My WineHQ menu structure proposal - counterproposal

Francois Gouget fgouget at
Sun Nov 3 01:35:56 CST 2002

On 2 Nov 2002, Jeremy White wrote:
> For example, in your proposed structure, it
> is completely unclear to me what the difference
> between Support and Forums is.  The IRC
> channel is one of our best support tools...
> but it's under Forums?

I'm not sure non-technical users would have the reflex to turn to
IRC to get help. But maybe that's because I'm too old and prefer
mailing lists.
Anyway, forums are places where people talk to each other. Doesn't that
nicely cover newsgroups, mailing lists and irc?

> Similarly, what's the difference between Development and Contributing?

I think they are for a different audience. Also I am not sure it makes
sense to put the content of the two on the same page. See for yourself:

>      I actually think having a sequence of shorter
>      pages is much more powerful than having an
>      intimidatingly long page.

Frankly I prefer longer pages. But yes, there's a balance to strike.
It's partly an issue of length, and partly an issue of whether all the
content on the page is related, and presentation (e.g. I would not put
Bugzilla's 'home page' in between two paragraphs).

> 3.  Help!
>   3.1 FAQ
>   3.2 Documentation
>     3.2.1 Users Guide
>     3.2.2 Developers Guide
>     3.2.3 Troubleshooting  (I left this in, but I don't know
>            what it means)
>   3.2.4 Other documentation
> Howto
> Packagers doco
> API Docs
>   3.3  Forums
>     3.3.1 Mailing Lists
>     3.3.2 Newsgroup
>     3.3.3 IRC Channel
>   3.4 Bugzilla
>   3.5 Commercial support

How is this simpler that Dimitrie's proposal (or mine)?

Most of the items are three levels deep! Not just in the excerpt above,
throughout your menus. Some are even four levels deep. How do you
display such a deep menu hierarchy on a web page? Sure you can but it
will neither look good nor look simple.

In fact, the way it has been solved on the current Web site is by
showing nothing except the top-level items. Here's an exercise now, go
to Now, tell me:

 * what is Wine?
 * where is the IRC channel?
 * where is the application database?
 * where do I find screenshots?
 * is there a Wine newsgroup?
 * how do I contribute?

Too much nesting just hides information and forces the user to dig down
to find what he is looking for. And if he can't figure out where to dig
he has to try all of them in turn. I want for proof that this problem
exists the sub-titles which have obviously been put there in an attempt
to solve it. But they are incomplete (Help does not mention commercial
support, Wine Development says 'etc.', that's useful!), and won't let
you go directly to the relevant item. You first have to click on 'Wine
Development' and then hunt again for another link to where you want to

I think it's well worth it to have more top-level items if we can bring
the hierarchy depth down to just two levels.

Well, writing this made me realize that there are issues in my proposal
(and Dimitrie's), so I will go there and try to explain what's wrong and
fix it up.

Francois Gouget         fgouget at
     Linux, WinNT, MS-DOS - also known as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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