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At the top of this page is a line that reads "TWiki.Codev.HierarchicalNavigation"

My idea is to make these into links so that one can "back up" the path one is following by clicking on the desired component.

It would make the line look like:

TWiki . Codev . HierarchicalNavigation

Now, by clicking on the appropriate link, one can move back up the path. This would be particularly handy after an edit.

-- DavidLeBlanc - 09 Mar 2001

That is a good point. Hierarchical navigation is a convention many web sites adhere to.

First some explanation of the current design:

  • Upper left corner: Hierarchy, "where am I"
  • Upper right corner: Level one links (e.g. web)
  • Second line: Level two links (e.g. topics in web)

If we do link the items in "where am I" we need to think about duplicate links: Using example
TWiki . Codev . HierarchicalNavigation :

  • TWiki is duplicated by the Main web link in the upper right corner
  • Codev is duplicated by the Home link in the second line.

BTW, an excellent book on web site design is Don't make me think, by Steve Krug, http://shop.bn.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?isbn=0789723107

- PeterThoeny - 10 Mar 2001

If this change is adopted, then the redundant/duplicate links are no longer needed. Your comment about the redundant links underscores the lack of context - you go to one place to get to TWiki and another to get to codev but they are not related by location or visually (to me). With this change, one's location and how to get back up the path are completely clear and unambiguous.

I would expect a button marked "home" to take me to the front page of the wiki and not to the top page of the current web (codev = web no?).

-- DavidLeBlanc - 10 Mar 2001

I would like the rendering of all Wiki words in a different web to always show the change of context. See RenderingWikiWordsToIncludeContext

-- MartinCleaver - 11 Mar 2001

Another solution may be WebGroups

-- ColasNahaboo - 12 Apr 2001

I changed the view template to link the "where am I" parts as David suggested. And, yes, it does improve the navigation because you can back up to the web home and to the TWiki home. The change is currently done for this installation only, it is not yet in Alpha. I also reduced the font size of the web list in the upper right corner. See also ConvertToXHTML10.

One small detail is the WebHome link. For now I took the Home link out of the second line in the header because it is redundant. What do you think? You probably miss it, but isn't it just because you got used to it? Shall we put it back? This is for the production release.

To do:

  • Change other templates and commit to Alpha after feedback is in.

-- PeterThoeny - 16 Apr 2001

No, I don't miss the Home link. But perhaps you also can create a link in the WEBTOPICLIST, just like

-- StefanScherer - 19 Apr 2001

I also prefer this "where am I" navigation. Actually, that was one of my very first changes to the templates.
But: the logic of "TWiki" pointing to Main seems odd to me. It is more like an introductory / overview and administrative web. Hierarchically, I doesn't sit between the TWiki homepage and - say - the Codev web. It goes besides. So the TWiki link really should point to http://twiki.org IMHO.

  • [ PeterThoeny - 16 Apr 2001 ] The TWiki link points to the Main web because it is the entry point of TWiki, not necessarily the same as the site home. On this server http://twiki.org/ page is the site home, the site home is defined by the $wikiHomeUrl variable and is the link of the upper left hand icon. Some public TWiki installations have the site root redirect to the Main Main. At work we have link of the upper left hand icon point to the Intranet home and the TWiki link point to the TWiki home.

BTW: can anyone compare the above mentioned "Don't make me think" by Steve Krug to "Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity" by Jakob Nielsen?

-- PeterKlausner - 22 Apr 2001

At my location, we have actually implemented this style of navigation. We wanted HierarchicallyNestedTwikiWebs, with some of the style described in MultiLevelWikiWebs. What we wanted was a "directory structure" that is broken down by release and project. This allows us to have "R9 . IDE . Menus" directory (with each directory name selectable from the title, in the fashion described above). Each directory (or "web" in Twiki terms) has a "DirectoryDescription" that is gives a description, and contains a token that inserts the "file explorer" -- a list the subdirectories and all topic names in that directory. We also implemented SharedAdminTopics to reduce the number of files actually present in each directory.

-- StanleyKnutson - 24 Apr 2001

I don't think that the added complexity of MultiLevelWikiWebs (search scope issues, category table scope issues...) is justified. We could reach a similar HierarchicalNavigation experience by combining it with NavigationByTopicContext. Example:

TWiki . Codev . FeatureBrainstorming . NavigationByTopicContext . HierarchicalNavigation

or shown with angle brackets:

TWiki >> Codev >> FeatureBrainstorming >> NavigationByTopicContext >> HierarchicalNavigation

So the first link is the TWiki home; the second one is the web (one level only); from the third link on it is the topic hierarchy as defined by the topic parent relationships (see NavigationByTopicContext).

A problem with this model is that it could get confusing if the nesting is deep, i.e.:

TWiki >> Codev >> FeatureBrainstorming >> SomeTopic >> YetAnotherOne >> AndOneMore >> NavigationByTopicContext >> HierarchicalNavigation

-- PeterThoeny - 25 Apr 2001

I think that a hierarchy of webs can be useful if one starts using TWiki for other "non wiki" tasks, e.g.:

  • for managing the directories of users of an ISP or of an University
    • by using inheritance of preferences, templates and includes we can obtain
      • inheritance of access rights settings
      • unified templates for a whole sub-branch
      • inheritance of categories (if we move to a wikish category definition)
  • for handling structured attached documents (e.g. Powerpoint generated) in a more integrated way

As this is a particular use of TWiki that probably not all users would like, we could implement MultiLevelWikiWebs as a Plugin with some support from the core code .... (at least ... I will try)

-- AndreaSterbini - 26 Apr 2001

We implemented Hierarchical navigation inside the twki where I used to work. We used subdirectories for each sub-web. Users found it reasonably easy to understand. We limited it to 5 levels for simplicity: Rd/Rel9/Module/Design, and similar sort of directories. Rd/Rel9/Gui/Impl was another directory, along with Rd/General/Cvs etc. A parallel top-level was Qa and Doc for the different groups in the company. Each 'sub web' was defined as a 'directory', with a DirectoryDescription topic that included the listing of subdirectories as well as a description and list of topic names in that directory.

The twiki "topic classification" mechanism did not make sense to the developers that were collaborating -- we were working on two different products and two different releases. They felt something more hierarchical was essential.

We also had a 'rename between directories' capability that was essential -- it allowed for topics to be easily 'promoted' or re-categorized from "Brainstorming" to "Feature" directory in a way that kept the managers comfortable.

It helped that most of the developers were in one location, so we could have an 'in person discussion' and then use twiki mostly as the group memory and to communicate to the few other people at other locations.

-- StanleyKnutson - 25 Jan 2002

I also had to write the same code/skins for our group, for the same reasons. Folks just seem to like directories better than a classification system; seems a bit more concrete to them, plus, they don't have to worry about name collisions of topics as much. I've made my implementation available in MegaTWiki, though it still needs a more generic skin...

-- PeterNixon - 25 Jun 2002

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Topic revision: r16 - 2005-02-15 - SamHasler
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