Re-designing the JuliaLang.org Website Download section [feedback needed]

Hey all, we are trying to redesign the https://JuliaLang.org download page. An initial WIP version can be found here: Download Julia

See the current version for reference: julialang.org/downloads/

What else should be improved to make the download experience better?

Note that these are just initial designs and have yet to go through the process of getting feedback or the like so it’s not set in stone that things will change by any means.

Edit: If you are a Linux user, can you please check the JS console when visiting the preview and let me know what it shows your platform as and what version of Julia you would usually download? (May need to consider your browser type too).

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Can I say i like the current version better?

Anyways, also wasn’t a redesign just completed (and a switchover to Hugo) just months ago?

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There was no re-design, just a translation from Hugo to Franklin (for the most part).


On a phone, this button should probably be over 2 lines if possible.

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Yes, WIP, need to fix that.

I just hope the new design still has the download links laid out like the current one (maybe do it 1 OS at a time) because from time to time I need to “Copy link address” and paste in a ssh for wget

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I think the idea is good. I’d probably make the links underneath the button a little more prominent. Also, it doesn’t detect my OS (Pop!_OS 20.10). I’d maybe add the header from the “current stable version” section on the current download page, unless perhaps that shows up in the button when OS is properly detected?

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Thanks for your work !

my personal minor list:

What I like in the Golang Download page? https://golang.org/dl/

  • "Featured Download"
    • imho: important for the beginners
  • "Archived versions"
  • visible “SHA256 Checksum” on the page.
    • in the Julia/download page - I need to download the sha256 file , open with editors … and copy/paste the sha256 hash to my dockerfiles … in the Golang/dl it is simpler …
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It didn’t recognize my Ubuntu/Firefox platform, so I can’t see if there’s anything I’m missing.

My favorite part of the current page is the platform specific instructions for setup. It makes the updates much more understandable to newer people, and more palatable to people who balk at having to update manually. 2 lines of copy paste into the terminal and change 1 line in a config file.

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Glad to see this being worked on! Some quick thoughts:

  • There should be an LTS button as well as for latest version
  • Button text suggestion to say, “Other platforms and versions” (without italics)
  • Without JS, the md5/sha256 links are broken—should hide those?
  • Could do like nodejs (Node.js) and move this button to the home page (keeping downloads page the same, for other versions etc)
  • Also could do like nodejs and make the nojs / no-detect and make this simply a button with the current version number, to the corresponding version’s download page (without mentioning the detection)
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In Fedora 32, it shows up as,


And the browser console,
Screenshot from 2020-12-27 11-37-23

I would usually download the latest stable release.

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navigator.platform is not a good way to differentiate between Win32 and Win64. I think you will need to scan navigator.userAgent for this:

> navigator.userAgent
"Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/87.0.4280.88 Safari/537.36"
> navigator.platform
"Win32"
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On my 64-bit Windows 10 laptop, it shows the 32-bit Windows download by default. This needs to be fixed.

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Here (Mint 64bits) it appears as a general download (See all downloads).

Also, I do not like the red line and Download font. Gives me the impression that I am doing something wrong.

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On Linux Mint, I also just see the “see all downloads” button. (and the Other platform link below, etc.)

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I’ll second this. Mostly, I am not a fan of the auto-platform-detect UX pattern.

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An option to download the latest “next to be released but still in development” version might be nice for package authors. For example, tha latest nightly build I got identifies as Julia v1.7 (instead of v1.6, which should be released next).

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I think that auto detect is a big plus. But since it propose a 32bits Windows version I would go to check if there is a 63 bits one.

As a general issue, I personally find the Julia website design to be very unprofessional. It looks like if the Julia team was not able to pay a graphic designer… I think it is a bad message for all the users who are hesitating switching to Julia. Having a professional graphic design is a way to show maturity.

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It looks about as nice as python’s website, and better than R’s imho. Matlab is a big commercial actor, and doesn’t really compare.

There is not much to do actually, just get a graphic designer redesign the homepage and other pages canvas, as well as shorten the texts where possible.