Warpstock Europe Websites

From NikiWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Introduction

== Note: This wiki page is kept for documentation. Please have a look at [1] and [2] to see what the outcome of the topics discussed here are. ==

The goal of this wiki page is to discuss a web site concept for Warpstock Europe and other OS/2 related events. This is for the visitors and organizers of such events--you. So your input is most welcome. If you would like to contribute, ask Robert Henschel (os2info at gmx dot net) for an account.

Warpstock Europe homepage (www.warpstock.eu)

The main page should focus on the fact that the entire world might hit it. So what we should show here is a brief description of what Warpstock Europe is about. Needless to say, the entire stuff should be kept informative but "neutral"--in the sense of "advocacy-free." Anything else could alienate potential visitors and exhibitors and create a "OS/2 lunatics" image.

Target groups

Next, let's see who will be most probably coming there and for what. First of all, let's focus on those parts of the website that are accessible to everyone (without a special login so to say).

  • WSE visitors? Yes. They will either look at the previous events (transcripts, photo gallery, etc.) or look around to get information about the upcoming event(s). Maybe they'll be looking for contacts or a possibility to subscribe to a newsletter.
  • WSE organizers and helping hands? Only partially. Those interested in helping out need some information on areas they can help, what they might get in return, and whom to contact. Once this phase is over, they've got their "internal" site. Except perhaps for checking out how this site looks after updating it.
  • WSE Sponsors? Yes. We should include information on how to support a) the organisation itself and b) a specific (upcoming) event. Contacts and general information (e.g., required size of their logo, etc.) should be provided on a dedicated page.
  • Speakers? Yes. Speakers are visitors as well, true, but we must cuddle them by having dedicated pages, with information
    • in general:
      • describing how being a speaker works
      • what being a speaker means
      • requirements for presentations (guidelines for formatting and effects, file formats, deadlines)
    • for a specific event:
      • contacts
      • time tables
      • meals and accomodation
      • infrastructure (network, provided computers, audio)
      • presentation templates (for OO.org, LaTeX Beamer, S5)
      • etc.
  • Exhibitors? Yes. Exhibitors are visitors as well, true, but we must cuddle them by having dedicated pages, with information
    • in general:
      • describing how being an exhibitor works
      • what being an exhibitor means
    • for a specific event:
      • contacts
      • fees for commercial exhibitors? (Well, I guess we can forget that one.)
      • booth size
      • infrastructure (network, mains, tables)
      • Time-frame for mounting/unmounting
      • liability and insurance
      • meals and accomodation
      • etc.
  • Press? Perhaps. That would be great. We should set up a press room with logos, pictures, fact sheets / summaries, and contacts.
  • Newbies? Yes. This can either be WSE-newbies or even OS/2+eCS-newbies. Give a warm welcome and take the pain out of getting "an insider" or "member of the club."
  • "Foreign" webmasters? Yes. They will look for information about how to provide links to events on their sites or who to syndicate with news feeds.
  • Crawlers, robots, engines? Yes. We will need to keep an eye on search-engine-friendly link formatting and hiding sensitive data somehow. Also we should try to avoid automated submissions or subscriptions/signups in forums, etc.

Features

If that wasn't yet enough work to do, we actually are planning something great and new which means:

  • the site will stay for years, even decades, maybe forever
  • the site will be enlarged with every event taking place
  • the site is the SPOC (single point of contact) for WSE, thus needs to be good
  • did I mention that the site needs to look good?

Keeping that in mind, we need "modern" stuff: Easy to use and useful (and good-looking...):

  • CMS supporting multiple languages
  • forums for people to chat, discuss, and maybe create carpools
  • newsletter and news RSS feeds (->subscriptions)
  • downloads (screensaver, link logos, presentations, etc.)
  • picture gallery
    • pre-event: location
    • post-event: pictures from event
  • calendar, maybe downloadable as iCal
    • other events
    • presentations
  • shop (registration, merchandising, sponsor units, etc.)
  • FAQ
  • maybe event / organisation "blogs," e.g., for visitors to describe their impressions/experiences
  • of course a database behind most of the parts

Okay, that's it for the "public" site.

