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drop-down menus - lets discuss

KK
Drop-down menus are the hottest thing since Wonder Bread but . . .
1. Alot of people put them in the
they-look-nice-but-you-cant-code-them-right-so-they-always-look-messed-up
category (a la "frames"). Do you think this is true>
2. Some people think they take up too much KB.
3. Some people are worried that people who have javascript turned off
wont be able to see them. What percent of web users have javascrips
turned off? I thought it was around 12% but i could be wrong. If they
do have it turned off then it there an alternative? Could your script
detect javascript on/off before triggering the script?

P.S.
1. Is it possible to make the width of a box in a drop-down menu
variable (i.e. 20% of page width)
2. Anyone have a script for me to create a drop-down menu on my page?
www.homepokergames.com
Jul 20 '05 #1
3 2806
"KK" <ra************@aol.com> wrote in message
news:a5**************************@posting.google.c om...
Drop-down menus are the hottest thing since Wonder Bread
Really?
but . . . 1. Alot of people put them in the
they-look-nice-but-you-cant-code-them-right-so-they-always-look-
messed-up category (a la "frames"). Do you think this is true>
A lot of people may argue against drop down menus because _they_ can't
code them, that doesn't mean it cannot be done.
2. Some people think they take up too much KB.
There are certainly a lot of generic menu scripts around and the attempt
to be flexible and general does seem to result in unreasonably large JS
files to download. On the other hand I have seen perfectly functional,
but totally site-specific drop down menu code written in 40 lines of
JavaScript code and taking < 2k.
3. Some people are worried that people who have javascript
turned off wont be able to see them.
If site navigation becomes unavailable in the absence of JavaScript then
someone has made a serious mistake. For one thing there is no evidence
that any major search engine robots interpret JavaScript when indexing
pages, so they would also get the impression that the page contained no
navigation at all (making the site appear to consist of maybe only one
page).

There are a number of approaches that avoid the problem of risking the
site navigation being unavailable in the absence of JavaScript, of
which, defining the menu structure and contents in the HTML, often as
nested UL elements or DIVS and then using JavaScript to transform the
nature and position of those elements so that they will serve as menus
on browsers that support the functionality required, is a popular
option. As a strategy it has the advantages that the navigation is
always part of the page so it will be available if JavaScript is not,
and it gives the menu script the opportunity to determine whether the
browser actually supports the features required to produce a functional
menu, so it can just leave the navigation as normal HTML whenever a drop
down menu is not feasible.

However, when the navigation elements are in the HTML it becomes
necessary to use a menu script tailored to the page design, but the
result can be considerably smaller than generic menu scripts.
What percent of web users have javascrips turned
off? I thought it was around 12% but i could be wrong.
I have seen people quoting figures in the range 2% to 88% (but most
often 8-12%), and given that range I suspect that JavaScript use figures
are about as reliable as browser use figures. But it is more than none
and is likely to include (at least) two important groups of visitors,
search engine robots and some subsets of the disabled (for whom
accessibility legislation may apply).
If they do have it turned off then it there
an alternative? Could your script detect
javascript on/off before triggering the script?
With scripting disabled/unavailable there are no script based detecting
or triggering options. NOSCRIPT elements may apply (passively) but if
the navigation is defined in the HTML this just is not a problem.
P.S.
1. Is it possible to make the width of a box in a
drop-down menu variable (i.e. 20% of page width)

<snip>

Yes, but it would be more logical to use dimensions that were related to
the font size (such as em units).

Richard.
Jul 20 '05 #2
KK wrote:
Drop-down menus are the hottest thing since Wonder Bread but . . .
Not here they aren't. In most cases they don't rate all that highly on the
usability scale, and getting them to act in the same way as normal drop
down menus (where 'normal' is different depending on the platform) is at
least exceptionally difficult (and probably impossible).
1. Alot of people put them in the
they-look-nice-but-you-cant-code-them-right-so-they-always-look-messed-up
category (a la "frames"). Do you think this is true>
No
2. Some people think they take up too much KB.
Depends on the site. It shouldn't be too bad with mod_gzip.
3. Some people are worried that people who have javascript turned off
wont be able to see them.
Only if badly written. JavaScript shouldn't add content (at least not
essential content) to a page. It should manipulate existing HTML.
1. Is it possible to make the width of a box in a drop-down menu
variable (i.e. 20% of page width)


The CSS width property accepts percentages.

--
David Dorward http://dorward.me.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #3
JRS: In article <bm*******************@news.demon.co.uk>, seen in
news:comp.lang.javascript, Richard Cornford
<Ri*****@litotes.demon.co.uk> posted at Thu, 16 Oct 2003 22:30:58 :-

If site navigation becomes unavailable in the absence of JavaScript then
someone has made a serious mistake. For one thing there is no evidence
that any major search engine robots interpret JavaScript when indexing
pages, so they would also get the impression that the page contained no
navigation at all (making the site appear to consist of maybe only one
page).


That (second sentence) is only necessarily so if all navigation becomes
unavailable.

Given a list such as produced in a DOS box by dir *.htm /b MiniTrue
can readily generate the core of a page linking to all those pages. as
long as that index page is findable, by a link from somewhere already
known findable, the whole site should be indexed.

On my site, index.htm links to toc.htm (intended for the framing), and
each of those link to "all" other pages; I should be able to remove
*all* other links internal to the site, and still get fully indexed.

The lack of proper navigation will indeed make use by those not using JS
difficult, but it need not inhibit search.

--
John Stockton, Surrey, UK. ?@merlyn.demon.co.uk Turnpike v4.00 MIME.
Web <URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/> - FAQish topics, acronyms, & links.
I find MiniTrue useful for viewing/searching/altering files, at a DOS prompt;
free, DOS/Win/UNIX, <URL:http://www.idiotsdelight.net/minitrue/> Update soon?
Jul 20 '05 #4

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