Last modified: 2006-05-04 19:00:40 UTC

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Bug 5826 - Collapsible sections
Collapsible sections
Status: RESOLVED DUPLICATE of bug 1257
Product: MediaWiki
Classification: Unclassified
Parser (Other open bugs)
All All
: Normal enhancement (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody - You can work on this!
Depends on:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2006-05-04 14:22 UTC by Richardb
Modified: 2006-05-04 19:00 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---


Description Richardb 2006-05-04 14:22:34 UTC
== Suggestion for improved user navigation within a MediaWiki page. ==
May be a partial solution to the constant battles between deletionists and 
inclusionists, as well as appealing to structurists.

Copy of a post I tried to make in the Wikitech newsgroup (but failed). (Is this the 
right place to make such suggestions ?) Any comments, advice, info ? If anyone thinks 
this is a good idea, please promote it to the right people in the right place. Copy 
it, plagiarise it, whatever.

Hi, a newbie to Wikitech, and only occasional visitor to Wikipedia, so apologise if
<br>a) don't get things right first time
<br>b) being bold enough to make suggestion for improvement before I really know much 
about Wikitech.


=== Background ===
* been contributing to Wikionary for a year or two. Administrator. Mostly interested 
in improving the organisation, the process, policies etc, rather than the content
* 28 years in IT, mostly as business process analyst, interfacing between "dumb" 
users and "nerdy" techos.
=== Observed Problem ===
For the great majority of pages on Wikipedia and Wiktionary, they can be very long, 
with lots you want to skip over (probably more so in Wiktionary) and there is very 
little help in navigating through the long page. 
At best there is a Table of Contents at the top. Which, as soon as you click on it, 
disappears as you drop down the page. Great !
===Suggested Improvement(s)===
1.	Make the article collapsible by levels. 
*	Make some extra tabs along the top that show -All-, -1-, -2-, -3-, -4-, maybe 
*	If you click on -1-, then the article will collapse to show only the Level 1 
headings, with a little  + (plus) sign to the left hand side, and a ++ sign
*       If you click on -2-, than it collapses to level 1 and level 2 headings, etc. 
If you click on -All- then the article is shown in full, with no collapsing of levels.
*	If you click on the + sign against a heading, it will expand the content 
below that heading to the next level of headings.
*	If you click on the ++ sign against a heading, it will expand all levels and 
content below that heading.
*	When a level has been expanded, then a little - (minus) sign will replace the 
+ sign. If you click on this the content will collapse to just that heading.

2.	Find a way to keep the Table of Contents visible on the screen at all times
*	New Window - Maybe a pop-up window, or an option to click on a spot at the 
top of TOC to show the TOC in a new window.
*	Frame - Maybe put the TOC in a small frame in the left-hand side-bar (Use a 
couple of frames to hold all that sidebar info constantly visible (within a scrolling 

3.	Both of the above

4.	Both the above, plus have the Table of Contents also collapsible in the same 
*	A user can drill down in an article, expanding and collapsing at will.
:rather than  - going to the top of the page, clicking on a TOC entry, viewing that, 
not finding what they want, going back to the TOC, at the top, trying another TOC 
*	Or, with the TOC in a frame in the left hand border, the TOC is always 
visible (and better if collapsible), thus making the second type of navigation far 
less tiresome.
=== How to implement ===
1.	Firstly, and most importantly, users do not have to write their articles 
:The whole thing is driven by the currently used heading levels. 
:Indeed, some of the complexities that are gone into to put some additional 
navigation aids on a page would become unnecessary, making it less complicated to 
write big pages, because the within-the-page navigation is automated from the normal 

2.	Maybe users could choose, by profile, to start either with articles fully 
expanded, or fully collapsed. 

3.	The default for low-tech users would be fully expanded, so no different from 
now (except for the + and - signs and the -All-, -1, -2- tabs being there if they 
want to click on them

4.	The general concept of little + and - signs against headings is already 
widely used, and would need no introduction for many, even most users to be able to 
make use of it straightaway without any notification or education effort. For those 
who are very unsavvy, then they would just continue as now.

5.	The collapsing / expanding by clicking on + and - signs is everywhere. I'm 
sure even early versions of Front Page had it, Microsoft has it within it's web site, 
it's used in Excel, used within the document map of Word etc etc etc. Must be pretty 
easy to find out how it was done for these.

6.	It impacts only the display of a page. There is nothing different going on 
elsewhere in the background, in the infrastructure of the off screen processes.
I'm not sure how this impacts style sheets, since I have never really bothered to 
grasp those.
OK. Hope this suggestion is food for thought in improving the user experience of the 
fantastic MediaWiki software.
Richardb of Wiktionary.
--[[User:Richardb|Richardb]] 14:12, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Comment 1 Brion Vibber 2006-05-04 19:00:40 UTC

*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of 1257 ***

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