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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: [LAYOUT] page.html created
Date Sat, 16 Mar 2002 09:51:08 GMT
"Piroumian, Konstantin" wrote:
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Nicola Ken Barozzi []
> > > From: Piroumian, Konstantin
> > >
> > > > I've created an HTML prototype for documentation page.
> > > You'll find all
> > > > necessary files attached (they go to
> > > > src/resources/layout/,
> > > > images should go to /images directory ).
> > >
> > > Nice, I like it.
> >
> > Expect a better one in 30 minutes (I hope).
> >
> Here goes the final one with working index menu (all sections can be
> opened/closed), icons are also in place. (File locations you know).

Hmmm, but the chapters should be linkable to their index files, you
know, to provide an introduction to the chapter. You could make the
triangle icons behave like tree expand/contract... but the real question
is, do we really want this behavior?

> A dream (¿ SM) came to me while working on this menu:
> this menu reminded me a discussion about dynamic XML loading with JavaScript
> and Cocoon. There was a question: is it possible to make a menu like the one
> on MSDN site? 

No, please, I hate it! This is why I question it's functionality....
having the entire tree browsable *right there* all the time is not a
plus, IMHO, is a minus! It creates a sense of mess and, besides, you can
browse it only if you have a 1600x1200 pixel screen! (I have 1024x768 on
my laptop and go figure how much i like that!)

> There a topic child list is loaded when the user clicks on the
> topic link. Such possibility would be very useful for optimizing the load
> time of any complicated documentation index.

Yes, it reduces load, but it is 'frame-like', it's not something
embedded in the page and people have bad cognitive perceptions when
parts of the page aren't refreshed.

> It can be implemented like this:
>  - page is loaded only with top-level topics
>  - when user clicks on a chapter link a request (from a hidden frame/iframe)
> is sent to Cocoon
>  - Cocoon generates JavaScript string that contains HTML with the topic list
> items
>  - control frame (hidden frame/iframe) calls a JS function that writes
> received HTML inside of the clicked element
> Of course, this can be implemented only in IE 4+ (don't know about Netscape
> 6), cause it requires a possibility to change element's HTML code by
> JavaScript.
> It would be much better to receive XML with the topic list, but it requires
> XSLT transformation on the client side (btw, it's also supported by IE and a
> built-in ActiveX component).

No, please, let's KISS: when the user clicks on a link, it goes to that
page and the first next tree is opened.

This doesn't require *any* dynamism and, IMO, greates smaller pages,
easier to port them around and much better cognitive experience.

This is, in fact, an example where DHTML creates more harm than good
(nothing against your solution, Konstantin, just my personal

What do others think?

Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<>                             Friedrich Nietzsche

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