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Re: Encoding of site structure ...

From: Toby A Inkster <tobyink@goddamn.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2003 14:27:28 +0000
To: Øystein Ingmar Skartsæterhagen <goystein_goy@yahoo.no>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20030309142728.GA27143@ophelia.goddamn.co.uk>
On Sat, Mar 08, 2003 at 05:22:45PM +0100, Øystein Ingmar Skartsæterhagen wrote:
| There are some significant differences between the
| HTML link element and what I am talking about:
| - The link elements are specified in each page. This
| makes authoring more difficult, and the site structure
| is split up and partly defined in many pages, probably
| redefining links many times.
| - When making a navigation bar from link elements,
| only those pages that are linked to directly from the
| displayed page are accessible. Displaying a complete
| navigation tree is impossible.

The simple solution to integrate your requested feature into XHTML2 
without ditching the current <link/> mechanism would be this. Define a 
"sitemap" value for the rel attribute, so that somewhere in the page head 
there would be this:

<link rel="sitemap" href="map.xhtml" type="application/xhtml+xml" />

or even somewhere in the page body there could be:

<a rel="sitemap" href="map.xhtml" type="application/xhtml+xml">Site 
Map</a>

As part of the definition for the sitemap relation, it should be specified 
that the linked page should have the following format. It should contain 
the elements specified below and nothing else.

<!DOCTYPE...>
<html>
  <head>
    <title>Title Of The Whole Site</title>
    <meta name="Description" content="description of whole site" />
    <meta name="Keywords" content="keywords, for, whole, site" />
    (maybe a few links like made, copyright, etc. links like next and 
    previous probably wouldn't make sense as this information should 
    apply to the whole site, not just the one page!)
  </head>
  <body>
    <nl>
      (Appropriate children)
    </nl>
  </body>
</html>

Any user agent that supported XHTML2 links would thus automatically 
support sitemap without any extra work, as it would just be a regular 
XHTML2 page. However, browsers could build in special support for sitemap 
by automatically downloading the site map for any page that referenced it 
and displaying it in a Mozilla style side bar, or using the included 
navigation list to create a drop down menu.

| And why does it have to be impossible for the authors
| to control the presentation of such navigation bars?
| Does the content of the pages _have_ to be the only
| thing for which authors may provide style sheets?

Because lack of consistant navigation is one of the most common complaints 
from beginner web users. By letting the browser/user have total control 
over how <link/> elements are presented, you solve this problem.

-- 
Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS | mailto:tobyink@goddamn.co.uk | pgp:0x6A2A7D39
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Received on Sunday, 9 March 2003 09:27:53 GMT

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