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[Halted] AutoHotkey.com > Moving forward


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sumon
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Note: Project taken over by polyethene, see "Changes" and Changes? - counterannouncement. Short story: Polyethene decided to take matters in his own hands, and I chose not to participate due to being unable to cooperate under the circumstances.

As Chris announced a few weeks ago, AutoHotkey.com will be facing a change in ownership and change in design over the coming period of time.

polyethene will be taking responsibility for maintaining and upgrading the website & forum, serverside reliability & speed, among other things. Polyethene has been hosting & maintaining http://autohotkey.net (featuring a free file repository, a pastebin & more) for quite a time, and we are looking forwards to finding ways to make these tools more accessible and easy to use.

As for me, I am an IT consultant & aspiring web designer. I plan to reshape AutoHotkey.com to better meet the demands of its' users & visitors, and bring it to the future when it comes to design & usability. This is a long-term commitment that will start with the redesign project of the current site. I may occasionally refer to this redesign project as AutoHotkey Nova (new AutoHotkey).

This is mostly an announcement to say "Hello! We're here and we're moving forward!". We have just got started on this after being briefed by and talked to Chris and eachothers. You are each and every one welcome to participate in the redesign & future of AutoHotkey.com, please get in touch if you're interested. In fact, I really encourage you to! This will be a great experience & hopefully a very nice boost for the community and every AutoHotkey user.

In addition, I would also like to unveil a few design goals for the future AutoHotkey.com:

[*:euy92ix7]Ease of use - Each new visitor should quickly find what he/she is looking for, and be able to get started with using AutoHotkey within minutes. Each returning visitor should be able to find clear documentation, useful information & scripts, and an easily navigated site. Regular visitors may be glad to hear that it's a goal to improve mobile browsing.
[*:euy92ix7]Fresh, modern design - It is a goal to keep the overall visual language of AutoHotkey intact, but give the site a modern and elegant look. This will improve the "trademark" AutoHotkey, and provide a professional and inviting look for visitors.
[*:euy92ix7]Forum upgrade to PHPBB3 - This will future-proof the forum and let us investigate possibilities of improving the code-tags aswell as adding other functionalities (attaching scripts?).
[*:euy92ix7]Documentation improvements - In line with the ease-of-use goal, improving the documentation is an important deal. A few people have already volunteered to help in this, which is really nice.
[*:euy92ix7]Make AHK_L "official" (?) - In order to break the "gap" between people who are using [AHK_L] and people who are "still using Basic", and consolidate the community and documentation - the latest version of AutoHotkey_L (by Lexikos) may become the official "latest version" of AutoHotkey. This means the Download page will only feature AHK_L, and the official documentation broadened to also include features implemented in AHK_L. This does not mean the advanced features will be pushed for, and most scripts & libraries already support AHK_L since AHK_L is backwards compatible. Overall, this too should contribute to the ease-of-use goal. For more info & discussion, please see Make AHK_L main version?
In the current phase of the project I am researching the current situation aswell as brainstorming general ideas of "this could potentially be implemented". This "research" includes taking statistics of the current site usage, speaking to MacroMan (who has already done a very nice job in trying to achieve a website upgrade) aswell as discussing and receiving community input. For more information & discussion, head over to the Developers forum & the topic:

AutoHotkey Nova > Project & discussion

fragman
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I would like to suggest a well-ordered list with categories of the most popular/useful libraries, possibly as wiki pages. As a long-time user I have seen many threads on the forum and know what to search for, but when I started I found it difficult to find the functions and libraries that I needed.

Such a list should also be prominently linked on the main page so it is easy to find. Its usefulness will be very much determined by the content, so the decision what to include and what not to include must be carefully evaluated.

I think the current examples featured on the page are pretty old and outdated and serve more as a showcase than as a library/function collection. The Wiki contains a collection of some scripts, but it doesn't look very complete and the choice appears random. There are some very useful libraries like lib_json or internet functions, but also pretty simple scripts like degree/radian conversion that can be written in a minute and don't need to appear in such a list.

fincs
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Fresh, modern design - It is a goal to keep the overall visual language of AutoHotkey intact, but give the site a modern and elegant look. This will improve the "trademark" AutoHotkey, and provide a professional and inviting look for visitors.

I find the current AutoHotkey_L style quite elegant and great-looking. For me, it's part of the 'AutoHotkey' brand. Maybe it should be applied to the main autohotkey.com site?

Forum upgrade to PHPBB3 - This will future-proof the forum and let us investigate possibilities of improving the code-tags aswell as adding other functionalities (attaching scripts?).

I support this. I suggest that the subsilver2 style be made the default in order to transition from phpBB2 to phpBB3.

Documentation improvements - In line with the ease-of-use goal, improving the documentation is an important deal. A few people have already volunteered to help in this, which is really nice.

I can help in this (writing new examples, updating old examples, removing references to old ways of doing things, ...)

