[flac-dev] Status of flac; new release?

Max Horn max at quendi.de
Wed Dec 12 17:16:50 PST 2012

On 13.12.2012, at 00:38, Ralph Giles wrote:

> On 12-12-12 2:56 PM, Max Horn wrote:
>> Hum. Actually, I just noticed that the website is also in the flac repos itself, under doc/html/
> How about that. I hadn't noticed that either!


OK, so I had a closer look at the differences between the two. For this, I compared the first revision of flac-website.git (presumably obtained from web scrapping) with what is in flac.git. After removing some trivial differences (e.g. copyright 2008,2009), at least the following noteworthy differences remain (possibly more, but I need to get some sleep now ;).

* flac.git changelog.html has an unfinished entry for 1.2.2, presumably listing not-yet-released changes. Perhaps this can be salvaged for the actual next release?

* in flac.git, documentation_tools_flac.html is newer and documents Wave64 & RF64 support, and also flac_options_preserve_modtime among other things

* flac-website.git has newer comparison pages which have images, while flac.git does not

* Tons of other stuff in flac.git seems to be outdated compared to the website (even though flac.git bears a *newer* copyright date... weird... makes me wonder if Josh at some point stopped using the repository for tracking the website? Or perhaps we did not get the latest version of the website from the CVS repos??)

* in flac-website.git, local hyperlinks are changed from
  <a href="#ANCHOR>
  <a href="SOMEPAGE.html#ANCHOR>
I guess this is an artefact of web scraping, and I'd like to return this to the former version. This can be done with a simple script, though.

>> (Personally, I think generated doxygen docs should not be part of the repos, but that's just me).
> No disagreement there.
> As for which repo to keep the site in, I don't feel too strongly.
> Whatever Erik prefers I guess. We should definitely merge the histories
> though.

OK. The next thing then would be to determine how to move on with the website from a technical point of view. Right now, there is a lot of "code duplication", in terms of common headers/footers on all pages. This should be resolved to make maintenance. The question is how exactly. This depends on what Erik wants, resp. on who is going to maintain the website on a regular basis -- they should be comfortable with whatever tools are chosen.

Martijn suggested PHP, which is OK for basic stuff, I guess, and it would do the job. Although these days I personally try to avoid it (see also <http://me.veekun.com/blog/2012/04/09/php-a-fractal-of-bad-design/> ;-). But whatever works...
Myself, I like tools that generate static pages, like <http://middlemanapp.com/>. There are zillions of alternatives, too :-).

Once some format is chosen, the content (and if desired, looks) can be updated in full earnest. I'll be happy to help updating the content (but not with the layout, I suck at graphics design ;-).

Here are some random things I noticed that should be updated, content wise:

* The download and license pages contain this:
 "If you would like to redistribute parts or all of FLAC under different terms, contact Josh Coalson."
with a link to Josh' email address. I'd either remove this, or change it to point to flac-dev. [Legal perspective: Josh would have to agree to any alternative licensing, but so would any other source contributor. It's usually not worth the hassle anyway...]

* The copyright blurb on all pages should be updated. Instead of listing years, give a range:
    Copyright (c) 2004,2005,2006,2007,2008 Josh Coalson
  Copyright (c) 2004-2008 Josh Coalson
(or -2009 if one believes flac.git). One could then add a "(c) 2012 xuz" where xyz are the persons who work on the website. Easier might be "xyz" = "The FLAC team" but that would require defining "The FLAC team" somewhere.

* get rid of the outdated russian translation. If translation are desired, then this should be redone in a sane way....

* there are zillions of links on both the downloads and links page. Many of these are outdated, many modern ones are missing. Unless somebody here is hot on maintaining these lists, I would propose removing this and instead link to <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hardware_and_software_that_supports_FLAC>.

But no matter what: The flac download page should only link to official flac source tarballs and binaries, and perhaps a some 3rd party distributions (say, to the debian & ubuntu packages, the Fink/MacPorts/Homebrew Mac packages, etc.). But not to arbitrary GUI frontends, commercial software etc. -- such links should be on the links.html page, if at all.

* on the developers page, references to CVS should be replaced by git.


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