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[whatwg] Menus, fallback, and backwards compatibility: ideas wanted

From: Alexey Feldgendler <alexey@feldgendler.ru>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 21:43:58 +0600
Message-ID: <op.s1qbbkc81h6og4@pancake.feldgendler.ru>
On Tue, 13 Dec 2005 08:05:45 +0600, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:

> Well, the menu feature is not being _designed_ for navigation, but I'm
> sure that authors would try to use it for navigation. There is a clear
> demand on Web sites today for menu-based navigation.

A side note about navigation.

I think there's nothing wrong in using the menus for navigation except  
that such a solution makes an impression of something presentational  
rather than semantic. This means that a semantic facility for expression  
navigation information should probably be considered.

One possible solution that comes to my mind is describing a site map with  
some tree of nested elements, with page titles, URIs and other meta  
information, but without any presentational information. As this site map  
is common for all or most pages of a site, it could be included as an  
external XML resource. Then, two possible approaches can be used for  

a) Apply CSS styling directly to the elements comprising the site map.  
Maybe the CSS can convert them even to something visible outside the  
viewport, such as browser menus. This involves introduction of new  
selectors to CSS which allow to apply properties to site map elements  
basing on the <link> elements of the current page. For example, there can  
be a rule which highlights the parent page of the current page (given that  
the pagent page is referenced from the current page as <link rel="up">).  
And another CSS selector is needed to highlight the current page (basing  
on the matching URI).

b) Use JavaScript to generate a <menu> from the site map. Actually, not  
all pages should probably be directly accessible from any page. Some  
measure of relevance can be implemented by JavaScript.

These are just raw ideas, they require a lot more thinking over.

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Received on Tuesday, 13 December 2005 07:43:58 UTC

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