Personally I come to read the blogs mainly, just idly skimming through. Then less often I will search for something I know I have seen in the past, such as Server Side Validation. There must be other stuff I don't know you have on the site as I haven't found it. Can we search for just articles only rather than responses, for example?

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Tue 8 Feb 2005 03:16

    Anura/Dietrich. Possible but not feasible. What would I do with the existing 2,500 comments, which are arranged in a hierarchy? Remove the hierarchy and you remove the flow of the "conversation". I think I'll stick with the current style.

    Anthony. Are related and of interest articles not the same thing? I'll be adding a related articles section, but it might come later as there's the burden of back-editing current content. Top ten articles is not something I want to get in to. Can't see the point of it really. Top ten according to who? The danger is that these get read and others are disregarded.

    Justin. How about if I flagged article responses with icons according to whether it was a question/suggestion/bug fix etc? This could be selected by the author of the response and over-ridden by me.

    A forum is an idea that I have for ages now. Common sense stops me from doing it ;-)

    Caroline. Yes, you will be able to search on a "granular" level.

  9. Jake,

    I appreciate the value of listing comments hierarchically and by topic.

    For me, I would like a button that, when clicked, re-presented the article and hierarchy of comment links with the article and all of the comments, whether those comments were ordered by create time (as blog comments are), topic content, or some other means.

  10. Hey Jake,

    Count me in - I think you've got my eMail addy around somewhere hopefully ... I'll do whatever I can ... being a domino/web guy originally from Yorkshire , you'll get nothing but straight honest answers!

    I'd like to suggest more just now but lunchtime at work, my brain just seems to switch off!



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Written by Jake Howlett on Mon 7 Feb 2005

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CodeStore is all about web development. Concentrating on Lotus Domino, ASP.NET, Flex, SharePoint and all things internet.

Your host is Jake Howlett who runs his own web development company called Rockall Design and is always on the lookout for new and interesting work to do.

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