A Redesigned samba.org

As you've probably noticed, samba.org has been redesigned. This version of the Samba website has a striking new look and features XHTML markup and a CSS-controlled layout. This document will seek to outline some of the changes to samba.org in greater detail. So if you're not all that interested in XHTML conversion, web standards, and the separation of content from presentation, you might want to click away now.

Why the change?

Some have said that samba.org was long overdue for a face lift, and a new appearance certainly doesn't hurt anything. The major reason, however, for a samba.org relaunch was to provide easier access to the information contained here. The intent was to maintain the existing focus on release announcements and current downloads, while also providing broader appeal to samba.org's wide range of visitors -- users, developers, and companies working with Samba.

With that goal in mind, the new samba.org has been structured around a single, more limited site-wide navigation menu, complimented by an auxiliary sets of links depending on which page is being viewed. The primary nav menu is a task-based menu. The other menus are meant to provide quick links to relevant material.

Web Standards

In relaunching samba.org, we have tried whenever possible to adhere to web standards established by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). The majority of pages validate as XHTML 1.0 Transitional, as does the CSS. The most thorough adherence to web standards comes in the separation of a document's structure from its presentation. XHTML markup has been used solely to organize and categorize the information on a given page. All of the colors, typography, images, and layout are controlled by a cascading stylesheet. The advantages to this are smaller files sizes, quicker page loads, and richer designs. Also, should we decide to change the look of samba.org in the future, we have only to edit the stylesheets and not every page on the site, which is a task those involved with this upgrade are glad they won't have to do again.

There are pages on this site that don't validate as XHTML 1.0 Transitional. This is an ongoing upgrade and such pages will be corrected over the next several weeks. samba.org is deep with pages, and several of the oldest pages, or the ones requiring major changes to validate as XHTML, were saved to be done after the site's current conversion. The goal was to get a solid XHTML/CSS web site in place, and improve it as we go, rather than wait until every aspect of every page was web standard compliant before allowing the public to see the redesign.

Browser Support

One of the nice effects of a web standards design is that the design will translate well across a variety of browsers. This site has been tested in Mozilla and Mozilla-based browsers, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, Konqueror, and Galeon. The decision was made to design for version 5 or later browsers, which extends support to 1998-era browsers. The site will not have as rich a design in browsers older than these, but all information will remain intact.

There is no way that every browser ever made could possibly be supported by one design, and in fact, if you're using one of these older browsers, you're most likely used to sites looking a little different in your browser. If lack of support for your browser becomes a problem for you, then by all means upgrade to a newer version. There are several freely-available good browsers today.

Comments? Questions?

Any questions, comments, or concerns about the samba.org redesign can be addressed to webeditor@samba.org. Website bugs can be reported through bugzilla.samba.org. Please understand that your preference, or lack thereof, for a particular shade of yellow or blue is not cause enough for a bug report. You are, however, free to like or dislike whatever colors you choose. Mostly, we just hope you'll find the redesigned samba.org useful.

Bugzilla, Build Farm, and the newly launched news.samba.org have also received updated looks in keeping with the new samba.org. Please check out those sites as well!