The old site: https://web.archive.org/web/20151013161308/http://www.gnu.org/software/guile/
This design certainly looks friendlier, and inspires more confidence that people actually use the language.
It certainly lost the look too-common to GNU software which makes me want to not ever touch it, for sure.
Yup. I’m hoping more GNU sites get similar redesigns. No offense to the people behind them, but most of them look like they haven’t been updated since the 90’s (which gives the impression that their communities died in the 90’s).
I’m admittedly not a designer, but that archive.org link above looks reasonably modern to me, 2000s at least. The only thing that really hints at being more than a few years old is that it’s not using Bootstrap and large amounts of vertical scroll, as is now legally mandated for all software websites. (I’m also not a big fan of the old logo.)
Now emacs, there’s a site that looks ‘90s.
Agree. The previous design was too heavy on the text and too crowded in the sidebar… but at least it didn’t use lots of centred text (how gauche!). And the drawings on the new one are all fluff; they just take up space without adding any value. (Contrast with the other illustrations: the code examples and app screenshots. Those do pull their weight.)
I bet the current design will look dated and era-specific much sooner and more clearly than the previous one.
Neither of the designs is actively bad, though. Both answer the major questions (what is this, why do I want it, how do I start) reasonably well. I would favour something more like a realign of the previous design, but I can hardly call the new one a mistake either.
It looks like the designer has also contributed to several other GNU and OSS projects. They’re lucky to have him. I was struck by how much more appealing Guile appeared with just this visual refresh. My subconscious picked up on some visual cues and said “ooo, new programming language! Let’s try it out!”
This site is responsive. Viewed on my phone and it worked great!