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RE: Menus, navigation, and simplicity (Perhaps slightly off-topic)

From: Angela Hilton <angela.hilton@umist.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 16:39:11 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <007101c34a1e$125795b0$86645882@ANGEPC>
I use an 'include' to control menu's - I do this using Dreamweaver which
makes this incredibly easy [create a menu as an asset, include the asset
in a template - create all pages from that template] - and you don't
need server side scripting such as PHP, ASP etc...
I'd be interested to know if anyone knows of any problems in using this
Angela K Hilton
Web & E-Learning Officer
Tel: 0161 200 3389
-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Kevin A Sesock
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2003 16:05
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Menus, navigation, and simplicity (Perhaps slightly off-topic)


This may sound like a stupid question, as well as an off-topic one, but
it's a necessary one, and one that I can't find asked too often, so here

One of the original concepts behind designing in frames, at least the
way I understand it, was to simplify web developer's needs in regards to
providing menus (or navigation sections), headers, etc. The content was
created as individual pages, but the menus, the top-level banners, etc.
etc. etc., was supposed to be in seperate frames to simplify sites that
were being constantly changed. Add a new section to your site? Change
one page (the one that includes your menus), and validate your links.
Poof, you're done. 

Unfortunately, frames were in many cases more trouble than they are
worth. They're inaccessible, they often times make a site look horrible
in different size browsers, they're hard to control properly,
bookmarking, page linking, and on down the line. 

The problem, however, still exists for those people without any type of
content management solution. It's tedious and ineffective to update the
<div class="menu"> section of every top-level page of their site. If you
don't have PHP, a content management solution, or something, anything,
you're in trouble. 

For those of us with little to no control over the server itself, and
can basically only put up .html pages that are just straight html (no
server-side anything), we are in trouble. I've been unable to find a way
to have the User Agent to "pull in" or import an additional html file,
or content, or whatever, in much the same way as the User Agent requests
an external css file with the appropriate code placed neatly in the

Now, for those of you who have an easy, fast, simple solution for those
of us who are having to do things in the old-fashioned way, I apologize
for spamming the list, especially with something that seems relatively
off-topic. Feel free to chastise me off-list, or better yet, flame
e-mails should be immediately directed to /dev/null. Ultimately, if I
can't find a good way to do this, I'll go back to frames, as it makes my
life so much easier (althought I hesitate to do this). The underlying
problem is that I'm not a web developer by trade, as much as I am an
Assistive Technologist. Therefore, I am limited in the time I can spend
on our website (which is in desperate need of rebuilding). 

Thank you in advance for your help, and I hope I didn't disturb all of
your Monday's too badly. :) 

Kevin A. Sesock, A+, NET+, CNA, MCSA
Deskside Computer Support Specialist
Student Disability Services
SLA Program
Information Technology Division
Oklahoma State University

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in
practice there is." --Unknown
Received on Monday, 14 July 2003 11:39:13 UTC

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