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Jonas Larsson May 16, 2005 03:57

Preview of New CFD Online Layout
We're soon about to launch a new site layout for CFD Online. You can get a sneak peak of how it will look by checking out the new version of the "CFD Resources Online" section . This section, now called the "Links" section, can be found here: (make sure to include the trailing "/" or it will not work)

The link above will open in a new browser so that you can keep this window to give us your feedback once you are finished checking out the new layout.

Note that only the "Links" part of the top-menu will work now. We have disabled the other sections while we work on finishing them.

What do you think about the new layout and structure? Do you like the new dynamic pull-down menu system?

A.S. May 16, 2005 04:40

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout

After having a quick preview, I liked it.



Jonas Larsson May 16, 2005 05:03

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
Great, thanks for the response. If you have any suggestions on things that could be improved please let me know.

cfd May 16, 2005 06:15

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
that is great better than before. can i suggest:

1/ to keep the same heading as before with the traditional CFD online-hope it is clear!

2/ may if you try to centre it will look better as well

Jonas Larsson May 16, 2005 06:26

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
Thanks for the feedback.

1. I'm not sure what you mean with "same heading as before". Are you refering to the menu system, the page title, the logo or perhaps the entire top section (logo+banner+menu)?

2. One of the goals of the new layout has been to have a flexible page which adapts well to different browser widhts. On wide browsers a centered content section does not look that good together with the new top section (which is left centered). Hence, we have switched to having all parts of the layout anchored to the left instead. This means that if you use a very wide browser window you will often get a bit of blank space on the right. I think this looks okay. But I appreciate your opinion!

Hrvoje Jasak May 16, 2005 06:37

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
Hi Jonas,

Looks like a nice face-lift, well done.

A suggestion: I would guess most of the web site traffic is going to the discussion fora - you may want to make them more prominent on the front page for easier navigation.

Looking forward to the new features and sections,


Jonas Larsson May 16, 2005 06:45

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
I'm sorry to respond to myself here but I wanted to share something with you. I was just now checking the log files for the new site and saw that googlebot already has started indexing it... That's amazing! I published the link 4 hours ago and googlebot is already busy indexing the new site. Google's web-search technology is impressive.

Hmm... an off-CFD-topic response to myself *ugh*. I must have done too much web-page layout work the last few weeks :)

Jonas Larsson May 16, 2005 06:52

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
Hi Hrvoje,

Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it.

The new front-page is going to be completely different from the old one. It will be more like a newspaper front, with dynamic content from all sub-sections and direct links to things like "hot" discussions in the forums, most recent job-ads, most recently posted events etc.

Btw, the discussion forums attract most of the page-downloads, but if you look at which section attract most unique users per week the jobs-database is actualy busier. And if you look at which section attracts most new visitors the Links section is actually in the top, so it isn't that evident which section is the busiest.

My hope with the new menu-bar common across all sections is that it will encourage people visiting one section to also visit other sections. Today there are quite different user-bases using the different sections at CFD Online.

Halim May 16, 2005 07:14

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
How about adding capabilities to post equations and figures ?

Good luck.

Jonas Larsson May 16, 2005 07:39

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
I'm not aware of any forum software which allows equations to be posted, do you know of any such forums?

Woody May 16, 2005 10:44

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
I would say "two thumbs-up" to the new site. Thank you for keeping up this site.

noName May 16, 2005 15:02

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout

Firstly, many thanks for running this useful website. It has been an excellent resource over the years -- thanks for keeping up the good work.

About the new website design, I must honestly say that I prefer the current design. Text based webpages are much easier to navigate (e.g. Google results,, in its early days, etc) rather than javascript-filled pages. Sometimes the mouse-over underline / mouse-over drop down lists are irritating, and slow to work with.

I have some other suggestions:

1. I got a 403 Forbidden when I tried accessing the forum so I cannot comment on it. But it would be good to have the basic web-board capabilities. (See e.g. Discus,

2. Links should be searchable and possibly editable (using say a user account). The ultimate knowledge base would be a wiki- type of system.

3. Could you start off a file exchange system? (Similar to MATLAB Central File Exchange)?

4. Finally, could you think of text ads instead of the regular banners? (e.g. Google's Ad program or Overture). Text ads are much easier to the eye...

