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From Stas Bekman <>
Subject Re: Navigation
Date Sun, 06 Jan 2002 11:24:08 GMT
I'm not going to quite most of Bill's original message since it's going 
to be hard with followups. Instead I'll concentrate on the issues raised 
by Bill and you can read the original in Bill's original post.

1. [prev|up|next] vs [text|up|text]

This issue is arguable. I argue that I do want to know what's the next 
document is because why should I click on 'next' otherwise? I'd rather 
go 'up' and see what else I want to read. But otherwise I guess we can 
do either way. I've no strong feeling about this. But see below.

2. Using expandable menu as the only means of navigation.


That'd be a really cool thing. I'm all for it. The main troubles are:

- long titles.
- many titles.

Technically it's very easy to make the menu expandable. With the 
NavigateCache system we now have, it's a few minutes of work. But I 
doubt it'll look pretty.

I think this may be doable, if we don't put the menu on the left side, 
but put it on the top instead. Because in that case we need all the 
horizontal space we can get.


An alternative solution is putting all the navigation widgets we now 
have above the content into a separate box. And add the suggestion I've 
made in my recent post - contrasting colors, so you end up with 3 
outstanding boxes: root navigation (menu), the rest of the navigation 
and the content boxes. (plus some ad boxes under the menu, but they 
don't matter now).

3. Spacing

I think it's a good idea to add more space between items of TOC, 
especially on the index.html pages. This should improve usability. 
Should we simply add <br> before </li>?

This part of the message is quoted to get the context right :)

> Like I've said before, I think the two Table Of Contents in the current
> design is confusing.  
> Look at:

 > Which menu should I use?

Agreed, but this is the price you pay with automating the process. Chime 
in and help to make the tool more customizable and this kind of a 
problem can be avoided. I'll will handle this at some point, but other 
things have higher priority.

> Also, contrast that wypug page with the mailing list page:

This is just copy-n-paste thing, I had to port a lot of stuff and I 
wasn't concern with these bits at that moment. We can glean out all the 
stuff which is not nice. This is again automation problem.

> Again, it might be nice to follow the format of the wypug page and instead
> of just a bullet list of links, display the link *and* the description so
> people can compare the collection of mailing lists in one place, and then a
> [more>>] link to get the details.  Since "mod_perl" is a rather large
> subject, I think that a lot of first (or is it 2nd?) level pages could use
> this format to replace the table of contents in the body of the page.

I think you simply don't realize that the content/build code is 
incomplete. Once everything is in place you will have what you want. 
Again feel free to help make things happens sooner :)

> Regardless, the [Table Of Contents] bar is probably is not really needed --
> I think people can figure out that it's a table of links.

could be. I guess we can get rid of it.

> Anyway, take a look at that site.  It seems to present the content it needs
> to present, but in a nice, clean way.  Maybe some of those ideas can be
> used on the mod_perl site.

But you forget that this site has hardly any content, so I dare to say 
that it's a bad example. Show me a site with lots of autogenerated 
content, and which is supposed to be handled by a single person with 10 
minutes of free time a month and still have a site which is of good 
usability to its users.

> I hope I don't sound antagonistic, especially considering all the great and
> hard work put into the site so far.  It's really great -- thanks very much!

No, no, your comments are great! It's fantastic that you take time to 
think about these issues and suggest solutions. But as you know in OSS 
world, somebody has to do things :) I know that you are doing a lot for 
OSS, so I wasn't suggesting anything, but the fact that somebody needs 
to give a hand to make things close to perfect.

> It's a lot easier for me to comment when I'm not that involved, of course.
> And it also allows me to take an abstract look at things without worrying
> about the details.

Yup, that's a good thing too. When a few of us look at the site for a 
hundredth time everything looks easy. So sure a fresh look is great!

Thanks Bill. And keep those comments coming.

Stas Bekman             JAm_pH      --   Just Another mod_perl Hacker      mod_perl Guide

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