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News: New LDraw.org Website

New LDraw.org Website
By: Tim Courtney
January 21, 2002

The LDraw.org Staff would like to announce the complete overhaul of the LDraw.org website! The past several months at LDraw.org have been spent putting together this new site with a focus on ease of navigation, straightforward information, and ease of updating with the intention of releasing new content on a regular basis.

The new site is divided into four main categories, plus several supplementary categories. Reference, Download, Community, and Parts Library are the main categories. Supplementing them are About Us, News, and Polls. This is the new top-level structure of LDraw.org.

The new Community section features the long standing Model of the Month and Scene of the Month rendering competitions under Contests, an Events page, new People profiles - where we will be profiling key figures in the LDraw community on a regular basis, a Software Reviews page - where users are invited to review their favorite software, and a new History page outlining the history of the LDraw community. The James Jessiman Memorial and Links pages have also been moved to the Community section.

The Reference section is also a bit more robust, with new Tutorials (including one on animation), documented Specifications, a new Glossary and more.

Downloads are now made by first choosing an operating system. We've also added a new rating script for users to rate their favorite (or least favorite) programs we offer. Coming soon will be statistics on how many downloads each program has had. Also, a download section update system is in the works for software authors to be able to easily update their pages via a form accompanied by their own username and password.

All of this is encapsulated in a bold new look for the site, mostly text-based navigation for fast page loading, and a rag-tag band of minifig friends scattered across certain pages to give the site a little life and levity.

This is just one of the steps LDraw.org has been taking in the past few months. There will be more tutorials on the way for a fuller reference section, demonstrations at BricksWest 2002 near LEGOLAND California, and more - we're always looking for new ideas or fresh help in making this the best site it can be.

LDraw.org is, and always will be, a community effort. We want to encourage the users to come up with ideas for the site and help us implement them, or volunteer to manage a section. We believe strongly in the concept of 'many hands make light work' and building a strong community around the LDraw system of tools and the LEGO hobby.

Any questions or comments on this article or the website release should be directed to Tim Courtney.

 

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In Memory of James Jessiman - 1971-1997