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Serendipity 1.0 Release Progress

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:59 am
by garvinhicking
Hello People!

David, Carl, Judebert, Jannis and me have worked hard in the past two months on leveraging Serendipity's presentation to a new level and get it all polished up for a 1.0 major release.

The current look of Serendipity was found to be too plain. Many people said they weren't fond of Serendipity when looking at in first place and nearly dropped using it. The Wiki page does not deliver well, thus we decided a long time ago that we need a good introductory page that leads to all other sort of information: The Blog, the Docs, the Themes, the Plugins and so on.

To keep everything maintenable we decided to stay with the open Wiki for starters instead of some CMS or abusing Serendipity as a presentation layer. We do need to have several developers edit a stable document, but also deliver the Blog in a fast way.

The current logo is quite ill-perceived in the public - once you know it indicates a coffee-cup, the emotion of the logo delivers, but fails to do that on a graphical level. Many people do not connect the logo with Serendipity and primarily recognize the name "Serendipity" as the connection to our software.

Building on that, David has gone through a long period of deriving logo alternations. We figured out that the coffee cup could be improved a lot, but is not such a very well delivering logo icon for a Software that Serendipity is.

Serendipity is all about flexibility, easy to use but with great capabilities to make it do anything you want. It's a very complex system, and with its plugin and Smarty approach can be bent into any direction and fit into diverse user needs. Many users from today only use Serendipity as a simple blog, but it can also power a basic CMS or presentation site, or act as a RSS planet or even be used as a media gallery and community centre. A new logo needs to deliver this, how diverse Serendipity can be.

The new logo that david has come up with and found the agreement of most of use "core fiddlers" can be found here:

Of course the logo should speak for itself, but here's an explanation: The arrows indicate the flexible usage scenarios for Serendipity, that it can be bent into virtually any direction. The atom itself indicates the plugin concept of Serendipity: The software itself is a small framework that "powers the world".

Now for the closing words: How do you feel about our current progress? The goal is to release Serendipity 1.0 during April based on the feedback we get from YOU! Constructive criticism is heartly welcome - bear in mind that Serendipity is a product of people who do things in the free time. It is not a commercial product where we can spend money on endless marketing research and logo development. We can only work with what we got, and currently this little team is very fueled up with the want to sparkle Serendipity onto a new level. :-)

The current precise todo list for us splits into:

Jannis: Provides the shiny and new great CSS for our documentation/presentation page on
Judebert: Provides us with coWiki plugins to get David's mockup to work technically, and integrates Jannis work with the current Wiki, plus integrates his Blog-Comparisons into the wiki.
David: Writes up the Release Announcement for the 1.0 release as well as some other PR texts. And based on the feedback of the logo, do some more work on that.
Carl Galloway: Help improve the documentation
Martin Jacobsen: Might give us some "atom logo" artworks or help in the logo improvement issue

(Of course, any of those people listed surely would love to get help from you - so if you feel that you want to contribute to Serendipity, please drop a note!)

Best regards,

Re: Serendipity 1.0 Release Progress

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:33 pm
by Boris
garvinhicking wrote:The current look of Serendipity was found to be too plain.

Agreed. :)

Comments on the logo:
The atom-idea is great, it suggests modularity and simplicity, but with the power to build complex structures/molecules (exactly as s9y).
I also like the hint to the Atom -> Atom-feed (intended or not ;-))

Personally I don't like the arrows (don't know why), but the idea of changing the blue arrows on the different pages is really good.

The texts ("Web Journal" with the slogan "tell the world" and simply "serendipity - web journal") are both good, but I think it should not change on different pages in my mind.


Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:53 pm
by sir17
First of all, this is amazing work, guys!

I like the interpretation of the logo, but think it lacks consistency - The look and feel of the arrows and the orbit are different. Also the proportions are slightly off - if you resize the logo by half, the arrows look less dominant, but the orbit is invisible. Think it might be important to have a scalable Logo. Maybe it would be possible to make it a little more simple, either arrows or orbit.
Just my two cents.

Keep the good work up!

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 1:20 pm
by Fabien

I am using the last beta of V1 and everything works fine. I really think the product is superb, stable and flexible.

I love the new site: clear, readable, professional.

But (there is always a but!) I really dislike the new logo: too big, too complicated, too much words. I think that the atom and the arrows are trivial symbols, nothing that makes the logo special and easy to memorize (although Serendipity is a very special product).

Serendipity is a complicated word => the logo has to be clear and simple.

I have no graphical talent, so I cannot suggest precise solutions. Sorry.

Just my humble opinion.
Cheers, Fabien

The new Logo RULES.

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:29 pm
by jonnay
I personally don't know what these other people are talking about, i think the new logo and site rules!

Okay, well, before settling on it, I might tweak a few things:

What if you tried making the atom a little more abstract? It might fit in a little better (and be a little easier to scale). Perhaps something like what you have there, combined with the standard Atom logo?

The little horizontal rule on the right hand side would look much better if it was vertically aligned to the point of the blue arrowhead

The green in the logo needs to be used somewhere else in the page as well. (maybe the colour for hover links?)

That is my 2c. Awesome work.

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:37 pm
by Andyman77
I agree, I like serendipity for it's simplicity to make something simple to quite a complex CMS.

I have been using the latest Beta build and have had very little problems with it.

