Chapter��5.��Content Navigation Tool

Description. Provides an end-user navigation technology to WIKI content using the book/chapter/section metaphor.

Solves. WIKI content is loosely organized via hyper-links within the content that the user can follow if interested. The resulting spaghetti with threads leading everywhere is powerful but not an easy organization of material to understand.

As content in a WIKI matures some of the material will take a more structured form. This tool allows the hierarchical and sequential organization of a book to be overlayed on the WIKI. This navigation overlay is done without modifying the standard page content of the WIKI.


This component provides the tools and adds structure to tightly associated material in a WIKI, i.e. multiple web pages within the WIKI that have a hierarchical structure and sequence. The book metaphor with chapters and sections is used so End Users easily understand the structure and navigational interface.

The component is a very light weight overlay to existing web pages. Very little change to existing web material - adding a macro that calls the navigation tool and maybe adding a number to the title - is required.

5.1.1.��Collaborative Content Environments

Two types of collaborative content environments are currently popular:

  • WIKI. These are a collection of web pages without a highly-structures menu system. Links between the pages are created with bumpy words. The loose structure of WIKIs are a good fit for dynamic knowledge systems where the usage resembles a giant white board.

  • Content Management Systems (CMS). These are very structured environment with the menu system driving where and how content is placed. The tight structure of CMS is a good fit for hierarchical content such as corporate web sites.

The Content Navigation Tool is a solution for adding more structure to associated Web pages within a WIKI environment. The Navigation Bar - with its structural menu for the virtual book - adds substantial value.

The Content Navigation Tool is not a very good fit for CMS environments. It competes with the CMS's already highly-structured menu system.

5.1.2.��As WIKI Content Matures

Early in the content creation cycle, as experts struggle to organize knowledge and know-how into solutions, the informal style of a WIKI is the strength of the technology . As the content matures and most access is an End User seeking a solution, a more formal organization of the material is beneficial. The Content Navigation Tool provides structure by using the book metaphor to organize associated WIKI pages into chapters and sections within a book. The tool also provides an easy and robust navigation interface to the content.

5.2.��User View

The left hand image in Figure��5.1, ���Wiki Page before and Navigation Ready��� shows a typical organization of related page material. In this example, the material is a collection of How-To WIKI pages on managing users. The right hand image shows the same page links with small edits to add chapter and section numbering. This evokes the book metaphor used by the Navigation Bar.

Figure��5.1.��Wiki Page before and Navigation Ready

Wiki Page before and Navigation Ready

Figure��5.2, ���Navigation Bar��� shows the Navigation Bar for the 1.1 Create User web page.

Figure��5.2.��Navigation Bar

Navigation Bar

The Navigation Bar provides four navigation options:

  • Previous. Move to the previous page.

  • Up a Level. Move to the parent pages of the current page.

  • Next. Move to the next page

  • ToC. Present the full ToC in a drop down box.

One of the nice features of the Navigation Bar is its "float at top" of the WIKI page as the User scrolls down. Thus access to document navigation is always instantly available.

Figure��5.3, ���Navigation Table of Content Drop Down��� shows the drop down Table of Contents available in the NavBar. This provides the User with a complete view of the virtual book and the ability to directly access any part with a single click.

Figure��5.3.��Navigation Table of Content Drop Down

Navigation Table of Content Drop Down


The process to create and display the NavBar has two aspects. The first is to create a DocumentSetting data structure to identify the web pages, how they are organized and what to display in the NavBar and Table of Content dropdown. The second step is to add some small markup to each page that will trigger the NavBar to display on that page.

5.3.1.��Document Settings

Figure��5.4, ���Document Settings��� is the Document Setting structure for the NavBar displayed in Figure��5.2, ���Navigation Bar���. This is a standard WIKI page that is edited with the standard WIKI edit process.

Figure��5.4.��Document Settings

#format docbooksettings 
  // Document Settings
  "title": "Site Admin HowTo", 
  "sitemap": [
   {"id": "ManageUser", 
    "element": "chapter", 
    "number": "1", 
    "ttl": "Manage User Account",
         {"id": "CreateUser", 
           "element": "section", 
           "number": "1.1", 
           "ttl": "Create User"},
          {"id": "GrantAppAccess", 
           "element": "section", 
           "number": "1.2", 
           "ttl": "Grant User Application Access"},
          {"id": "CreateUserIm", 
           "element": "section", 
           "number": "1.3", 
            "ttl": "Create User from IM Account"},
          {"id": "ResetPassword", 
           "element": "section", 
           "number": "1.4", 
           "ttl": "Reset User Password"}
    {"id": "ManageRoles", 
     "element": "chapter", 
     "number": "2", 
     "ttl": "Manage Roles in Application",
          {"id": "GrantImAccess", 
           "element": "section", 
           "number": "2.1", 
           "ttl": "Grant Staff Access to IM"},
          {"id": "GrantAdminMM", 
           "element": "section", 
           "number": "2.2", 
           "ttl": "Admin Role in a KB Application"}
    {"id": "SelfManage", 
     "element": "chapter", 
     "number": "3", 
     "ttl": "User Self Management",
          {"id": "ChangingMyPassword", 
           "element": "section", 
           "number": "3.1", 
           "ttl": "Changing My Password"}


A MoinMoin processing instruction that signals the page contains a JSON (Java Script Object Notation) file that maps a set of WIKI pages into a virtual book


Book title that will be displayed in Navigation Bar.


JSON record identifying the first chapter, its WIKI page, number, and title; and all the child section in the chapter.


JSON record identifying the first section, its WIKI page, number and title. This section is within chapter 1.

5.3.2.��Page Markup

Figure��5.5, ���[[Navigation]] Macro to Display NavBar��� shows the MoinMoin markup need to trigger the JavaScript that displays the Navigation Bar. In this case it is the macro [[Navigation]] that is add to the top of the page.

Figure��5.5.��[[Navigation]] Macro to Display NavBar

= 1.2 What is a Live CD =
[[ArticleSubtitle(A How-To Recipe)]]


This is the macro [[Navigation]] that is add to the top of the page. It triggers the AppBar being display at the top on the content area.

InfraComps/ChapBookStruc (last edited 2015-03-06 18:11:26 by localhost)