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Re: Playing with a new theme for the docs

From:  Guido van Rossum <>
To:  Ned Batchelder <>
Subject:  Re: Playing with a new theme for the docs
Date:  Wed, 21 Mar 2012 09:11:54 -0700
Message-ID:  <>
Cc:  Serhiy Storchaka <>,
Archive-link:  Article

On Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 7:18 AM, Ned Batchelder <> wrote:
> The challenge for the maintainer of the docs site is to choose a good design
> that most people will see.  We're bound to disagree on what that design
> should be, and I suggest that probably none of us are designer enough to
> come up with the best one.  Perhaps we could find an interested designer to
> help?

I've come to the conclusion that "good design" is not so much a matter
of finding the "best" of anything (font, spacing rules, colors, icons,
artowork, etc.). Good design is highly subjective to fashion, and the
people who are recognized to be the best designers are more often than
not just those with a strong enough opinion to push their creative
ideas through. Then other designers, who are not quite as good but
still have a nose for the latest fashion, copy their ideas and for a
while anything that hasn't been redesigned looks "old-fashioned".

(Before you say something about limitations of old technology, note
how often designers go back to older styles and manage to make them
look fashionable again.)

If you want something that attracts attention through controversy, get
one of those initial thought leaders. If you want something that looks
"current" today but which will probably be out of style next year, use
one of the style-following designers. If you want something that is
maximally useful, get a scientist with an ounce of style sense to do
your design... Oh hey, Georg *is* a scientist! And he's got more than
an ounce of style. So just let him do it and let's not try to
micromanage things. (I had to speak up about the low contrast because
Georg has young eyes and may not realize that this issue exists for
older Pythonistas.)

--Guido van Rossum (

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