Request for comments, and upcoming additions

Details of updates to SFXB
AndyThomas
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2001 12:42 am
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Request for comments, and upcoming additions

Postby AndyThomas » Fri Feb 08, 2002 11:48 am

I was just toying with the idea of making the site use three columns rather than two, to shorten the width of the main text whilst keeping it central. Any comments on this idea would be welcome - here or in the Feedback forum.In other news, I'm hoping to have a new article on the site fairly soon. It won't be entirely 100% Star Fleet, but the link is there, and I already know it's going to clear up one of the small unanswered queries about the show....
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

AndyThomas
Posts: 1657
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2001 12:42 am
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Request for comments, and upcoming additions

Postby AndyThomas » Fri Feb 08, 2002 4:53 pm

Navigation is always a bit tricky. Now that the site's relatively stable I do want to look at it again, at some point. As you may have noticed, I've recently added links to "other main sections" on the left below the locally relevant links.Going by your own approach Dave, what you're suggesting is having all the subsections on that left hand side, permanently, and have links along the top for the various pages in the subsection? It's certainly one way to go.My approach is to have all the key subsections of the site reachable from my drop-down list; so in a sense, like yours, they're all available from any page with one click but it conserves space by having them in the menu.The thing is that when you start doing it in a fixed way you end up with a very long list down the left, and some of them may only be single pages - not subsections. I think that can be a bit much and requires quite a small font to stop a short page being a mile long! I like the way Shane does it actually, with two colums - far left stays constant, and then the inner one alters according to what your current section is.I think one thing which people may not take to is the use of the "This page" bar that's intended to let you move up and down the hierarchy of sections. But I think your point, Dave, is that if you're in a subsection you may need to go back to one of the index pages to get to a totally different subsection? The drop down menu would actually avoid having to do that because I think it now includes most, if not all, of the subsections, but it may not be obvious that that's the case... Funny thing is, last time I tried to alter my navigation I got shouted at! Still, I'll have a think about how to reduce the number of times you need 2 clicks to get to a page rather than just one. I recently got a script which may help with a few things, but I'll need to do some planning before I do anything radical! I'm always somewhat limited by the software I use to do the site, as well - a fundamental departure from the way I do it now would be quite work-intensive and I'm not sure I'd be motivated to do it really...BTW, I've received the article I mentioned at the start of all this and I will probably have it posted on the site by the end of the weekend...!
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

Matt Darcy
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:28 pm

Request for comments, and upcoming additions

Postby Matt Darcy » Mon Mar 04, 2002 3:03 pm

navigation down sides is easy.a simple frame containing navigation.html means only this file will need to be updated to update navigation and point it at the target "&#36TARGETNAME" for your main window. this causes no problems in later life.

AndyThomas
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2001 12:42 am
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Request for comments, and upcoming additions

Postby AndyThomas » Mon Mar 04, 2002 3:46 pm

This is true, and it's something my earlier sites did.  However, if you're using frames there's an issue with people linking to particular pages - if you link to the content frame, you lose your navigation bar, so the only other option is to link to a frameset which loads up a start page.  It does make life easier for updating, but it's a bit of a "quick and dirty" fix.What modern packages will let you do (and what mine just about manages to do!) is use code which is replaced when the site is published - in effect, locally stored server side includes.  If you can get the code spot on each time, changing the HTML the code references and re-publishing the site or section will achieve the change.  It's a little more work and can be like piecing together a jigsaw, but it can be used for more than just navigation options.  The way I've rejigged SFXB, for instance, now allows me the potential to put a uniqe or common right hand column on every page of the site.  Which means lots more options for ads. Database driven web sites take this idea to the max, so that all their content is determined by calls to various templates and content to place in them... I might be able to do that using CGI, but I think it makes your pages harder to index for search engines...
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator


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