Better navigation

Volume 10, Issue 86; 30 Aug 2007; last modified 08 Oct 2010

It's been ages since I wrote about site navigation links. As the XProc spec works its way towards Last Call, I'm reminded of their value.

As a spec editor, whenever review begins in earnest, I get a large number of suggestions of the form:

In 3.4.5, I suggest XXX instead of YYY

Or words to that effect: a brief reference to some part of the specification followed by some suggestion about the prose therein.

For simple editorial changes, I can just search for the affected prose in my Emacs buffer, make the suggested change, and move on. But for technical changes or more sweeping editorial suggestions, its often necessary (or at least useful) to review the prose as it currently appears in the spec.

That means finding “3.4.5”. And that means searching or scrolling or finding the Table of Contents and clicking. Finding the Table of Contents also involves some degree of searching or scrolling, so that's not always fastest.

What would be nice is a quick way to go directly to the right place: in other words, site navigation links. By tweaking the stylesheets to produce a bunch of link elements in the HTML head, I get nearly instant access to all the likely places:

In Firefox, you need the cmSiteNavigation toolbar extension. I don't know what you might need in other browsers.

The “Sections”, “Chapters”, and “Appendices” pulldowns give you access to what you'd expect. I took advantage of the “Bookmarks” pulldown to provide direct access to all of the steps described in the specification.

You can play with these links yourself in the current editor's draft. Enjoy!


Way cool, I wish I had learned about this before SAWSDL became Recommendation earlier this week. 8-)

—Posted by Jacek on 31 Aug 2007 @ 04:11 UTC #

Neat -- and how mean of you not to share the XSLT. Meanwhile, my own post-xmlspec-fixup is here:

(Some of it obviously inspired by this blog post.)

—Posted by Thomas Roessler on 01 Sep 2007 @ 11:31 UTC #

Mean? Me? It's all in CVS, Thomas. It's under WWW/XML/XProc in /w3ccvs, or starting at for those who can't access CVS at the W3C directly.

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 01 Sep 2007 @ 01:06 UTC #