A new render of newxml

Jeroen Coumans jeroen at linuxfromscratch.org
Sun May 2 10:00:09 PDT 2004

Ken Moffat said the following on 02-05-2004 18:23:
> On Sun, 2 May 2004, Jeroen Coumans wrote:
>>That's stupid. People read from top to bottom. The most logical place
>>for navigational links is thus at the bottom. What are their reasons for
>>placing them at the top?
>  Go away from the idea that "one way of reading" fits all.  If you are
> following the book from A to Z in one go, then an inline "nochunks" or
> text version is great, and links at the bottom are good.  If you are
> coming back and can't quite remember where you got to, looking at the
> start of a package and thinking "yes, did that, next:" may be more
> appropriate.  There are lots of different reasons to visit or re-visit a
> particular page.

I never intended to argue a one-size fits all approach and I'm well 
aware that whatever the decision will be, it's a compromise. So, how can 
we achieve the best compromise? Here are my assumptions:

1. a large userbase has never/incidentally built an LFS system
2. thus we value close reading higher then skimming/scanning
3. a signifcant userbase will use text browsers
4. the bottom navigation links are more useful then the top navigation 
links for close reading
5. the top navigation links are more useful then the bottom navigation 
links for skimming/scanning
6. we also offer <head> links and access keys, which serve the same 
function as the top & bottom navigation links
7. there are other mechanisms for a reader to remember what he has done 
(eg. blue unvisited links, purple visited links)
8. we should aim to make the book most usable for our goals with the 
book and our target audiences

>  Convention says that navigation at top and bottom of a page is usually
> well-received, but I know better than to argue for something in LFS just
> because it's conventional. :)

Well, the problem isn't that a top navigation bar is not useful, but 
that it is not useful *enough* (based on the redundancy of links, shared 
functionality and inconvenience for text browsers) for most people.

> Ken

Jeroen Coumans

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