A slight shift of focus this week, especially today. I've been reorganizing the Tapestry project home page; from now on, the menu down the left side will be consistent from page to page, not contextual. The tabs across the top are now more like book marks. I think it will make navigating the site easier. Further, the first thing on the home page is another set of quick links to the most common pages, including the Users Guide, Quick Start Tutorial, JavaDoc, etc.
Now, the Quick Start tutorials represent another way to ease newbies into Tapestry. It's been something I delegated to others in the past, and it never happened, so I've taken it back on myself. I'd rather be writing new code or even fixing bugs (or working on my own labs), but I've been getting feedback that the QuickStart is making a big difference among prospective Tapestry users. In fact, there have been over 2200 downloads of the tutorials already!
In the same light is my new approach to the Tapestry demos: the Workbench and the Virtual Library. In the past, you had to build them yourself (because they use non-ASF code, and can't be distributed from the ASF). But that's asking a lot from people, especially those just casually investigating Tapestry.
The new approach is a seperate distribution for the demos, that comes from a non-ASF server (http://howardlewisship.com/downloads/quick-start/).
This bypasses the concerns of the ASF ... though it does eat into my personal web site's bandwidth! But what it means is people can get up and running with Tapestry really easily:
- Install JBoss 4.0.2
- Install Ant
- Unpack the examples
- Run the build script using Ant
- (Re)start JBoss
- Run the applications in a browser
A step up from this would be an installer, but I was short on time to do that today. It would be nice, and there are reasonable, free installers out there. That would eliminate the need for Ant ... but I assumed that nearly everyone interested in Tapestry would already have Ant.