[Pmwiki-users] More on WikiTrail

Patrick R. Michaud pmichaud at sci.tamucc.edu
Tue Nov 5 14:50:40 CST 2002

On Tue, 5 Nov 2002, Isabelle Michaud wrote:

> Thanks, Scott!
> I don't like the way the trails look.  I think the current page should
> be part of the trail too, so that users can visualize where they are
> on the trail in relationship to the rest.  What is the purpose of trails?   
> To facilitate navigation?  To create structure?  

Trails are useful when there's a natural and/or logical sequence of pages
to be followed; e.g., like pages in a manual, chapters in a book, or
(as is commonly done on many news sites) articles that span multiple
web pages.  Managing the previous/next links between pairs of pages is
often a pain, so it's nice if the underlying system has a mechanism to
automatically create the correct links for the author.

As far as the markup/rendering is concerned, since WikiTrail is being
implemented as an add-on module it'd be fairly easy for a wiki
administrator to change the markup and/or rendering to something they
like better.  I'm basically asking what the best "reasonable default" 
should be.

> Just an idea: why not
> have "trails" in a left margin (the web standard), and top to bottom 
> instead of left to right?  That way the links would look like on the 
> trail's "home page".  It could be like a copy of the original bullet
> list on every page.  Just thinking out loud...

This is cool too.  It's quite possible to configure PmWiki to do something 
like this, but normally I think of things like headers, footers, menus, 
margins, etc.  to be outside of the "wiki" portions of the page and so 
they're best handled extraneously by other scripts.  However, I can
see that it would be *very* useful to come up with some generic
add-on routines that could create "you are here" menus using WikiTrails.
Maybe I'll code up an example just to see what's possible--stay tuned.  :-)


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