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Table of Contents in Newest Nodes

by demerphq (Chancellor)
on Jun 02, 2004 at 10:29 UTC ( #359324=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Observant people out there will have noticed that Newest Nodes now has a table of contents summary at the top. (And the patch also supports usergroup specific sections which will appear automatically depending on your group.) You can use the TOC to jump to a specific sections list and each section has a "top" link as well to return to the summary.

Anyway, it seems that there are some folks (I suppose it would be the ones who bounce on NN) that really dont like it. If you happen to be one of those please don't fret, just use your User Settings to disable it by using the checkbox marked "Show Table of Contents" in the Misc. section.

Any feedback is welcome. :-)


    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    -- Gandhi

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Table of Contents in Newest Nodes
by atcroft (Abbot) on Jun 02, 2004 at 10:50 UTC

    demerphq, for my part I think it is quite a nice bit for those who like it (yes, I do), and that there is an easy way to override it (for those who don't want to use it). Cudos for the work you and others continue to put into the site.

    Looking at it, it seems like that might make an interesting/useful nodelet, showing the counts for each of those sections in the last 24 hours (that had not been marked as checked?), and linking to that section in Newest Nodes. I wasn't sure who to suggest it to, how much work might be involved, or if it would be something people might use, but it was a thought.

      but it was a thought.

      Not a bad one either. Thanks. There are implmentation difficulties that I can see, but I've put on my like-to-have-todo list. If it gets done ill be sure to ask you to test it out. :-)


        First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
        -- Gandhi

Re: Table of Contents in Newest Nodes (smaller!)
by tye (Sage) on Jun 02, 2004 at 15:41 UTC
      ++ for that. The number of new items could be displayed in () next to each heading in the navigation portion too if you wanted.

      Eric Hodges

        I like moving the numbers out of the navigation because it reduces the space requirements (there is plenty of spare space for them on the heading lines), but that part isn't a big deal and I could see people wanting the numbers all summarized together. I think it would make things a bit busy, but either way would be fine with me.

        - tye        

      Hmm, I was going for something like this at first. But certain critics on the test server really didnt like the inline version, and as they were my only participating commentors I went with their opinion.

      I think what I'll do is wait a bit for some more replies and comments and then do my damndest to make everyone happy at once. Which means some folks, like yourself, will have to wait a touch for your itch to be scratched. But be assured it will get scratched.

      Btw, please consider what this will look like when there are 10 sections involved... The inline version looked ok with one line, started getting really crowded at two lines and looked pretty bad at three lines. At least sufficiently bad that I decided that the comments of my critics at hand outweighed my own view.


        First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
        -- Gandhi

        please consider what this will look like when there are 10 sections involved

        Um, the example I showed included 8 sections and there is still plenty of room in my widow for two more sections on the second line (I removed the pmdev sections as they don't apply to most users). So I don't see the problem. Now, if you put the counts and "New" stuff back in (and perhaps the pre/post texts), then it wouldn't work for me. In particular, having those types of numbers that are not lined up usually sucks). So I don't know what you had originally that people didn't like, but it sounds like it was quite a bit different than what I proposed.

        FWI, I'd implement this in part by removing "New " from all of the settings and prepending a hard-coded "New " to each section heading. YMMV.

        - tye        

      >   greatly reduce the space
      good idea ... ++

      and maybe move the checked them button to the top, so one could use it without scrolling.

Re: Table of Contents in Newest Nodes
by exussum0 (Vicar) on Jun 02, 2004 at 10:44 UTC
    If you use a div, or a span for the various parts, we can also adjust the positioning of those chunks too. I'm no CSS hacker, like those guys, but it's definitely something worth trying.

    Bart: God Schmod. I want my monkey-man!

      If you or any CSS guru reading (where is Petruchio hiding when you need him?) wants to post a sample of the TOC's html with appropriate class settings etc, then id be happy to implement the code required.

      My CSS skills/knowledge is on the low side so im not really sure what a CSS style monster would like to see. :-)


        First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
        -- Gandhi

      • Update:  
      Part of the problem is that it has to look good for folks who dont have any CSS set up. So whatever gets posted needs to look reasonably good (no worse than now) without the correct CSS configured. Maybe im missing something here, but thats the way it seems to me now.

        i'd rather see something like the sample html below. i don't understand the use of an unordered list with anchor tags and hard breaks instead of list items, and i think a table offers more control. note that i added a row header, "Table of Contents." also, i renamed the existing css class and added others, and added a comma-space-hard break after New Notes.

        <table class="nnTOC" cellspacing="0"> <tr> <th class="nnTOCtop" name="toc_top"><a href="#toc_top">Table of Conten +ts</a></th> </tr> <tr> <td class="nnTOCbody"> There are <br /> <a href="#toc_New Discussion">5&nbsp;New&nbsp;Discussions</a>, <br /> <a href="#toc_New Questions">21&nbsp;New&nbsp;Questions</a>, <br /> <a href="#toc_New Meditations">1&nbsp;New&nbsp;Meditation</a>, <br /> <a href="#toc_New Patches">5&nbsp;New&nbsp;Patches</a>, <br /> <a href="#toc_New Perl Announcements">1&nbsp;New&nbsp;Perl&nbsp;Announ +cement</a>, <br /> <a href="#toc_New Cool Uses For Perl">1&nbsp;New&nbsp;Cool&nbsp;Use&nb +sp;For&nbsp;Perl</a>, <br /> <a href="#toc_New Code">1&nbsp;New&nbsp;Code</a>, <br /> <a href="#toc_New Notes">234&nbsp;New&nbsp;Notes</a>, <br /> and <a href="#toc_New Users">12&nbsp;New&nbsp;Users</a><br /> not yet reviewed... </table>

        here's how it looks:

