We want to modernize the http://www.minix3.org website. It’s very old. An incremental improvement is given at http://www.minix3.org/new. You should take this one as the starting point, but it certainly needs improvement.
One issue that comes up immediately is whether the sidebar with the quick links in http://www.minix3.org is needed at all. In http://www.minix3.org/new more has been moved to the menu bar on top. That is probably better. We are also open to changes to the menu bar. If we get rid of the sidebar, the menu bar has to stand out. Besides the main page, there are a number of other pages. Getting rid of the sidebar potentially makes all the pages alike, which might be a plus. The structure of the Website is that there is a main directory plus a subdirectory for each item in the menu bar containing its files. The only difference between the main page and the other pages then will be the one news item below the menu bar
The main audience at present is computer science students, hobbyists, and people interested in operating systems although we are also moving towards commercial use as an embedded system. Anyone who visits is assumed to be fairly knowledgeable about computers and operating systems. For example, over 30% of the visitors use Linux and 80% use either Firefox or Safari, so this is not a Windows IE crowd. For statistics, see http://www.sitemeter.com/?a=stats&s=s17minix3.
The website currently runs on Solaris but may be moved to NetBSD, Linux, or MINIX 3 in the future. It also has to be maintained there. This desire for portability means the site probably has to be written in HTML 4 not using any tools like Dreamweaver, Design Studio, iWeb, Expression Web or others because these are not available on all platforms and maintenance will be difficult as these tools are constantly being updated.
You might want to look at a few other operating system Websites. A small list is present at http://www.minix3.org/other.html . One thing that Dragonfly does wrong, however, is it doesn’t limit the page width at all, so on a screen of 2560 x 1600 the lines are too long to read. Better to forceably limit the width to 1024 using some HTML element.
One thing to keep in mind is this: most of the other systems have large user communities already and most of their Websites are aimed at telling the users about new developments. Most of our visitors are likely to be here for the first time and are more interested in learning about what MINIX 3 is, not how the current release differs from the previous one. Hence while we have a NEWS item on the menu bar and one item below it, the main page is not primarily about news. You are free to change the text if you can write it better and certainly change the layout, colors etc.
Probably the way to start is to either modify our stylesheet (see zip file) or provide your own. Then make a new proto.html file using the new stylesheet. All the other pages can be built by modifying the proto.html file using some text editor. You are to make pages for all the items in the menu bar. You can use what is in the zip file or grab files from http://www.minix3.org/new
Please take into account what search engines like and dislike.
We are in a big hurry and didn't discover 99designs.com until a few days ago. If a design we like comes in within 3 or 4 days, we might accept it immediately and not wait until the end.
Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.