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How about having a special Mechanics Gallery here?
Here is an idea I submit for consideration by all iMechanicians, but esp. so by the admins and moderators. Discussion is welcome.
Idea: Why not have a Mechanics Gallery section here?
Origin: Recently, I was browsing for some OpenGL-encapsulating C++ class libraries, e.g. OpenSceneGraph, VTK, the game development libraries, etc. The Web sites of all such libraries always carry a "Gallery" page which is designed to attract the potential users. The Gallery page shows the capabilities and advantages of that library/framework.
A similar idea is possible for our field too.
Many iMechanicians do excellent work in mechanics. Their own Web sites often carry attractive illustrations and explanations of their research and education programs. Thus, many of us could very easily contribute exhibits for the iMechanica Gallery.
We can perhaps have a main Gallery Section page which will carry a list of the resources being exhibited. The main page may also carry brief (say 100 words) description for each exhibit, preferably with an
attractive graphic, with hyperlinks provided for further information (Web URLs, PDF files, graphics, software, etc.).
Each exhibit item should identify the broad area of mechanics via our usual tags. Further, the item should also explicitly identify the assumed level of the target audience, e.g.: layman, undergraduate, graduate students, advanced researchers, etc.
The resource items should be rather general-purpose in nature; they should avoid the tunnel-vision syndrome. The brief description should avoid equations as far as possible, though I do agree that in certain cases using equations would be unavoidable. The idea is to keep the focus more on the main concepts being illustrated.
The exhibits may come from professionals working in industry as well as from lab. researchers and academics (professors as well as students).
I sugget that at least in the beginning, there could be a limit on the number of exhibit items that an individual might submit, say, at most 2 exhibits per person. The limit is expected to help the member think hard as to what item of general interest he might submit.
The visual format of the gallery may be finalized after further discussion.
Over a period of time, the Gallery could easily become a good initial place of contact between the layman and professionals from other fields on the one hand, and we iMechanicians on the other.
Feel free to add further ideas, suggestions and discussions in this regard.
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History: This idea was initially posted as a comment at Bisjwajit's blog a few days ago. I wanted to edit the text before posting it to a separate thread, but find no time, and so I have just copy-pasted it here.
Biswajit noted that Drupal may not be the ideal platform for a gallery. At the Drupal site, they say: "Convert any website layout or template into a Drupal theme - easily!" [^] (bold emphasis added.) I have no idea how easy it would be to create a special Gallery page, but at Drupal they say that it is possible to customize only a section of the overall Web site. Admins/IT Support people may be able to tell us better.
Over to you all.