The logo looks good, the atom being something rather simple, but very complex in how it works. But just wondering if the arrows could be going both ways, kind of like info in, info out?

Other than that, A great product and great simplicity.
Thanks to all the devolopment team. :D

Re: The new Logo RULES.

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:45 pm
by Boris
jonnay wrote:I personally don't know what these other people are talking about, i think the new logo and site rules!

Let me add something: ACK to "the site rules".

The logo could be better in my mind (see above), but it is already better than the old one.

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:15 pm
by d_cee
Hi everyone

thanks for all the constructive comments so far - this is exactly the kind of feedback we need in order to progress towards the v1.0 release. keep the comments coming and we'll evaluate all the feedback in a day or two and post where it's going to take us then.

thanks again

Dave Cummins

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:36 pm
by RobA
A couple of logo comments (please take as constructive, not critical).

- The scalability issue is important as mentioned. This one is too busy to resize down. It could be because of the difference in scale of the components, as mentioned.

- Text in the logo should really be avoided. As many s9y users are not English speakers it would be nice for the logo to have to text, but have the option to combine it with text.

- Can the logo be reduced to a favicon and be identifiable? I always notice when I bookmark a mambo based site because of the little flower favicon provided in the default install.

- Hopefully, a new "Powered By" button can also be created that will blend into most themes and still capture the icon essence.

Other than that, great look to the new home page mock up! (And people always want screen shots!)

-Rob A>

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:20 pm
by mattsches
Even at the risk of reducing this thread to a logo discussion: I like the arrows; the text in the center should be reduced to "S9Y" or "Serendipity"; the atom should be more abstract; and, yes, the logo needs to be scalable, and a favicon is essential.

Regarding the mockup page: Where ist the "Download" link? I think it should be prominently featured on the front page. I like the menu on the left, the items make sense to me.

About the name "Web Journal" - this reminds me of Live Journal, a tool I don't exactly like. I agree that S9Y is already more than a simple weblog script, but web journal is only a synonym for weblog, right? What about ... let's say ... "personal home page tool" ... naa, just kidding :lol:

Can't say anything about the 1.0 beta, though, but I will install and test it if I can find the time. Keep up the good work!

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:31 pm
by garvinhicking
Everyone: Great ideas, keep them coming in! As David said, we'll wade through the feedback in 1 or 2 days.

Mattsches: We chose "Web Journal" because currently we use "PHP Weblog Engine". That is confusing for the normal user, because Serendipity is reduced to something technical, where in fact it is also easy to juse. Just saying "Weblog" sounded boring, and about "Web Journal" I appreciated the fact that it is personal and editorial at once.

Best regards,

new logo

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:53 pm
by snafu
i never realized the old logo to be a coffee cup, really!
RobA wrote:- Can the logo be reduced to a favicon and be identifiable?

yes. reduce ist. then sleep one night, and reduce it again. that will fit. if it is welcome, i will deliver a modification of the logo this weekend.

but: do not brush s9y too hard. it is to me like a heavy summer-sprouted girl wearing wierd chlothes and an really ugly hat, but you can go on an win the world with her.

ps: i'm really looking foreward to s9y 1.0! (it is a brilliant system which does its job without any annoying bugs)

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:11 pm
by Andyman77
Just one more thing to add, forgot it earlier but new there was something missing.
With plugins, when there are either new ones issued or upgraded ones, would it be possible to seperate them out from the crowd ?
I know upgrads are taged with the red icon, could the same be done with new ones?
Also, to have an area at the top when your looking at all the event/sidebar plugins that is marked, New plug-ins and Updated plugins. News ones can be set by the user to something like anything new in the last month. Or as the list gets updated (in the templet_c folder, is compared with the latest one, so new/updated ones can be detected from my last check so to speak..

Keep up the first class work :D

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:05 pm
by garvinhicking
Snafu: Of course, if you want to have a go at improving, you're welcome. We can only benefit from others helping us. :)

The sommer-sprout comparison is quite interesting *g*

Andyman: "New" plugins are hard to distinct, because we have no real "new" flag. Many plugins that get added over the time are even compatible with Serendipty 0.8 versions - and detecting how "new" a plugin is would require a massive change in the package information/creation mechanism - expect that not to happen for the 1.0 and 1.1 release - but it's a good suggestion!... Anyways, please keep any feature- or plugin discussion out of this thread; this thread is really only about the 1.0 release process marketing/design-wise. Any bugs/features please report apart from this topic.


Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:22 pm
by vincem

Same as most, using v.1 b1 and finding it stable and great. I like the new site design much better than the old one, great progress. Think it could be worked on a little more; as it is, it gives an impression of simplicity, which is definitely one of s9y's greatest aspects. But s9y is also immensely configurable and complex if need be, and I think the web site should reflect that too.

As for the logo, and after reading the previous posts about resizing and favicon issues, couldn't you come up with a design based on what you've got so far (I like it by the way but agree that text should probably be kept to a minimum inside the logo, maybe added on the outside) in two parts: a central core like the atom used alone for smaller logo sizes, favicons, etc. and an outter wrapper that only appears on larger logos, like the web site, promo, etc.? The core would have to be representative enough by itself, and the wrapper could afford more freedom and a fancier design since it wouldn't be shrunk.

Just a thought any way. Keep up the great work!