Re: The Great Document Menu Debate

David C. Martin (
Tue, 10 Aug 1993 08:54:07 PDT

Well, everyone wants something different.

What we want to be able to do is have information in the HTML header
that indicates the structural aspects of an HTML document relative to
some larger whole, e.g. pages w/in an article, w/in an issue, w/in a
volume w/in a journal.

We would then structure the documents (or whatever) menu to reflect the
structural components of the HTML document. In general there might be a
next, previous, and up document, but there might also be article, table
of contents, volumes, and library links as well.

We are going to be looking at XMosaic to determine how this type of
support might be implemented and if there is going to be some mechanism
to define the ''Documents'' menu at run-time, we might very well make
use of it.

My $0.02.

"Peter Lister, Cranfield Computer Centre" writes:

> Would it be better to have a button like ``Home'' called ``Documents''
> that jumps to a configurable URL (which can also be a file:// as a
> configurable thing). This would remove the designer's objection that
> it ought to be a network-accessable page, as well as the need for a
> standard set of useful pointers.

The major objection that I (and colleagues here) had to the original
Documents/Manuals menu was not that we REALLY wanted configurable menus
per se, but that, if there were GOING to be menus, we need to configure
them. I totally agree that menus are a Bad Thing; my main objection is
that different browsers will not see the same list of documents; we
should present our users with a consistent view of WWW, and it doesn't
help them to have docs which are only easily accessible from one browser.

I would be happy to see NO "warp to this URL" menu options or buttons
other than Home on all browsers. Possibly a help button, but even so,
let the local system manager decide on whether to have it there,which
URL it points to etc. If the local system manager wants NO links
outside actual documents, respect that, and allow her to turn all such
options OFF. It's even worse that the menu was so US centered. The
US-UK link is still an expensive resource, and I don't want my users
reading man pages in Ohio or Indiana when the definitive man pages are
here at Cranfield.

So, Nat, if you want a "Documents" button pointing to a configurable
URL, fine, but I really don't want it! Marc, allow me not to have it.

Peter Lister
Computer Centre,
Cranfield Institute of Technology, Voice: +44 234 754200 ext 2828
Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL England Fax: +44 234 750875