        Table of Contents
        There are
        5 New Discussions,
        21 New Questions,
        1 New Meditation,
        5 New Patches,
        1 New Perl Announcement,
        1 New Cool Use For Perl,
        1 New Code,
        234 New Notes,
        and 12 New Users
        not yet reviewed...

        no css changes are neccessary to view this properly in any browser. with a little css magic, it's possible to make the TOC body appear on fewer lines: <style> .nnTOCbody br { display: none; }</style>

        let me know what you think.

        ~Particle *accelerates*

Re: Table of Contents in Newest Nodes
by halley (Prior) on Jun 02, 2004 at 13:23 UTC
    Okay, while you're at it,

    (1) Can you please stack the "New Users" area to multiple columns, if not on a completely different page? This is the biggest source of chaff in an otherwise informative page. Having a hundred bare names in a single column just pushes that "I've checked all these" button a few miles farther down. I don't mind "honoring" all the names, but the signup rate is too high to really have much value as presented.

    (2) Alternatively or additionally, add a second "I've checked all these" button just below your new ToC list.

    [ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]

      As long as the New Users are contained in a list (with a proper class attached to it), you can rearrange the users into a multi-column list yourself by restyling that list:

      ul.newusers { width: 90%; position: relative; } ul.newusers li { width: 30%; display: inline; }

      Adjust the precentage to suit your desired number of columns :-)

        Yeah, but they're not in a UL at all, they're in a TABLE, at least as I browse it today. They surely are list items and not tabular cells, semantically, so that's a good revision to make here.

        [ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]

Re: Table of Contents in Newest Nodes
by pelagic (Priest) on Jun 02, 2004 at 10:43 UTC

      Yes, good work.

      I will enjoy as soon as I can stop myself from scrolling down the NN.


Re: Table of Contents in Newest Nodes
by duff (Parson) on Jun 02, 2004 at 13:24 UTC
    What would be really nice IMHO would be a "Newest Nodes" nodelet that has the TOC info in it. It would also be nice if the buttons from the NN page appeared in the nodelet. Speaking of buttons, it would *also* be nice if the "I've checked these" button appeared at the top the NN page.

    Just my random thoughts this morning

      To follow the old tradition of stumbit!, shoudln't it be I've ckeched these?

      Sorry, Couldn't resist :)

      Best regards

      -lem, but some call me fokat

Re: Table of Contents in Newest Nodes
by parv (Vicar) on Jun 02, 2004 at 15:59 UTC

    First time i liked the ToC for its novelty factor; now i know it can be removed. Thanks, and much thanks for this setting in "User Settings".

Re: Table of Contents in Newest Nodes - Yep, I'm a grouch
by cLive ;-) (Prior) on Jun 02, 2004 at 17:24 UTC

    Thank you for letting me remove this in user settings. As far as I'm concerned, it's a waste of space :)

    To repeat my suggestion from chatterbox, what I think would work better is to allow users to set a maximum number of article headings for each section (say 20 by default), and then just append it to the relevant heading. Eg, if limit is 20 and there are 72 new questions, use:

    New Questions (20 of 72)

    and if there's less than maximum, just leave heading as it is now.

    Uses a lot less space, and is familiar to users from Slashcode.

    Just my .02

    cLive ;-)

      I'd like to see cLive_:-)'s suggestion included alongside the new table of contents. As cLive points out, the menu is removable in user prefs. However I love the idea of setting a maximum number of records for each or every section on the page. I don't often use Newest Nodes but each time I do I get a list of thousands of new posts.

      I'd prefer being able to set each section separately .. as I'm mainly interested in root nodes and not at all interested in new users (don't get me wrong, you just don't have anything on your home node yet and I've not met you. I'll look later .. promise!) Thus I'd set my settings to show me the most recent 30 in SoPW and 10 in most of the other sections with 0 new users. This would mean that the database only has to fetch these latest records for me and it means I never have to click the 'I've checked these' button if I don't want to.

      That said, I could put up with at least a global setting so that I can set it to 20 to view the most recent 20 in every category.

      Thanks for all the work you're doing!

      "Get real! This is a discussion group, not a helpdesk. You post something, we discuss its implications. If the discussion happens to answer a question you've asked, that's incidental." -- in clpm
Re: Table of Contents in Newest Nodes
by Solo (Deacon) on Jun 06, 2004 at 16:06 UTC
    An addition I'd find useful is a link to the root node of the thread next to each new note link. Since this info is available in the XML feed, it seems like it should be an easy change while you're in there patching anyway ;)

    You said you wanted to be around when I made a mistake; well, this could be it, sweetheart.
Re: Table of Contents in Newest Nodes
by ambrus (Abbot) on Jun 05, 2004 at 20:37 UTC

    Would you mind me asking why the sections are in a different order in the TOC and the main content? The TOC starts with Questions, while the main content of Newest Nodes starts with the Discussions (if there's any).

      Because the pluralization rules arent that smart, and thus the first group with more than one node in it is put on the front of the list. Anyway all of the NN stuff is gunna change Real Soon Now.


        First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
        -- Gandhi

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