Forum OpenACS Development: Response to Sub-package site nodes API thought

Posted by Stephen . on
I know you are thinking out loud, and thank you for it!  It's an interesting read.  I also know you're aware of the return_url mechanism, which is why I was confused when you ignored it, the same as site nodes.  As the other posts were all pretty possitive I thought I should mention this seems to be going in the wrong direction.

Anyway, implementation issues asside, I'm wondering whether the problem you're trying to solve is actually a problem at all.  Is it such an easy mapping between program subroutines and navigation subroutines?

A user who navigates to permissions from bboard looks at the context bar and sees a logical heirarchy of pages.  What do we want them to get from this?

Is it just "here's a convenient thing to click on to go back to where you were."?  I can think of two reasons they might go back: they complete the interaction, in which case they'll be redirected automatically; they decide to bail out without completing the interaction, in which case they can press any 'cancel' button or hit the back button.  I suggest hitting the back button is pretty logical and equates to 'bailing out' to web users.

If on the other hand the context bar is to teach the user about the structure of our site then inserting Where You've Been information--which changes constantly--into that structure is very confusing.  Neilson does not say that Where You've Been information should be in the context bar, and it's not how Yahoo! works.

The Permissions UI does not only allow you to work with one object, it can present a list of objects to assign permissions to.  What happens when a user who's setting the permission for a bboard forum clicks on the 'Permissions' node of the context bar?  In the case where permissions appear as a logical entity of bboard we have an inconsistency, as the user may now set permissions for news postings in the context of the bboard.  In the case where permissions appears in a more logical heirarchy we've now illustrated a new section or concept of our site to the user.

I've enjoyed your articles at, so one of the other things I also know is that you've spent much more time thinking about web UI issues than me!  Hopefully you can help me out here...