New domain, new looks, new features

by Alexandra in Qt DevNet News (35021 views)

Phew, we did it. The last weeks have been busy and we’re excited to finally join the ranks of the Qt Project. It has been our vision all along to have one single place on the internet for all the information we provide together with you. It has been bumpy from time to time but we stuck to the the big idea.

Oh, and since some people asked: there are redirects in place for all content that has now changed URLs.

New features

Naturally, some things have now changed; we’re passionate fiddlers after all. Some of the new features are very visible, others not so much. Let me start with the most obvious:

A new homepage design

First, we changed some things in the main navigation. “Resources” has tested pretty poorly with you, so we took it away and replaced it with a download page. All the content on the old page has found a new and better home; like the videos on the front page for example which have been sorely neglected before.

We also introduced a short and sweet introductory text. We cannot assume that visitors know what Qt is when they first arrive on the site, and with the marketing grid from before disappearing we now needed something else. It’s not perfect but it’s a start.

Gunder is scared!

Gunder, the designer, is scared. He’s wearing a life vest!

When I ran the user tests at DevDays last fall, quite some people complained about the wasted space on the top and the big promo area. We heard a lot of praise for the 1 - 2 - 3 element though. Guess what? We changed it around. Now it’s very prominently placed and hopefully guides visitors new to Qt and the Project easily to where they need to go. And did you notice the big “Getting Started?” button before you log in? That is another element to support newcomers.

A fresh Getting Started page

Speaking of newcomers and providing some guidance to them: we also completely redid the old “Getting Started” page. After I did a lot of user research, including some personal experiments, I think I have a much better idea of what would be of potential help, and I have high hopes that I have made some improvements. I’m curious to hear what you think about them, let me know in the comments, will you?

An RSS widget for the front page

I am a big fan of blog aggregations on community sites, also because I never manage to keep my bookmarks tidy. This new “Planet Qt” widget in the sidebar is the first step to a more extensive blog aggregator.

In best open governance manner, we want to show great blogs regardless of where they come from. Right now we display a small hand-picked selection of feeds in the sidebar that I intend to grow over time. Since front page space is extremely valuable, these feeds need to fulfill certain criteria: they need to be relevant to a large group of visitors, they need to be reliably on-topic, and they have to have enough value to grant them such a high-profile spot. Thiago’s blog is a good example that checks all these boxes.

At some point, we’d like to have a real aggregation page, in one form or another. We have been toying with some ideas here but there is nothing solid to share at this point. And yes, we are aware of planetqt.org

Brand new News module

Of course, “News” is an important element on a front page. There was no way to take it away completely. How could I have told you that we were done with switching servers? So we built something new. Now we collect all news items on a lovely overview page and only display the latest one on the front page. It looks a bit sad at the moment because it’s so empty but it will fill up by itself pretty quickly, I’m confident.

New hardware

Now we’re no longer running on Nokia owned and hosted hardware. Which means that we got shiny new virtual machines! We’re running on 16GB RAM, 8 CPUs, and 36 GB hard disk. Just think of all the blinking lights and fans and cables! I wish I had been there for the unwrapping. Oh, wait…

In other news…

Then there are some other things worth mentioning that do not have anything to do with us changing servers directly.

Two wikis

We have had two wikis for some time now, and that was not exactly ideal. The Qt Project wiki has grown during the last months, and now we have important information in two places again. We plan to unify those two wikis again, we just have to figure out how exactly, since we do want to comply with the license.

What’s next?

Now that I mentioned the two wikis, there is another site with a lot of useful Qt content: Nokia Developer. We have mentioned before that we’re looking into options to share content between the two sites but we want to do it in a way that makes sense and gives others a similar opportunity. This needs more investigation, and we don’t know yet how we can make this a reality.

And as before, we will iron out quirks, polish some CSS, and keep working on the site as usual. Big thanks to the Trollweb crew in Stavanger, the magic Gunder, and amazing Pål from the sunny coast for their work.

And now, it’s time for pastries!

Picture of Volker

March 1, 2012

Volker, Ant Farmer

Congrats!

The landing page looks much cleaner now. Having the downloads page on DevNet is a huge advantage. It’s what people look for and they now have it all in one place.

Well done – and the move was within the time schedule. You’re ways better than 90% of the usual IT crowd that miss timeframes miserably :-)

Picture of miroslav

March 1, 2012

miroslav, Lab Rat

Congrats, folks! Smooth move.

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March 1, 2012

ZapB, Ant Farmer

Very nicely done. Well done guys and gals!

