Docs: now more open

it seems what we’re coming up against is information presentation. structure and visual layout.

i think it’d be good to migrate towards a sidebar navigation, and have a search.

definitely the content is there. finding it is tricky, because you have to basically internalize the whole thing before you know where things are. this obviously isn’t great.

hence a sidebar (“index” if you will) is a priority.

i’d like to say further— everything i’ve designed has had the goal of putting new knowledge and skills within reach of newcomers, and monome has been around for a very long time now and i’d have thought we’ve been generally succeeding at sharing knowledge as a community. so it’s good to hear feedback as to how to make things better.

that said, the monome docs cannot be a place for teaching everything— we cover some technical things that are sometimes required (ie, SFTP for norns, and now command-line folder navigation for druid)— but these are also very common tasks with numerous tutorials on the internet already. similarly, basic modular synthesis tutorials are served heavily in various places. and while these are all relevant to working with monome designs— they are fundamentally prerequisite knowledge. (that said, the norns studies attempt to make very few assumptions about existing knowledge, but re-reading them now, i see how there are certainly expectations of familiarity with certain tools and workflows).

my proposition:

  • improve docs navigation with a sidebar and search
  • continue to explore additional/new tutorial styles
  • start a lines wiki to collect resources: synthesis, programming, etc

since this community covers a lot of areas of interest, it makes sense to host an index of sorts here. the monome docs should (and will) remain specific to monome designs— though we will include links to external resources where relevant.

of course, the quality of an index will be determined by the maintainers and participants— so ideally there need to be a few strong volunteers to get such a thing started. anyone interested?


re: index, i would be very glad to help sift/sort/gather relevant content that’s extant on lines. i’ve been browsing a ton, and seeing a lot that would be helpful, including a bunch of intro synthesis/programming and other things that would serve to augment the monome docs (& help build that on-ramp).

a lot of those “prereqs” are definitely available in many other places online, if one wants/is able to navigate the signal/noise ratio. but i’m honestly more interested in pursuing research (etc) along those lines (ahem) with material that’s been vetted/suggested by lines members.

TL;DR: yes.

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I love this (place/people/solution)!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I feel so blessed to be here and so psyched for all the learning and creativity and community to come…

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As I have mentioned elsewhere I lack the technical skills and knowledge to build this stuff, but I have much interest and enthusiasm to work with a team, if that kind of approach makes sense…

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pretty much same re: technical skills. hence my offer of gathering info. i was hoping you’d volunteer tho b/c i think your background makes you especially suited to organizing/framing things in a way that makes sense, and your absolute passion re: this would be welcome.

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go forth and populate this: Index: lines resources


Oh, I definitely am volunteering!

I was just pondering the possibility of teams for different aspects of the ecosystem, an example of which might be a Crow team, since I just got my Crow and have been trying to make progress on learning it with some very kind help from a few of the Jedi knights …

The Crow team could manage a Crow wiki (or Crow section of a larger wiki), -collecting links to threads or even better, extracting and refining info from threads, -receiving alerts from members about useful posts, outside resources, etc, and curating such resources in a manner that makes sense to the team with input from the members and the “management” who are also members but have certain perspectives that should be respected…

There’s collaboration and yet still a degree of freedom…

It sounds fun to me!

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Teams would be a good way to do this. Another might be a one or two week sprint on a particular topic?


Happy to contribute visual designs and related ideas if that’s helpful! Had a ton of fun re-working the Teletype web manual, and that structure could maybe be a good jumping off point…


Here’s a rough proof-of-concept for a side nav layout:

Don’t pay too close attention to the actual nav elements – just threw these in for quick demonstration purposes.

I’m thinking that a structure like this could lend itself well to different forms of documentation (like the norns and crow studies, for instance):

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts/feedback/ideas!


I like the layout. I would encourage anyone working on this to be mindful of mobile screen sizes. I tend to browse these sorts of things from my phone so I would appreciate it if it’s readable there as well.


Absolutely - it’s great to call attention to that now. My next step will be to explore some mobile-friendly versions of this concept and share here.


Yes was about to give you a heads up on the mobile version. A bit tough to navigate but I like the concept! Nice work :clap:

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Very nice!

Would this structure ultimately include links to external resources including things like instructional and artistic videos, or should those go on the new index on Lines?

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Would love to hear your thoughts. I collated a bunch of “high level” stuff in the nav, but even then it might be too overwhelming/granular. Curious if you have a specific structure in mind.

Probably worth a wider discussion! I suppose that as long as those resources have well-tended homes outside of, it would be easy to at least link out to them from somewhere in the help pages…

Definitely worth further pondering…

There is some unavoidable overlap between the index and the monome docs, so sorting out what the primary home of various information should be presents some interesting opportunities… I’m aware that we don’t want to create needless redundancy, but the ability to hyperlink allows for some helpful cross referencing…

Thanks for all your great efforts on these issues!

So I think maybe for mobile having the navigation window on the side disappear after you choose a section to look at? Here is how it looks on chrome mobile so you have an idea.


@Olivier this is beautiful!

we’ve already started some discussion on github:

@Oootini is exploring some jekyll search options.

seems you have the styling and layout well in hand.

to clarify— this discussion is about the MONOME docs. we are attempting to make it more organized (sidebar) and searchable. i do not expect the actual content of the docs to change greatly. things will be moved around, and expanded, but i’m not about to turn the monome docs into a general learning center— that’s what the Index: lines resources is for!


Roger that! Thanks. I’m actually thinking of a sticky, collapsible nav for mobile that would sit above the content. Just need to mock that up.


my partner is a new-ish norns shield user and was going over the play documentation to learn the menu, but getting thrown off by the parts w/ stock norns assumptions, particularly the legend & getting the key + encoder numbers straightened out on the alt layout (aware most of this was all written pre-shield).

I have vector files for my case, happy to whip up a shield layout in the same style