[pmwiki-devel] Patch: Improvement to Trails

Petko Yotov 5ko at 5ko.fr
Sat Apr 4 11:37:34 CDT 2009

On Friday 03 April 2009 11:29:13 Ed W wrote:
> > Just letting you know that you can easily override the default trails.php
> > script like this :
> > * move your modified file from scripts/ to cookbook/
> > * add to config.php :
> >   $EnableWikiTrails = 0;
> >   include_once("$FarmD/cookbook/trails.php");
> Sure - that's exactly what I did to create the file I mailed
> However, the new file should have identical functionality to before - it

The point of using your modified file is that it provides functionality 
different from the default one, and you can upgrade to newer versions of 
PmWiki without losing that functionality.

> even duplicates that functionality that I would tentatively call a bug
> where the bare wiki trail becomes unstyled without a span around it (can
> I recommend that this is changed though?)

Yes you can. We are always open to suggestions. :-)
(Confirmed, ToDo.)

> The main new functionality is that:

As I said, I haven't yet had the chance to review the changes, and I'll need 
to find some time. In the meantime, you might add this feature request to 
PITS, so we don't lose track of it, and so we could estimate its popularity.

> >> Change the default trail separator to something more standard, eg "»"
> >> (it looks like >> for those viewing in plain text):
> >>     SDV($TrailPathSep, ' » ');
> >
> > I disagree. Guillemets (angle quotes, ») are indicators for quoted
> > speech. We should use arrows (→) if we want to indicate arrows. :-)
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E2%86%92
> I disagree your disagree...
> Wikipedia agrees that they are "sometimes used to indicate direction" -
> however, I acknowledge that I had not realised that were used for quoted
> speech (just an ignorant english speaker I guess...)
> A quick search of the internet suggests that for english speaking
> websites the character I suggested is very popular and certainly way
> more popular than the "pipe" character.

What is popular is not always right. If a quick search of the internet 
suggested that "invalid" HTML is "very popular and certainly way more popular" 
than "valid" HTML, I wouldn't argue for a core change in that direction.

Jacob Nielsen, an expert in web usability, recommends using ">" although his 
own site uses an arrow (.GIF picture).

BTW, our ^|breadcrumbs|^ implementation violates the rule not to have links to 
the current page (selflinks).

I agree that this could be improved -- and should be, without breaking 
existing wikis upon an upgrade.

> > Moreover, right arrows will only work in case of ^|Trail|^ and not with
> > <|Trail|> or <<|Trail|>>. The vertical bar works in all cases, and I feel
> > the first case is the least common one.
> I think you are looking at the wrong code...  In the current (and
> modified) trails.php, this character is only used for the breadcrumb
> trail, nothing else, ie it's only used for the "^|Trail|^" syntax


> > At any rate, users can add to config.php
> >   $TrailPathSep = ' &raquo; ';
> > or something different to override the default vertical bar.
> Agreed - however, I still recommend that the default be changed to
> something better than the "|".  Your suggestion of arrows seems very
> fine to me also.  However, I think the pipe looks confusing and from my
> searching on google doesn't seem to conform with how existing sites
> behave (remember the "don't make me think" rule)

Arrows or ">" are fine with me; I'd use ">" for better compatibility with 
(all) browsers. But yet, should we change a default setting if some existing 
sites may rely on it? Generally, PmWiki doesn't do this.


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