Organizational features

Next, we need a somehow "restricted" area for people involved in doing events. This needs to provide the following:

  • contact lists:
    • event hosting facilities
    • knowledge stakeholders
    • previously involved people
    • etc.
  • various docs:
    • How to organize an OS/2 event (assign team members to specific organizational areas, insurance, catering, etc.)
    • cost calculation help
    • PR templates
    • exhibitor and speaker info templates
    • visitor info templates
    • how to invite people from eastern Europe
    • How to create a handout CD
    • etc.
  • hardware stuff:
    • Who has video projectors?
    • Who provided WLAN APs last year?
    • etc.
  • per-event:
    • who brings what
    • what happens when and where
    • etc.
  • forums general/per event
  • maybe a collaboration/groupware with
    • calendars
    • todos
    • project manager (including status, gant charts) for activities
  • event schedule manager
    • every presentation should be held twice
    • speakers can do more than one presentation, but they can't do that at the same time
    • speakers can team up (make sure speaker team members are not individual speakers of different presentation at the same time)
    • two presentations shouldn't be held at the same time twice (on a second day)
    • maybe code from the old OS2.org Warpstock Europe administration backend could be recycled
  • role-focused mailboxes (team-driven, independent from a individuals). Could be IMAP: This would help in getting to run a team-oriented mail stuff and to keep everything online in one place.

Administrational features

A considerable amount of the facts that comprise the information provided on the site will evolve over time. Thus the online information needs to be updated. The best way would be to provide a means for collaborative work: a wiki. This would significantly reduce the need to mail files back and forth.

Portal for OS/2 related events (warpevents.eu)

Now, so far all of the above deals with Warpstock Europe. But most of it also applies to other Warp events, be it Czech Warpstock, Developer Workshop, WarpWochenende, or even a local club.

While most of them already have a dedicated website or will set up something on their own for various reasons, why not have a single website for worldwide events that basically is a calendar. Here we can show all events that deal with OS/2 and eCS, regardless of size, scope, or subject. This should include reports regarding the status of work on the next events, at least in the pre-website phase (search for location, etc.). Imagine a site that shows the whole world that we're still alive with stuff happening almost weekly at different places around the globe.

We don't want to get in competition with OS/2 World.com or others--this site will focus on "events," not technology or software. Just take this webpage as a single spot to concentrate (info in one place) and distribute (link to other sites).

Also, the site needs to provide some of the information about event organization from the "internal" Warpstock Europe site:

  • contact lists:
    • event hosting facilities
    • knowledge stakeholders
    • previously involved people
  • various docs:
    • How to organize an OS/2 event
    • cost calculation help

Furthermore, it wouldn't hurt to offer reports from previous events.

Just an idea on the organisation and interaction/delegation between the sites. As you see, we're not too sure about how we can get a useable setup valid for us as well as for others. We'll rely on your support here.

Warpstock Europe "Board"

The official "club" or "board" behind WSE is a totally different topic and has nothing to do with the website being discussed here. At some point perhaps, the WSE "board" will be taking over the responsability of the warpstock.eu website, but that doesn't matter as of now and more importantly: We should not wait for the board to care about the site. It might take years to get a board (if ever). So let's get the site done for our own sake and let's see what wse".org" will become later.

Hosting and CMS

This will be done by Thomas Klein via a professional 3rd party (neutral) hoster (DomainFactory) and he is willing to pay for that at least in the first year.

This will not be an own server! This means:

  • less administration work
  • proven, safe, secure and easy-to-use
  • no dealing with hardware and operating system
  • commercial-grade, professional-level and fulltime free customer support
  • hosting service can be shot in case of problems ;-)

It also means that the server will not run OS/2, but some Unix. We need to get the job done! Instead of fiddling around with hardware and software we can rely on proven solutions. This enables us to focus on the site and its content.

Why a CMS? (Content Management System)

  • people without HTML knowledge can work on the content
  • several people can work on the site without the need for someone to insert the changes into code
  • we don't have to mess around with static pages (copying, renaming)
  • we don't need to watch on keeping a consistent layout thoughout the site
  • we don't need to trick around to get multiple language support
  • we don't need to share (or have access to) local files on a PC and to FTP-upload them

In short: Once set up, we can focus on getting the job done faster, simpler and more in time!

Possible choices

For the CMS we can see two alternatives:

  • TYPO3
    • loads of extensions available
    • might require a higher-powered hosting package
    • not sure yet if supported by shared hosting environment limitations
  • Joomla
    • one-click install possible, works well in hosting environment
    • might lack available extensions, thus more work (?)

Both are freely available, open sourced, and there are many extensions that can be used to add functionality.

For TYPO3, this extension could be interesting: [3] It does not provide all we need yet, though.

If it turns out that we really need this, the internal site for organizers could use eGroupware. But this should only be a last resort as a consistent user-interface is desirable. (Adapting eGroupware to match with a site's framework style is tedious... and out of the scope of our intended work)