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I was reading about gzip program and I found the official website of the gzip software.

First of all the site looks very bad, it is very hard to find useful information on it and it was not updated since several years ago.

Also, only www.gzip.org is working, but simply gzip.org is not working.

It would not be hard for people that are running those websites to make it better so that it would be more easy for more people to have acces to open source software and learn about it.

What is the reason no one cares about User Interfaces and accesibility for those software/websites ?

On the website the latest update is about a patch for version 1.2.4, but on the wikipedia page it says that the last STABLE release is 1.8.

What is the reason for these inconsistencies? Was the project abandoned by the creator and the owner of the website and is now only developed through platforms like GitHUB? Even so there has to be somebody to take care of the development process.

Wouldn't it be a good idea for the free software community should take more care about popularizing their projects ?

closed as off-topic by user22815, RubberDuck, Greg Burghardt, Robert Harvey, gnat Nov 9 '16 at 4:41

  • This question does not appear to be about software engineering within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Mostly it's because no one who complains about the websites will actually volunteer to maintain them ;-) – Karl Bielefeldt Nov 8 '16 at 23:59
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    "Last modification: July 27th, 2003". What benefits are there to updating the website? – whatsisname Nov 9 '16 at 0:20
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    Additionally I can find information on it just fine. Perhaps you're just not accustomed to websites that actually have information rather than gigapixels of whitespace and everything hidden behind hamburger menus. – whatsisname Nov 9 '16 at 0:21
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is asking about third-party web sites, and not the software development lifecycle as defined within the scope of the help center. – user22815 Nov 9 '16 at 1:17
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    If you find those websites so badly done, what stops you from contributing to the community by improving those sites? – Arseni Mourzenko Nov 9 '16 at 1:25
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Generally, an open source software project has a large(ish) number of contributors, so it can continue even if certain individuals stop contributing either temporarily or permanently.

It is also relatively easy to give access to those contributors so that they can update GitHub pages for the project - in fact, this ability generally goes hand in hand with being a project contributor.

It is somewhat harder to do the same for a completely separate website. This is why GitHub has become popular - it allows easy collaboration on the project and the project's documentation and meta-information, and for easy deployment/release of the project.

Another factor is that contributors to a project are focused on the project itself - and not the website. Coders want to code, not get stuck with apache configuration and HTML and CSS - especially if they're not web developers. So many project sites are very basic.

As you have observed - this means that many websites that used to host a project have become somewhat unloved, especially if the original project developer has moved on to other things.

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    "Coders want to code, not get stuck with apache configuration and HTML and CSS - especially if they're not web developers.": exactly! I know how to develop websites, but I don't have the necessary skills to implement a compression algorithm (nor am I interested). People who implement compression algorithms are experts in their domains, but they may not know (or care about) HTML and CSS and web design and plenty of other subjects related to web development. – Arseni Mourzenko Nov 9 '16 at 1:31
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    Not to mention that e.g. Mark Adler, one of the two co-authors, has a day job at NASA JPL, he was (and maybe still is?) the Mission Manager for the Spirit Rover on Mars, for example. And he has kids. And he hangs out on Space Exploration and gives fantastic answers. And he is a C programmer, not a webdesigner. – Jörg W Mittag Nov 9 '16 at 8:31
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I was reading about gzip program and I found the official website of the gzip software.

No, you didn't. You found the website that used to be the official website back when the original authors were still the maintainers. Now, GNU Gzip is maintained by different people, and the website is https://www.gnu.org/software/gzip/ .

First of all the site looks very bad,

That is in the eye of the beholder. I find it simple, with no extraneous fluff, it loads extremely fast, and it works well in a mobile browser on a small screen.

Sure, the markup is horrible, but the authors are C programmers, not web designers.

it is very hard to find useful information on it

That is not my experience. Also, define "useful"

and it was not updated since several years ago.

Yes, the people who own that website no longer maintain Gzip, why would they update it?

Also, only www.gzip.org is working, but simply gzip.org is not working.

Those are two completely different hostnames. There is no reason for them to work the same way or work at all.

It would not be hard for people that are running those websites to make it better so that it would be more easy for more people to have acces to open source software and learn about it.

What is the reason no one cares about User Interfaces and accesibility for those software/websites ?

What makes you say no one cares? Obviously, you care and you are not no one. It's an open source project. The work is done by the community. That is you.

On the website the latest update is about a patch for version 1.2.4, but on the wikipedia page it says that the last STABLE release is 1.8.

That's because you are looking at the website for the project that no longer maintains Gzip. If you look at the current website, you'll find Gzip 1.8 right here: https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gzip/

What is the reason for these inconsistencies? Was the project abandoned by the creator and the owner of the website

Gzip was originally maintained by Jean-Loup Gailly and Mark Adler, who also maintained the http://www.gzip.org/ website, and is now maintained by Jim Meyering and Paul Eggert as part of GNU, which maintains the https://www.gnu.org/software/gzip/ website.

and is now only developed through platforms like GitHUB?

No, most GNU projects are managed on Savannah, not GitHub. Here's Gzip: https://savannah.gnu.org/projects/gzip/

Even so there has to be somebody to take care of the development process.

Yes, there is. Jim Meyering and Paul Eggert and the GNU project.

Wouldn't it be a good idea for the free software community should take more care about popularizing their projects ?

Gzip is installed on more machines than Windows, OSX, Linux, Android, and iOS combined. It runs in space, and the depth of the oceans. It runs on watches and supercomputing clusters. How much more popular could it be?

  • 1) Thank you for pointing me to the current website. 2) Although it is great to think that all websites are beautiful, just like to say this about people, sometimes we can be objective about things, especially since we are not talking about people here ;) 3) regarding the hostname - the person acquiring the domain acquired all the subdomains and providing he does not rent the subdomains to other entities it is actually extremely simple to redirect gzip.org to www.gzip.org 4) Thank you for pointing out Savannah. I did not know about it. Finally WOW I didn't know GZIP runs on so many devices. – yoyo_fun Nov 9 '16 at 0:13
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    @yoyo_fun: gzip is not just a program, it is a library (zlib) that is compiled into many other programs like Google Chrome, Apple's Safari and iTunes, Apache, Nginx etc. Which is why saying that "it runs in space" has a very high probability of being true – slebetman Nov 9 '16 at 5:40

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