Make AHK_L "official" (?) - In order to break the "gap" between people who are using [AHK_L] and people who are "still using Basic", and consolidate the community and documentation - the latest version of AutoHotkey_L (by Lexikos) may become the official "latest version" of AutoHotkey. This means the Download page will only feature AHK_L, and the official documentation broadened to also include features implemented in AHK_L. This does not mean the advanced features will be pushed for, and most scripts & libraries already support AHK_L since AHK_L is backwards compatible. Overall, this too should contribute to the ease-of-use goal. For more info & discussion, please see Make AHK_L main version?

+10. I fully support the cause. AutoHotkey Basic just needs to go, it only causes confusion amongst newbies and hinders progress. In fact, I already refer to recent AHK_L versions as just "recent AutoHotkey versions", and drop the "_L" part, e.g. AutoHotkey v1.1.06.02.

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Fresh, modern design - It is a goal to keep the overall visual language of AutoHotkey intact, but give the site a modern and elegant look. This will improve the "trademark" AutoHotkey, and provide a professional and inviting look for visitors.

I'll quote myself here just in case ;-)

@Sumon: no disrespect to your design/html skills but my suggestion would be to keep a new design very very basic / simple so it can easily be used for the AutoHotkey (_l v2) documentation as well.

Personally I think the Haskell homepage <!-- m -->http://www.haskell.org/<!-- m --> is a very good example:

[............intro block what is AutoHotkey ............]
|Learn AutoHotkey | Use AutoHotkey | Join the community |
|                 |                |                    |
|                 |                |                    |
|                 |                |                    |

Don't try anything fancy, it will become boring very soon. If you look at that "other script" programs website, the first 5 seconds it looks nice afterm that is boring and useless as it has actually very little info, compare that to the "dull" looking haskell which has lots of information, especially to get started. You only need a few tweeks to <!-- m -->http://l.autohotkey.net/<!-- m --> and you're done.

infogulch
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Something to note about http://l.autohotkey.net is that it's currently geared towards users coming from basic, not from the internet in general. (See the first two sections. It's all about features that basic doesn't have and compatibility differences with basic etc.)

Once L is made "official" (which I support 10000%) then the main points will have to look more like the current home page's.

sumon
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Fresh, modern design - It is a goal to keep the overall visual language of AutoHotkey intact, but give the site a modern and elegant look. This will improve the "trademark" AutoHotkey, and provide a professional and inviting look for visitors.


Don't try anything fancy, it will become boring very soon. [...]
You only need a few tweeks to <!-- m -->http://l.autohotkey.net/<!-- m --> and you're done.


Note taken, and I agree to most of what you say. Two things to note, however: 1) A huge majority of visitors might only see AutoHotkey.com once or a few times. Regardless if the site looks "fancy" or not, the first impression lasts. 2) I am not interested in designing a 90s or 00s website, mostly because I do believe that even if the website both looks and functions decently already, a huge improvement can be made. It is this improvement that I'm seeking to maximize.

Something to note about http://l.autohotkey.net is that it's currently geared towards users coming from basic, not from the internet in general. (See the first two sections. It's all about features that basic doesn't have and compatibility differences with basic etc.)

Once L is made "official" (which I support 10000%) then the main points will have to look more like the current home page's.


We'll get to that.

Also, Seidenweber wrote this in The future of AutoHotkey.com:

Polyethene would be my first choice because he has done a good job continuously for Autohotkey. Especially this continuity gives me hope that the current readiness is not just a flash in the pan.
I don't want to depreciate the other volunteers, but in my eyes Polyethene has already proved, what others can only promise.


I just want to briefly comment that I understand everyone who thinks that Polyethene is a good first choice, and he will to my understanding be the main authority of the site - while I will lead the development. I myself also consider me a "surprise" for this project, honestly. Out of the blue. Hopefully I will prove to be a nice surprise.

Regarding the project itself, I just posted a few reflections in AutoHotkey Nova > Project & discussion. Feel free to join in on the discussion there - every opinion is useful.

An extract follows:

Main goals for newcomers: Make information-finding easy, but also allow room to be thrilled and explore the site and AutoHotkey more - bringing them forward to other content.

Main goals for regulars: Make AutoHotkey.com an even more fun & friendly experience. Encourage sharing and contributing scripts & opinions by integrating and improving site services. Provide an easy and fluid overview for dynamic content (in the forum of "latest forum topic", "following" scripts, on-site notifications (?) etc.).



amnesiac
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To sumon:
Excuse me, do you regard multi-language interface for the offical site?
Recently AutoHotkey is more and more popular in the world. Although there are German and Chinese site which is similar to the offical site, there may be convenient for visitors if they would be merged with the offical site. (In fact there is only four .html files now.)

If needed, I would be willing to do the Chinese translation.

ABCza
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Good luck sumon. I'm not a a forum freak, but I've always found these pages very helpful and I'm proud to be part of this community.
All my scripts/snippets are released under the WTFPL: http://sam.zoy.org/wtfpl/COPYING

sumon
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Two early sketches in the project discussion topic. At this stage it's a bit of a slow brainstorming process, trying new ideas and figuring what's the more important things to "push" for the new site.

To sumon:
Excuse me, do you regard multi-language interface for the offical site?


I also replied in the project discussion topic. In short: I would gladly improve multilingual support, but implementation should be limited to major/important languages. German, for sure.