Posted 9 Nov 1999 at 08:00 UTC by skvidal Share This

Colors are a good thing

I'm sure you're still working on the backend and making sure all the kinks of content threading are worked out but colors are a good thing.

makes the page easier on the eyes.

You've probably put a lot of work into this but did you consider using an already developed product like Zope to do some of the content management? I know they have a message board - like framework available.

Everything appears to run well, I'd just be worried about scale.


Colors indeed, posted 9 Nov 1999 at E+ UTC by raph » (Master)

Thanks for the feedback. I'm still working on the graphic design for the site, trying to get the structure worked out first, but I definitely agree that the site needs to be more colorful.

What I'm planning is to take the color scheme from the page and apply that fairly uniformly. That is to say, if a Journeyer posts an article, the header for the article appears in blue. Hopefully, I'll be able to work on that later today, and we'll see how it works.

I am definitely aware of tools such as Zope. I decided to roll my own anyway, largely because the trust metric code I'm developing is all in C, and partly because I just enjoy writing code. The site is heavily xml-based under the hood, and I'm finding that the Apache C module API plus Daniel Veillard's gnome-xml is a really nice platform. To me, it seems just as easy as Perl or Python, and with much less in the way of performance issues. Of course, that's got to be largely because of my experience programming in C - I'm simply a lot more comfortable in that language.

Thanks again for the suggestions.

for raph, posted 12 Nov 1999 at 00:02 UTC by Ant » (Apprentice)

testing colors :)

my reply, posted 12 Nov 1999 at 00:03 UTC by terral » (Journeyer)

I think additional colors dependent upon certification would be really interesting. I like the clean look of the site though, so lightly as always is good.


you are right!, posted 12 Nov 1999 at 00:03 UTC by jdube » (Journeyer)

colors ARE a good thing!

Some color, posted 12 Nov 1999 at 00:08 UTC by raph » (Master)

As you can see, I've added color, based on the trust metric level. Let me know how you like it!

I'll shortly be sorting by certification level, and threading discussions as well.

Thanks to everyone who's given feedback. It's much appreciated.

the trust metric, posted 12 Nov 1999 at 12:55 UTC by cannam » (Master)

I think the coloured boxes might look better if they extended the full width of the column. I agree, minimal is good.

How much does the metric really have to do with trust, given that the certifications are sufficiently well-defined to be largely a statement of fact ("this guy has produced something substantial") rather than of opinion ("I know this guy, and I'd happily lend him a tenner")? Is it a good thing that one's status is reinforced by having worked on something mainstream and well-known?

Also, the thing we're certifying is someone's significance in the free-software world, rather than their ability to write or argue. That's fine for news articles (if a major author posts it, it's more likely to be news) and diaries, but how meaningful is it for posts in the reply stream? What is the certification actually for?

Re: the trust metric, posted 12 Nov 1999 at 19:43 UTC by raph » (Master)

Thanks for the suggestion about the width of the boxes - I think you're right. I'll hack on the html table attributes and see if I can implement it smoothly. Did I mention, html tables are evil?

The word "trust metric" comes from the Public Key Infrastructure literature, which is the topic of my PhD thesis work. Significant work in this area has been done by Mike Reiter, Stuart Stubblebine, Ueli Maurer, and others. I think the phrase was also influenced by the PGP Web of Trust. In the original context, I think the word "trust" is appropriate, but I agree the term can be confusing in this context.

Nonetheless, there is definitely an element of trust involved in the certification process, as members of a community tend to trust each other. The phrase "trust metric" may be even more apropos to what the trust metric does than talking about the certification graph itself - it gives results that have been filtered for trustworthiness even if some of the certification graph is incorrect. It is also designed to be particularly resistant against organized attack.

As for whether the colors are appropriate for the reply stream, let's consider this an experiment. From what I've seen on Slashdot, there is a pretty good correlation between a person's contribution to the community and whether they have anything to say. I'm definitely interested in trying moderation schemes if it seems they will supplant or complement the certification information, but for now the volume of posts is sufficiently low it seems silly worrying about too much.

Thanks again for your questions, they are interesting and insightful (not at all troll or flamebait). Hopefully, by thinking about these things together, we can make Advogato into a great community resource, and in the meantime learn a lot about trust metrics and peer certification.

Colors, posted 12 Nov 1999 at 21:36 UTC by Slow » (Master)

It's so beautiful.. *snif*

Colors, posted 13 Nov 1999 at 03:35 UTC by lewing » (Master)

I've been playing a little and It definitely looks better with the table colors filling horizontaly. Still, I think I'm tempted to say that keeping the bars a single color and changing a smaller region to match the metric might be more visually pleasing perhaps small block or an icon might do the job a little better. The image of a circle with with the quadrants colored to match the trust levels keeps entering my head. Then icons, of the appropriate slice, to go on article and reply headings almost naturally follow.

Re: Colors (lewing), posted 13 Nov 1999 at 15:21 UTC by raph » (Master)

Well, I tried putting a width=99% attribute on the <table> tags, but this led to two artifacts:

  • The inner box width is a few pixels shy of the outer box with - 2x the border. Incidentally, this happens occasionally with the existing HTML.

  • The width=99% tag causes causes horizontal scrollbars to appear when it occurs inside a <blockquote>. I hate horizontal scrollbars.

If I could figure out how to fix these, I'd be happy to switch over.

Your ideas for other visual depictions sound intriguing. But for the time being we have something that works and is not butt-ugly, so for now I think I'm going to spend time working on the structure.

Thanks for the feedback!

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