fiddlingfrog: (Default)
Harold ([personal profile] fiddlingfrog) wrote in [site community profile] dw_suggestions2013-09-21 09:03 pm

Add a new HTML tag to allow navigation across multiple entries in a single tag

Add a new HTML tag to allow navigation across multiple entries in a single tag

tags, entries

Across the web, multi-part series often have a section of navigation links to enable readers to find their way across multiple pages, articles, etc... First/ last page, prev/ next, list all pages/ articles... there's lots of different ways to make it easier for the reader. What I propose is to add a new HTML tag, like <cut>, that will auto-generate some navigation links when included in an entry.

This suggestion is based on an idea that I had on LiveJournal last year [ ]. The idea is that when an author has written something in several parts, whether that is fanfiction, how to articles, a travelogue, or a guide, the existing tag navigation is often insufficient for a reader to browse the entire series.

Say I've written several different entries about my experiences traveling in Scotland. I could just rely on the reader to click on the "Scotland 2012" tag and find all the entries. If I have more entries in this tag than fit on a single page, the reader might miss some. Alternatively, I could edit every entry in the series whenever I publish a new entry, making sure to link to the next in the series, and maybe the latest, and possibly make sure that each entry in the series links to all the others. But that's a lot of work, and it gives a high likelihood for error.

So what I suggest instead is a custom HTML tag that will auto-generate navigation links. At the end of any entry in my series I could add a tag like <series tag="scotland 2012">. This would be displayed in the entry like so:
scotland 2012
First - Prev - Next - Last
Subject of 1st entry
Subject of 2nd entry
Subject of 3rd entry
* Subject of 4th entry, the one currently being read
Subject of 5th entry

If the series contains more than five entries, the fifth and subsequent entries should be hidden behind a link to save space. In addition, there could be several options. Perhaps you can include a title, so instead of saying "corruption" the navigation link header might read "Bribery in City Hall". Maybe the author would like the articles displayed in reverse-chronological order. Or maybe the author wants to include the date/time stamps along with the entry subject line.

One advantage of this approach is that no new UI is needed. All of the links are included as part of the entry, instead of attached to the entry, so no new buttons are necessary. And since the links are auto-generated, authors only have to remember to add the 'series' tag once, when they first write the entry, instead of having to constantly update every entry in the series.

Poll #14594 Add a new HTML tag to allow navigation across multiple entries in a single tag
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 45

This suggestion:

View Answers

Should be implemented as-is.
19 (42.2%)

Should be implemented with changes. (please comment)
11 (24.4%)

Shouldn't be implemented.
8 (17.8%)

(I have no opinion)
7 (15.6%)

(Other: please comment)
0 (0.0%)

susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)

[personal profile] susanreads 2013-11-25 09:35 pm (UTC)(link)
I'd rather not have the subject entries, because that's adding a lot of cruft, but the rest of this is a brilliant idea.
fujicori: (Default)

[personal profile] fujicori 2013-11-25 10:05 pm (UTC)(link)
The framework seems like it'd be really useful for some things, but the subjects might get cluttery.
turlough: branches with red leaves against a blue autumn sky (Default)

[personal profile] turlough 2013-11-25 10:28 pm (UTC)(link)
arethinn: glowing green spiral (Default)

[personal profile] arethinn 2013-11-26 01:29 am (UTC)(link)
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)

[personal profile] eruthros 2013-11-26 01:30 am (UTC)(link)
nafs: red and purple-pink dragon (Default)

[personal profile] nafs 2013-11-26 01:54 am (UTC)(link)
velocitygrass: (Default)

[personal profile] velocitygrass 2013-11-26 07:57 am (UTC)(link)
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)

[personal profile] cimorene 2013-11-26 01:27 pm (UTC)(link)
lurkingcat: (Default)

[personal profile] lurkingcat 2013-11-26 01:57 pm (UTC)(link)
green_knight: (Autumn)

[personal profile] green_knight 2013-11-25 09:54 pm (UTC)(link)
This sounds like a great paid (or even premium) feature. I like the idea a lot.
turlough: branches with red leaves against a blue autumn sky (Default)

[personal profile] turlough 2013-11-25 10:28 pm (UTC)(link)
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)

[personal profile] susanreads 2013-11-26 08:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh yeah, paid feature, good idea!
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

[personal profile] kaberett 2013-11-26 09:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Here is a suggestion FROM THE PAST which is similar but not identical, for reference.
musyc: Animated text of extended "rock paper scissors" from Big Bang Theory (Other: Rock Paper Scissors)

[personal profile] musyc 2013-11-27 04:02 am (UTC)(link)
I don't like the idea of it posting a list of links. From what I recall of various conversations over the years, site search/journal search is a fairly heavy load on the databases, and it seems to me that this type of code would require some pretty heavy pounding at those, just like searching. I'm voting 'with changes' on this to add the stipulation that it should be only a paid account feature, due to how much it could hit the servers.
ext_3679: (Default)

[identity profile] 2013-11-27 04:10 am (UTC)(link)
I'll have to take your word for it, but I figured this wouldn't be any harder on the database than going to a specific tag page such as [ ].
musyc: Beach and ocean tinted in brilliant blue (Stock: Ocean in turquoise blue)

[personal profile] musyc 2013-11-27 04:21 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, but tags are limited by A. how many times a user can use a tag (I think it's ... 500?) and B. how many tags each user can have (1000 free, 1500 paid, 2000 premium).

This isn't like tagging, exactly, not to my mind. That's outside of a journal, in a meta-space sort of area. From how I'm reading the suggestion, it would be affecting each entry. Say I used this $series-code and I've used it on 20 entries. But now I decide, drat, I need to insert a post between entry 15 and 16 - the series code has to rearrange itself, change the other posts. More heavily, every time I add a new post at the end, it has to recode all the entries so it's correct on which one is now "last". The little sprites that live in the databases would be hopping all over to change links all the time.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2013-11-27 04:26 am (UTC)(link)

it really wouldn't be a big performance hit, don't worry! (it's slightly more complex than the previous entry/next entry calculation but not by much.)

musyc: Text: Serpents upon my dirigible (Text: Serpents on dirigible)

[personal profile] musyc 2013-11-27 04:30 am (UTC)(link)
That's good to know! I'm still standing on making it paid-only, but if it wouldn't actually thwap the servers hard, I'd definitely lean more towards should be implemented than towards shouldn't.
ext_3679: (Default)

[identity profile] 2013-11-27 09:06 pm (UTC)(link)
My bad, I see where I went wrong. I originally made the example functional, but none of that went through the submission, so I had to yank it out but I forgot to put the exampled bits back into words.

Anyways, I meant for this to be an addition to the tagging system, not a whole brand new thing. So to include an entry in the series you'd just give it a tag like usual, to insert an entry in the middle of the series just make sure the date on the new enty placed it where you wanted.

Basically, the <series> tag would embed a specialized view of the tag page into the entry.