Jon Allen (JJ)
- Amount Requested:
Produce a modern, visually appealing set of templates, stylesheets, and other assets that Perl website owners can easily use and adapt to achieve a stylish look and feel, regardless of the back-end technologies powering each individual site.
Benefits to the Perl Community
Presentation and visual design forms a strong and lasting impression on website visitors. Unfortunately, the 1990s style of many Perl websites simply reinforces the negative view that Perl is a legacy language.
Improving the appearance of Perl websites, especially if this features a more consistent brand identity across the *.perl.org portfolio, will benefit the Perl Community by promoting a more accurate and positive perception of Perl as a dynamic, modern language with a professional outlook that is well suited for new development.
A design toolkit and style guide which will be released under an open licence and made available both on CPAN and in a public repository.
The design toolkit will consist of the following:
- Reference HTML layout templates
These would cover a number of typical layout types, such as 2-column, 3-column, blog style, full-page wiki, etc.
- Style sheet
Style definitions for HTML elements - lists, headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, code blocks, and so on.
- Image library
A set of logo images, banner templates, and UI controls.
- Page assets
Navigation bars, headers, dividers, boxes, pull-quotes, etc - standard page elements for use in a variety of sites.
Usage notes for the templates, example layouts, and instructions for customising the files.
- Source files
Where appropriate, files will be provided in bitmap, layered bitmap, and vector formats to allow editing, reuse, and future development.
Please note that this project does not aim to mandate a "one size fits all" layout.
Even though complete website templates will be included, it is equally important to support reuse, adaptation, and ongoing development. Inclusion of the design "source code" (e.g. vector and layered files as well has bitmaps) will enable the Perl community to modify the designs to suit individual requirements while still retaining a strong brand identity.
I estimate that the project will take about 6 weeks to complete.
- Week 1
Audit of Perl websites to establish which layout styles are most commonly used
Create a set of HTML templates for these layouts
- Weeks 2-4
Produce the images, style sheets, and other page assets
- Week 5
Documentation and testing
- Week 6
Create mock-ups to show how existing sites can be re-branded using the toolkit
Packaging and distribution
I have been an active member of the Perl Community for many years, as a CPAN module author, regular speaker at technical meetings and conferences, writer for Perl.com and Linux User & Developer magazine, and member of Birmingham Perl Mongers.
In 2005 I set up the Perl documentation website http://perldoc.perl.org which has recently had a redesign in line with this proposal to improve the look of Perl websites.
I was one of the organisers of YAPC::Europe 2006, and joint organiser of the 2009 QA Hackathon in Birmingham (http://qa-hackathon.org).
At present I am working as a freelance web designer, Perl developer, and technical manager.
Some sample sites I have designed are listed below: