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Removing out of date Scala web material

5 replies
Chris Marshall
Joined: 2009-06-17,
User offline. Last seen 44 weeks 3 days ago.
There are quite a few resources out there about scala that seem to be fairly "official":
 - http://scala.sygneca.com/ - http://www.lexspoon.org/sbaz/ - http://www.simplyscala.com/
There are others I'm sure. These sites look amateurish are often way out of date. This is - I believe - a problem which is going to reduce adoption of scala and reinforce a general opinion that scala is an academic thing. 
The online REPL, which is a great idea, just looks terrible when compared with http://tryruby.org/. I don't mean to denigrate the functionality - I'm just afraid that shallow types like me won't look much beyond the first impression that this stuff isn't for serious people doing serious things 
Is this viewed as a problem by the Scala team? Can anything be done about the (presumably) 3rd-party sites like SBAZ? Am I being unduly harsh?
Chris
aj b
Joined: 2009-06-29,
User offline. Last seen 3 years 1 week ago.
Re: Removing out of date Scala web material

Hi,

I created simplyscala.com and I appreciate the constructive criticism. I was
wondering what you thought could make it more professional?

AJ

Chris Marshall
Joined: 2009-06-17,
User offline. Last seen 44 weeks 3 days ago.
RE: Re: Removing out of date Scala web material
I'm not a graphic designer, I'm afraid, so I can't offer solutions. But here are the problems with the site as it stands:
1. It looks official - it's called "simplyscala" and has the official logo right at the top of the page. Nothing about the site suggests that this is just an MSc project. I therefore assume it is some official EPFL online repl. The scala logo (which is rubbish anyway!) should be removed and it should be mad clear at the top of the page that this is a pet project
2. The Fonts - they are terrible (Use consolas?) get rid of the curly italics - they look like they are from a 1970s wedding invite
3. The colors - they are also terrible - beige?
4. Square edges
5. The l&f of the terminal - the fonts and general feel are again un-terminal like. The terminal should *be* a REPL and require continuation pipes if you go over a line
6. Too much text on the front page
7. Reset & evaluate buttons - should be done interactively within the Terminal via commands
Don't get me wrong - my beef is not that there is anything wrong with this as an MSc project. But it is *not* an advertisement for Scala and I'm afraid it actually has the *opposite* effect. 
Chris

> Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 04:15:50 -0700
> From: aj [dot] bagwell [at] gmail [dot] com
> To: scala-debate [at] listes [dot] epfl [dot] ch
> Subject: [scala-debate] Re: Removing out of date Scala web material
>
>
> Hi,
>
> I created simplyscala.com and I appreciate the constructive criticism. I was
> wondering what you thought could make it more professional?
>
> AJ
> --
> View this message in context: http://scala-programming-language.1934581.n4.nabble.com/Removing-out-of-...
> Sent from the Scala - Debate mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
Danielk
Joined: 2009-06-08,
User offline. Last seen 3 years 21 weeks ago.
Re: Re: Removing out of date Scala web material
To answer the question from the original post - Yes, I think you are being unduly harsh.

Granted,  http://tryruby.org/ is more aesthetically appealing - it simply looks cuter. Since many people will judge a book by its cover it may be worth it to fix Simply Scala in that regard.  It is also a nice idea to have an interactive tutorial where the instructions automatically flow forward as you follow them.

With that said, I think Simply Scala beats the crap out of tryruby overall. The issues with the latter are much worse (Still I very much appreciate the effort to create something like that):

* You can't paste into the REPL! This is incredibly annoying
* The tutorial is rather slow, and the tone is mildly irritating
* When you get to chapter 5 or so and try execute "require 'popup' " as instructed, you get "You aren't allowed to run that command!"

... so the grass might look greener on the other side, but if you look closely...

>1. It looks official - it's called "simplyscala" and has the official logo right at the top of the page. Nothing about the site suggests that this is just an MSc project. I therefore assume it is some official EPFL online repl. The >scala logo (which is rubbish anyway!) should be removed and it should be mad clear at the top of the page that this is a pet projec

I think you're jumping to conclusions. Nothing suggests that it is official either, except perhaps the logo. But then again what's to say that only official Scala sites use the Scala logo. For comparison, here are  the guidluines for the Python logo:

"Projects and companies that use Python are encouraged to incorporate the Python logo on their websites, brochures, packaging, and elsewhere to indicate suitability for use with Python or implementation in Python."


> 5. The l&f of the terminal - the fonts and general feel are again un-terminal like. The terminal should *be* a REPL and require continuation pipes if you go over a line

It depends on what people you are trying to reach. I find the UI on Simply Scala nicer as it is, and I suspect many other non-hardcore REPL users would agree.

> 7. Reset & evaluate buttons - should be done interactively within the Terminal via commands

Why on earth should it? This is for trying out Scala, so visible buttons are much more user friendly than having to figure out which command to invoke to reset it. Of course it wouldn't hurt if there was a command also, but if it is lacking this doesn't seem like a huge deal.

Cheers,
Daniel

Chris Marshall
Joined: 2009-06-17,
User offline. Last seen 44 weeks 3 days ago.
RE: Re: Removing out of date Scala web material
People will not look closely - they will just see that the grass is beige and laugh at how amateurish it looks.
This would be great - unfortunately I (and I expect many others on these lists) might want a job - programming in scala - off these people in a few years' time.
Since the release of 2.8, I think (and I get the impression that this is going on behind the scenes) that EPFL needs to take the "next step" in order to get Scala into some serious big, established companies. Changing people's perceptions will go a long way toward achieving this. Simplyscala is the least bad of the examples I gave; sbaz and the scala wiki should just be unlinked, period. Two job postings from 2008? It makes scala look bad!

Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 14:51:25 +0200
Subject: Re: [scala-debate] Re: Removing out of date Scala web material
From: daniel [dot] kristensen [at] gmail [dot] com

Granted,  http://tryruby.org/ is more aesthetically appealing - it simply looks cuter. 
... so the grass might look greener on the other side, but if you look closely...


Razvan Cojocaru 3
Joined: 2010-07-28,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Re: Removing out of date Scala web material
Hey - i like the scripting thing. If you want to, we can unify my scripster with this yours and have a better one that we both can use. Scripster has syntax coloring and content assist.
Scripster entry point at http://scripster.razie.com/
Most of the code is at github:  http://github.com/razie/scripster
Cheers

On Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 7:15 AM, AJ Bagwell <aj [dot] bagwell [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:

Hi,

I created simplyscala.com and I appreciate the constructive criticism. I was
wondering what you thought could make it more professional?

AJ
--
View this message in context: http://scala-programming-language.1934581.n4.nabble.com/Removing-out-of-date-Scala-web-material-tp2310562p2313291.html
Sent from the Scala - Debate mailing list archive at Nabble.com.

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