Jonas Larsson May 16, 2005 16:52

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
Hi noName,

Many thanks for your feedback. I must say that I share your concern about java-script filled sites with animations etc. everywhere. That's why CFD Online has had such a simple layout for a long time. I was hoping that the new layout would combine a fairly clean and simple look and feel and not too many images (the menu system is pure text for example) with the advantages that a pull-down javascript based menu gives in terms of improved cross-section navigation.

Only the links section of the new site layout is open for public preview now, that's why you couldn't reach the forums. Most of the forums will continue to use the current forum software (webbbs), but we will start to use phpbb for some new forums. I'm not a great fan of Discus, I've run it on another site a long time ago and I don't think that it scales well as time goes, traffic increases and you have many messages in your forum.

Links will be searchable when we launch the site. We just haven't set up the search engine on the new server yet so the search function is disabled. Users can use the new online form to suggest new links but additions will always be up to the editor's selection.

About your suggestion to use a Wiki. We have a wiki running and have been experimenting with it for some time. Something is coming which will be based on it. But it don't expect it to be launched tomorrow. It will take some time.

About a file exchange. That would certainly be valuable. In fact, we have kind of had something like that running via ftp for like 8 years... but I guess that a web-based nicer layout would increase its use. We could use the phpbb forum for that since it allows file attachements. Or have you got any other file-exchange systems that you would recommend?

We don't have any plans to switch to text-ads. On a site like CFD Online I frankly think that it would be more confusing with text ads since it would be less obvious what is ads and what is editorial content.

Mikael Ersson May 16, 2005 23:34

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
Nice and clean!

Perhaps remove the top100 and instead have a "hot subjects", "sticky" or something. This however needs some increased maintanance since abuse is bound to happen.

zxaar May 17, 2005 03:10

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
this new page looks good ,

i wish to suggest something:

i have observed that there are lot of people who try to search for source code related to cfd mainly for the purposes of learning, and on the other hand there are lot of people who write small codes for cfd calculations during there MS or phd, i am sure lot of such people will be willing to share their codes for other people to learn,

so i was wondering if we could have a page where people can donate their source code with little discription, it would be great help for lot of people.

i am not sure how successful this kind of link will be cbut could be started as an experiment.

Suggestion. May 17, 2005 05:15

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
I second that request. I know it would have been of tremendous use to me throughout my PhD work if I could see other peoples codes sometimes. I know there is code available on the web, but most of it is long and convoluted and difficult to understand.

zxaar May 17, 2005 05:44

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
well mostly for that reason (and for learning too), i have been writing a code based on perics book, the solver at the moment is laminar (since turbulence models are not tested very well yet),

the code is written such a way that if someone wants to implement new models he can do with some cut and pastes , i don't have any prob in sharing the code.

but i wish to put it for use from next month, by that time i am hoping that i will be able to implement additive corrective multigrid (currently it has biCGStab only),

since the solver runs on windows and can be compiled using Visual studio 6, most of the people will be able to use it.

i am hoping it will be very good for purposes of phd MS projects,

and the best will be when user will be able to scripting (that is just wrting 10 lines, one can implement new model), though i have figured out a way to do that, i am waiting for getting the basic solver right , then implementing scripting is matter of writing compiler for it (could be done in a months time)

Derrek May 17, 2005 21:51

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
Hey Jonas. The new layout looks awesome. I wanted to reiterate everyone's sentiment about your dedication to the site. I can honestly say that I have viewed the site daily for years. Huge resource for those involved in CFD.

Keep up the good work!


Jonas Larsson May 18, 2005 05:14

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
Hi Derrek,

Thanks for those nice words about CFD Online. I'm glad that you like the new layout. If you have any suggestions on things that could be improved please feel free to email me or post here.



Jonas Larsson May 19, 2005 05:13

Re: Preview of New CFD Online Layout
Thanks for your feedback.

The new layout will have a "hot discussions" section on the front-page which will hot-link especially interesting threads in the forums. The selection of threads will be done by a few selected editors in order to avoid abuse as you say.

I'm not great fan of forums with "sticky" topics and indexes that change order dynamically. Sticky topics always obscure the index list I think. I prefer a forum index which keeps a strict chronological order of the topics. That way you recognize what is new and what is old when you return to a forum and it is easier to orient yourself.

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