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The computer they prefer!

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> English > Epiphany home page and bookmarks

Epiphany home page and bookmarks

October 2012 — last update June 2013

All the versions of this article: [čeština] [English] [français] [русский]

The purpose of this article is to provide an automated way to define links for the home page and the bookmarks of Epiphany, the DoudouLinux web browser. Links placed in this page will be automatically collected by a script in order to generate the configuration files on our CD that change the home page and the bookmarks for each language. If you want to provide relevant links for your language, please translate this page or, at least, change the links in the version of your language. You can also check our existing links and propose additional ones.

Link selection policy

First of all, few words about how to perform link selection. The selected websites we want to show children must comply with the spirit of our project. For this reason we ask you to check several points before adding or replacing a link in this page:

  • The website must not be tied to personal or group interests like commerce, politics, religion, etc.
  • The website must not be used to advertise for products or services that do not comply with our project, which will generally mean ads should not be displayed on the target website. Although most of ads are blocked in DoudouLinux, this may not work in every case.
  • The website must not use information about its users in their back, for example to earn money by reselling personal data to advertisement agencies or commercial “partners”. Particular mistrust should be shown to websites requiring to create an account before being able to do anything.
  • The website content should be freely downloadable, whatever it is. If this is not the case, this would mean the website wants to keep control over users and then that it probably has hidden intentions or motivations. Particularly, if the website contents is created by its own users, in no way the website should claim diffusion exclusivity of users work, like many “social” websites do.
  • If the website offers downloadable materials, their license must not infringe intellectual property rights while children should be allowed to reuse them as they wish, at least for non commercial use. Typically the website should use free licenses or at most licenses like the variants of the Creative Commons non commercial license.
  • Of course the website contents must be adapted to children. This does not mean that the reading level must be low because we also target the oldest children.

Home page links

Links placed in this section will be displayed as buttons in the web browser home page (see our example page). The text of the link is the text of the button, of course its URL is the button link URL, and the text after the comma will be used as a small help text a priori below the buttons. Here are the links for the English home page of Epiphany:

As of writing, links will be arranged into an ellipse instead of a classical, boring column-wise arrangement. The first link of the list is the most important, it is displayed at the top the ellipse. Then other links are placed regularly around the ellipse, clockwise. The less important links are then not the latest ones in the list but are in the middle of the list. The latest link of the list is indeed as important as the second link of the list (see our example page).

The number of links in the list does not matter, the placement algorithm deals with any number of links. However too few links would lead to a triangle or a lozenge – not very funny –, while too many links would make their buttons be too close to each other, if not overlapping. You then have to find a good number of links for your language to be highlighted in the home page, 6 to 9 should be such good number. If you have too many links, think of putting a part of them into bookmarks instead.

Bookmarks links

Links placed in this section will be used to create Epiphany’s bookmarks. They are arranged into categories, this is why each link comes with a category in the list below. The link text will be used as the bookmark title. Please browse the existing default categories of Epiphany before creating new ones. Note also that the homepage links in the previous section should obviously all be bookmarked too: you need to duplicate them!

Epiphany bookmarks are shown in its menu “Bookmarks”. All or a part of this menu can eventually be integrated into the main browser interface, via tool bars customization. However, some DoudouLinux scripts will show bookmarks directly on the top of the Epiphany homepage to give them a more pleasant appearance and an even easier access. As this menu will be horizontal, try to use short names for your categories! Here is the list of English Epiphany bookmarks:

If you want to change or add search engines to the list, like the three last entries, you have to replace in their search URL the text searched for with a sequence %s. Search links are not displayed in the bookmark menu of the homepage but are instead used to build a list of search engines close to the search entry, on top of the page. On the other hand, they remain visible in the Epiphany official bookmark menu and, of course, can be managed with its bookmark management tool.

Notes for web designers

In this section, we are detailing information for our web designers who will have to design and customize the links in the Epiphany homepage. The issues are the following:

  • Deal with a variable number of links while not generating “holes” in their arrangement, when there are less links than expected.
  • Be able to customize every link in every home page, whatever the language.
  • Make link customization insensitive to the order of links in the page, for example to be able to display a logo wherever the link is in the list.

To achieve this, we are currently testing a solution that consists in:

  • Placing links in the home page using JavaScript (links are not placed column-wise, but in ellipse!). The algorithm makes no assumption on the number of links to be displayed.
  • Providing each link with a single identifier, the id property of Html tags. This way, moving the link in the list will not change its style while it can have a customized style.
  • Building the identifier using the link URL domain so that links referring to the same site in different languages will have the same style across the home pages of all the languages. For example for the URL, the link identifier is composed with the prefix link_ and the domain name wikinews: #link_wikinews.
  • Adding to the body tag, a language property lang set to the Spip language code, in case minor language customizations are still required for given links.

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