Friday, November 23, 2012

Repainting the Monastery

Every time I search for something related to Perl, I stumble upon the Perl Monks site - I stay as little as possible on the site, because I can't stand how it looks - everything is too cluttered.

I feel like I am this guy

travelling 20 years back in time. My opinion is that everything that is more than 10 years old in IT is completely irrelevant and the Perl Monks site looks like it was build in '95.

Besides the aesthetics, there are also ergonomic issues that makes me want to run away:

  • the fonts are too small - my eyes hurt if I stay on the site for too long
  • the code snippets font is even smaller - sometimes I find myself copy/pasting from the site in notepad in order to comfortably read the code 
We, the Perl community, are trying in many ways to attract fresh brains among us - with sites that look like Perl Monks is looking now, we just scare them away. 

I don't want to be misunderstood, Perl Monks is one of the biggest diamonds in the Perl's tiara. We should make it sparkle. It already attracts the views of thousands of people because of the high quality brain capital that its member bring in. We can and should make those thousands of people feel good when talking and reading about Perl.

This is how Perl Monks looks right now:

In about 2-3 hours of HTML forging and with the help of Bootstrap from Twitter, I made it look like this:

The beautiful part is that, by simply changing the referred css file you get quite different aspects of the site. Of course, this is what's supposed to happen with a CSS file. But the fact that so many people are using Bootstrap means that there are lots of CSS themese available out there.

Bootswatch offers open source bootstrap themes, and Wrapbootstrap offers paid ones.

Have a look at the links below and see how the Perl Monks would look on Bootstrap:

What do you think, would it be worth the effort to change the look of the Monastery?
Wich of the themes do you like more?


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