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

From: Kevin A Sesock <sesock@okstate.edu>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 10:48:59 -0500
To: tina@greytower.net
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFF59F6D8D.86A3CCC2-ON86256D63.0054E66A-86256D63.0056E214@okstate.edu>
>   That's what off-line pre-processors are for, in my less than humble
>   opinion. A system such as Orb, Wmake, or the Dolt to mention but a
>   few are meant to run on an author's machine and basically work like
>   an automated template system. You, the author, define for instance:
>
>     "I want THIS file with a menu included on all pages"

This would work well. I did a bit of googling for these, however, and 
found out that the word "Dolt" is fairly commonly referenced on Google. 
Hmmm...

>
>   and set the system to work. It'll take your content-document and
>   assemble it with the menu and any other piece you've created or
>   defined, and produce one or many HTML files.

Of course, I am aware I could create a Perl script, or something to the 
effect, and do this similar thing, but I have been unaware of anything 
that's already available. Additionally, your average web dev. package will 
allow the creation of such an item, but it's usually far less automated, 
and usually more complex (again, I reference my lack of time available for 
such a project).

>   We're using this method ourselves, as most of our content is quite
>   static. However it would be a waste of our time to go around updating
>   minor details in the navigation on 150+ pages. One command to Wmake
>   and it has been done.
>

This is all well and good on the development side, but let me go out on a 
limb here and suggest something... Wouldn't the capability for the user 
agent to import something (say using an @import or a <link 
rel='(whatever)' type="text/(whatever) href='/menu/menu.html'/>, based on 
a specification in the html, xhtml, css, or whatever, be more adaptable? 
This could decrease website loading times, decrease bandwidth, and could 
have many other capabilities. It's an idea, at least.

>   Such systems are entirely independent of the server, and quite often
>   free, running on Unix, Windows, and other platforms.
>
>   As simple and as fast as I can provide, I'm afraid.

Definitely an idea, that I will continue to investigate. A heck of a lot 
better than updating the pages individually.
 
-- 
 -    Tina Holmboe                    Greytower Technologies
   tina@greytower.net                http://www.greytower.net/

Kevin A. Sesock, A+, NET+, CNA, MCSA
Deskside Computer Support Specialist
Student Disability Services
SLA Program
Information Technology Division
Oklahoma State University
Received on Monday, 14 July 2003 11:49:00 GMT

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