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February 23, 2005
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Comments On The Links Concept

Wednesday 5 January 2005, 9h 58 am

Hi Helmut,

I came to test your left window concept. It is excellent. Actually it is a little different than what Dave Parker and myself have done. We had the whole page showing on the left window and when we'd click on "open left window" on the fixed menu, the page would open on the left window. Then the "open left window" message would toggle to "close left window" and the right window would be shown in full screen.

You should ask Dave Parker to show you what we did. He is so cheap (and ungrateful) he never game me a copy of AnnoWiki so I couldn't send it to you.

Dave Parker and I had put the left page contents, forward links and back links on the left page. You condensed the contents to strictly the forward links which is a wise choice...

So, you have chosen to put only links. Good idea! I tried it and it works very well! Congrats!

I have also marvelled at your Folders invention (which I had already tried in the past. I like it even more than the first time I saw it). This is a great way to do it: when we click on folders we get a list of folders.

We seem to see things the same way you and I. We are from the old school. Some say "old farts" I say "old foxes".

Perhaps one day you and I will put our ideas our common and we'll program a killer app. But don't forget: I go commercial.

Again, I wish you and your family the most wonderful year 2005 and the next years even better!

From your friend

-- RobertAbitbol

I'm happy that you like it. Sometimes it is really hard work to make things simple. -- HelmutLeitner

Indeed! The road to simplicity is very complex... I wonder: you call the function to return to full screen: "continue". Shouldn't you have called it: "Close left Window"? '' or better: "Full-Screen" (because the page in the left window returns in full-screen). "Close" simply would be OK also.

Only links on the left page; not the entire text

And you also chose to only put the links on the left page. Why not the entire text?

Well on second thought, after a lengthier try, I have to agree with you: all we need in fact from the left window is links. So distilling the forward links from the page makes a lot of sense. Also, this way, the left page is smaller and links are ordered well instead of being scattered all over the place. I think you've done the right choice here.

And let's not forget that the left window itself appears on the left as a link so we can click on it to have the full text. Mm! Not really! Maybe this could be done.

So it could be a good idea to include the very page on the left as a link.

The experimented user could nevertheless use a simple trick to get the left page on the right with a simple reverse search. Click on any link on the left. Then click on its title, chose among the links and he'll get the left page on the right.

The title of the page

It could also be a good idea to put the title of the page on the left.

The refresh

I also tried to write a link on the RobertAbitbol page on the right while it was open on the left (AbitbolsTest). By clicking on Refresh, the new link put itself neatly in its right place in the list of links.

Nevertheless, I agree with you entirely. You won me over with this showing-the-forward-links-only-concept. It is very useful!'

Which page should return full-screen

About the closing of the left window, I wonder which page should return to full screen: the left window or the right window. I believe that with Dave Parker, we did the opposite: when the user would click on "close left window" the left window would disappear and the right window would stay. I guess it's a matter of taste.

The links function and the folders function

This Links function works very well with your folders idea. You call a folder, click on links to put it as a left window and you work on your folder. With this system no real need to have the famous CliffordAdams sub-page system (the /) in the sense that to unite pages, you simply have to put them in any page and click on links. The pages will be de-facto sub-pages of the page they are on (though they won't appear as such on Recent Changes and on the title since the / is absent).

Great work Helmut!

-- RobertAbitbol

Robert, thank you for your careful analysis and feedback. I agree with you, that "close left window" is better, but I found no way to implement this without using Javascript (I still try to avoid Javascript as much as possible, because it tends to work on 90+% of the clients only) so it's a comprimise. -- HelmutLeitner

Including the outside links (http...) is also an excellent idea.

Well it also works fine this way with the right window that closes. Some might even argue it is more intuitive this way. I think it's a matter of taste more than a matter of logic. And on this one, both of us could be wrong . (because we tend to have the same type of perspective you and I; we are a rare blend of creative, organized, social and kind people who value order, clear perspectives; in fact you and I belong to a very select club of people who have invented wiki features. I find your ideas excellent).

Suggestions

1) Now all you need to do is to put a title for the left page...

And about including the chosen left page as a de-facto link on top of the list of links on the left? Is that also Java Script?

In fact if you put the title of the left window as a first link, it could be a title by convention. Or you could put the words: Page Title: and then the link. This would identify that page and at the same time would provide a link to it and this way the user could view the whole contents (and the links in context) on the right page.

2) Finally the user could even set the size of the left window at Preferences.

What do you think of those 2 suggestions?

-- RobertAbitbol

These are good suggestions. Thank you. -- HelmutLeitner


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