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Re: Proposed changes to 'related links' sections of articles etc

From: Martin Duerst <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 15:09:42 +0900
Message-Id: <6.0.0.20.2.20060327145052.05dac070@localhost>
To: "Richard Ishida" <ishida@w3.org>, "GEO" <public-i18n-geo@w3.org>

Hello Richard,

I think this is a very good suggestion. The only problem I see is
that our topics index I think mostly contains links to our own
material, whereas the 'related reading' links also point to other
stuff. But having had another look at the topics index, I see that
it's not a problem.

On the other hand, the topic index as it currently looks is
getting close to overwhelming. It contains an awful lot of
information, of which we (you!) should be very proud, but
that wealth of information makes it difficult to use.

One problem is the constant need for clicking to expand or
collapse certain sections. The other problem is that the
current four-level organization is quite okay for items
such as language - declaring (where there are lots of
subitems), but overy clumsy for items with a single subitem.
As an example, language - browser settings contains only
a single subitem; simply writing
    browser settings: Article: Setting language preferences in a browser
on one line would be much easier to use.

Another issue is that expand/collapse is indicated in three
different ways on the same page: with textual buttons at the
top, with icons for the categories, and in no way at all
for smaller headings.

And then there is annoying duplication of information.
A typical example is "escapes (NCRs and entities)":
"FAQ: Using character entities and NCRs" is mentioned
in almost every subitem. It might be easier to mention
it once at the top.

The spacing is also a bit inconvenient (at least in my browser,
Opera): For "escapes (NCRs and entities)", the first subheading,
"what are NCRs and entities", appears without any interlinear
space, whereas there is then a full line of space between
that subheading and the entry bullet list. My suggestion
would be to have a full line space before a subheading,
but only half a line of space after a subheading (before
a bullet list). Overall, I wouldn't mind reducing white space.
I know white space is important for good presentation, but this
is an index, where finding the right thing has top priority.

Regards,    Martin.

At 20:56 06/03/24, Richard Ishida wrote:
 >
 >Folks,
 >
 >THE PROBLEM
 >
 >I've been struggling for a while to come up with a better way of linking
 >between articles on the site, given that we are constantly adding more
 >articles, or finding new places to link to.  The main issue is keeping
 >'related links' sections up to date without spending half my time
 >maintaining old stuff.
 >
 >I've also been (slightly less) worried about what is the difference between
 >the 'related links' section in an article (top right) and the 'further
 >reading' section.
 >
 >
 >
 >A PROPOSAL
 >
 >I'd like to propose a new approach that might help.
 >
 >First, I think the 'further reading' sections continue unchanged.
 >
 >The main change is to the related links section.  I think this should
 >contain links to the topic index and techniques index only, unless there is
 >some relevant 'getting started' material, in which case that too.
 >
 >
 >
 >
 >A WORKED EXAMPLE
 >
 >So, for example, let's take
 >http://www.w3.org/International/articles/language-tags/
 >
 >Currently the related links section contains:
 >
 >	RFC 3066: Tags for the Identification of Languages
 >
 >	ISO 639: Codes for the Representation of Names of Languages
 >
 >	ISO 3166: Codes for Country Names
 >
 >	IANA language tag registry
 >
 >	Authoring Techniques for XHTML & HTML Internationalization:
 >		Specifying the language of content 1.0
 >
 >W3C I18N resource index: Language declarations and language negotiation
 >
 >
 >
 >We could change that to:
 >
 >	Topic index: language [links to the language section of the index]
 >
 >	Techniques index: language  [links to the language section of the index]
 >
 >Of course, if appropriate, we may link to more than one section in each index.
 >
 >
 >
 >THE BENEFITS
 >
 >This should make it easier to write an article, but most important will
 >make it simple to expose the user to much more relevant and up-to-date
 >material without a maintenance overhead.
 >
 >This can also help where an article is translated into several languages.
 >We wouldn't have to go through the pain of updating several pages with new
 >links and translating them.
 >
 >It would also likely standardise things for users, and get them more used
 >to using the indexes.  Note this comment from a feedback form related to
 >http://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-doc-charset.en.html
 >
 >=======================
 >First can I say I\'ve found the information on internationalization here
 >invaluable. It\'s clear, concise, and written in a way that\'s very
 >easy-to-follow. ... So THANK YOU!
 >
 >I have one comment/suggestion, which is for more cross-linking between
 >articles. For example I\'d have liked a link from this article directly to
 >related topics such as
 >http://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-escapes . I\'ve found myself
 >often going down a blind-alley, thinking \"I know I saw a useful link about
 >this somewhere\" and rooting back through other pages and by browser back
 >button trying to find things.
 >
 >=======================
 >
 >There's also a fringe benefit in that it encroaches less into the right
 >hand column, making it easier to use side notes near the top of the article.
 >
 >
 >
 >
 >
 >REQUEST
 >
 >Please let me know what you think.  I will try it for the composite
 >messages and text re-use articles that we decided to publish last Wednesday.
 >
 >Cheers,
 >RI
 >
 >
 >
 >============
 >Richard Ishida
 >Internationalization Lead
 >W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)
 >
 >http://www.w3.org/People/Ishida/
 >http://www.w3.org/International/
 >http://people.w3.org/rishida/blog/
 >http://www.flickr.com/photos/ishida/ 
Received on Monday, 27 March 2006 06:52:15 GMT

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