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March 1, 2012

Alexandra, Hobby Entomologist

Thanks, Gurudutt did a fab job in preparing. :)

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March 1, 2012

chall3ng3r, Lab Rat

congratulations for the successful transition. The new website looks awesome :)

// chall3ng3r //

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March 1, 2012

sierdzio, Area 51 Engineer

Yeah, congratulations from me, too! Works smoothly, looks nicely :D

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March 1, 2012

Eddy, Area 51 Engineer

Respect! Splendid job!

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March 1, 2012

sirius, Lab Rat

Well done :) No downtime and a smooth and fast transition :D

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March 1, 2012

williamsj, Lab Rat

Well done guys, you deserve a rest, but doubt you will get one :-)

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March 1, 2012

Deleted Member # 269f, Lab Rat

Congrats on the smooth transition. Perfectly executed, the I checked like 3 minutes after the deadline and it was online. There were some security certificate issues according to my browser, but it is all good now. The website looks cleaner now too.

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March 1, 2012

Subin Sebastian, Lab Rat

Wow, good job friends…

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March 1, 2012

Josué V. Herrera, Lab Rat

Hey guys, great job as usual!

Picture of Pål Degerstrøm

March 1, 2012

Pål Degerstrøm, Lab Rat

Guru, you are the man! Thanks for the boller, Alexandra. See you all on Monday!

Picture of Yuchen Deng

March 2, 2012

Yuchen Deng, Lab Rat

Good news!!

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March 2, 2012

msscba, Lab Rat

best!

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March 2, 2012

hmuelner, Lab Rat

I you continue to improve qt-project.org in this way you may soon reach the quality of stackoverflow ;-)

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March 2, 2012

shoyeb, Lab Rat

congrats for successful transition….
this new look is awsome… :)

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March 3, 2012

maour, Lab Rat

Access Denied
You don’t have permission to access “http://nds2.fds-forum.nokia.com/p/d/fds_forum/428e0ef9-1cb7-49cf-8ab5-0723f923e70d/Qt_SDK_Win_offline/Qt_SDK_Win_offline_v1_2_en.exe” on this server.
Reference #18.3720b144.1330809008.178f1e88

New futures!!! : I can’t download Qt anymore ! :p (previously i could!)

Picture of sierdzio

March 3, 2012

sierdzio, Area 51 Engineer

@maour – it’s probably due to the tyranny of sanctions imposed on your country or by your country (as I understand, there are both international sanctions AND internal Iranian firewalling…). Sadly, there is probably nothing Nokia can do about it. Try some proxies, tor, etc.

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March 4, 2012

maour, Lab Rat

@sierdzio – but before moving to qt-project, at least we could download Qt SDk but this new server don’t let us to download!

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March 11, 2012

msjen, Lab Rat

I like the new look, love the homepage layout and colors. Thanks for all the good work!

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March 23, 2012

david.laing, Lab Rat

Some feedback on the “getting started” guide – it looks good, but I’ve been pointing people on IRC that are new to Qt here – http://qt-project.org/doc/qt-4.8/how-to-learn-qt.html – when they need to come up to speed on Qt.

The recent improvements to that page have been great. I used to point people and a handful of resources and hope I didn’t leave any out, not I just point them at the “how to learn Qt” page and give some advice on the order to approach it (tools to install, tutorials, the essential technology guides, then examples and documentation in specific areas of interest) and they’re normally good to go.

The above advise has a bit of bias towards the C++ side of things over the QML side, unfortunately I haven’t had much practice getting people up to speed with QML.

I think it would probably be nice to have something half way between the two. The gold standard for me is a link I can hand to a person who is new to Qt and now that it’ll succinctly communicate what is required to get up to speed.

Picture of francomartins

April 2, 2012

francomartins, Lab Rat

Nice, has everything to be the best of all !!!

Picture of Alexandra

April 23, 2012

Alexandra, Hobby Entomologist

@david.liang: Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it. :) Have you ever looked at http://qt-project.org/resources/getting_started ?

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May 6, 2012

friesoft, Lab Rat

congrats to the move :) what about the labs project sites? will they be moved to qt-project.org too? are there any plans yet?

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May 7, 2012

Alexandra, Hobby Entomologist

I’m working on a mid-term plan, and then we will know what to do with all the other green web properties. :)

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May 8, 2012

francomartins, Lab Rat

Qt-Projetcs is to be congratulated, and I say that it will grow too. we will soon be the largest community of programmers.

Picture of David Villalobos

May 25, 2012

David Villalobos, Ant Farmer

Congratulations, go ahead!!!!

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