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From Jeff Turner <je...@apache.org>
Subject What are tabs? (Re: how to use a subdirectory)
Date Thu, 15 May 2003 12:18:02 GMT
On Thu, May 15, 2003 at 08:30:59AM +0200, Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote:
> 
...
> >I assume we want to implement this click-menu-to-expand behaviour in 
> >Forrest.
> 
> Yes, but what's the point with tabs?
> 
> >So instead of redefining tabs as "top-level menus with special 
> >behaviour",
> 
> Ehm, they are "top-level menus with special *appearance*"

They physically eliminate anything from the menu not in the tab's
directory, which is what I meant by "special behaviour".

> >let's fix the real problem.  That then frees us to use tabs 
> >as they were originally intended: as bookmarks to arbitrary locations in 
> >the site.
> 
> Ah, so this is what you intend? No wonder we don't understand each other.
> 
> For me tabs are not links to arbitrary locations, and IIUC this is not 
> the intention of Stefano either.
> 
> Look here:
> http://www.onjava.com/
> 
> Top-level tabs are only there to fully contain a series of links. It 
> fully contextualizes a series of links, as the navigation has links that 
> fully contain another series of links.
> 
> Also there are two series of "tabs". In other parts of the site, like 
> here http://java.oreilly.com/, you have only one.
> 
> Given this, I still fail to see what makes tabs and links on the left 
> different. So as the ones on the left contextualize a series of links, 
> so shoud tabs. Hence tabs are not bookmarks to arbitrary locations.
> 
> KISS. Why introduce a visual clue (ie "tabs") in a logical navigation 
> space, that can be presented in any way to the user? Whycreate a 
> different concept?

I'm not creating the concept.  It already exists, which is why we have
tabs.xml, and why it is separate from book.xml.

AFAIU, Forrest tabs are modelled on physical paper book tabs: some pages
have a sticking-out labeled bit which allows fast access to that section.
I take the name "book.xml" as a broad hint that the original author was
thinking along these lines too.

Book tabs are not _containers_, they are just markers.  I can add a new
tab with a yellow sticky paper thing, anywhere I like.  Book tabs are
independent of the Table of Contents.  There generally isn't a tab for
every chapter.  Most books have no tabs.

This is the model I think Forrest is currently implementing.  Nothing
sacred about it, but what are the alternatives?  Make every top-level
menu entry a tab?  Fine, that can be implemented easily in tabs2menu.xsl.
But very soon, people will complain that they don't want a tab for every
top-level entry, and you'll have to invent a way of excluding entries.
This will end up as an inverse of tabs.xml: a file of exclusions, instead
of inclusions.  Have we really gained much?


--Jeff

> -- 
> Nicola Ken Barozzi                   nicolaken@apache.org
>             - verba volant, scripta manent -
>    (discussions get forgotten, just code remains)
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> 

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