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Get rid of personal bottom bar

At twiki.org we have seen the appearance of a personal bottom bar. This feature has not been described anywhere, so I can't target this rant to someone special.

I find the personal bottom bar a bad idea. At least in the current implementation.

Users are not aware that others cannot see their personal bottom bar. Have a look at the bottom bars that have been created: search: 57 users, none of them has created a useful bottom bar so far. Because:

  1. Its not styled differently; it is right under the global copyright
  2. There has not been given user guidance in what to do with it, like TWiki.WebLeftBarCookbook

If there are good ideas what to do with it, and all users can read about it, we can reimplement it. For now I have disabled the include in TWiki.WebBottomBar.

-- ArthurClemens - 16 Apr 2005

Fair enough. My reason for adding it was to do a backlink SEARCH so I could see everything that points to the topic in view. As embedded search is broken - hangs, never finishes, the bottom bar was useless to me anyway.

-- MartinCleaver - 16 Apr 2005

Actually, several users did something with that bottom bar if you look. Either way, this seems like a very good idea and I see no reason to disable it. At least, it does not waste space like the WebLeftBar.

-- ThomasWeigert - 16 Apr 2005

Thomas, please specify "either way", why it is a good idea.

And I still don't see the useful things: users have put their name in or an image or their personal data "for everyone to see".

-- ArthurClemens - 16 Apr 2005

I think it is a good idea for the same reason that the WebLeftBar is a good idea: it gives the user the ability to put information that she deems important on every topic. This could be help text, or links, or pictures, who am I to tell her what is importnat...

-- ThomasWeigert - 16 Apr 2005

I agree with Thomas. Who are you to tell me that the dancing babies in my personal bottom bar are useless?

Seriously, though. Its about configurability and personalization.If users don't notice it and don't use it, which is the case with most of my users, then why worry? If someone does come up with something 'cool' or useful, you can bet it will be cloned.

But who are you to tell me what isn't and isn't important, any more than what links in my pesonal left bar aren't and aren't important?

-- AntonAylward - 16 Apr 2005

There is one important difference with the left bar: the left bar is a navigation menu. The bottom bar doesn't give hints out of itself of what is could/should do. And it is not documented.

Actually, I do want to see some good ideas for it. So I am still waiting for my TWiki.WebBottomBarCookbook.

-- ArthurClemens - 16 Apr 2005

The left bar is not necessarily a navigation menu, it is just a space where arbitrary HTML can go. You can put pictures there, or links, or some quotes you like. It just so happens that the suggestion is to use it as a navigation menu. Anything one says in the WebLeftBarCookbook can be said about the bottom bar, there is no magic here.

Personally, I do not like the left bar and have turned it off. Had I known that there is a bottom bar, I would have used it instead. I'll just go and include WebLeftBar there....

-- ThomasWeigert - 17 Apr 2005

It could have some potential to use WebTopBar for navigation (as has been done in the classic skin (not everything was bad there!)) instead of the WebLeftBar.

-- FranzJosefSilli - 17 Apr 2005

Left bar, bottom bar, top bar...

We have the left bar (navigation, created by consensus) and an optional personal left bar (anything in there); also the bottom bar (copyright, whatever, also by consensus) and a personal bottom bar (whatever in there). Everyone is free to hide whatever s/he finds is too crowded. But I would find it problematic if we wouldn't offer any navigation to the users.

As pattern skin is meant to be a general toolbox, we need some kind of "one fits all" approach to these things, meaning there may be better ways to do things in particular situations.

The personal left bar looks different than the rest of the left bar, so visually it is clear that it will contain other kinds of links than the main menu. Something like that would be needed for the personal bottom bar.

We could put navigation in the top bar - you could think of putting links to the webs there, as in Koala skin. But the amount of space is limited. At the end of classic skin, we had problems to put yet another link in there, it just wouldn't fit anymore.

I have created a top bar navigation for a projects site for my former employer. There were 3 links in there: Home, Clients and Admin. I should document this in a pattern skin FAQ.

-- ArthurClemens - 17 Apr 2005

One of my users doens't like the left bar either and has put tabs for the otehr webs in the top bar. Yes, space is limited but so what? Sometimes that is a good thing since it makes you focus on what is important and discard the frivolous.

Right now I'm running Firefox and its "left bar" is Sage. That has value to me.

What is more important here is Arthur's final point above. We should be more agressive about documenting and supplying examples of what can be done with TWiki. I saw MichaelDaum's NAT skin and nagged him to release it. I've seen many other skins that were impressive but don't appear in the Plugins web. Its one thing to take, but one should give back as well. We may not all be able to contribut on the scale that Arthur and Crawford are doing to improve TWiki, but even small things like the enhancements to the top/left/bottom bars can be the 'magic button' that makes Twiki appeal to a specific audience.

-- AntonAylward - 17 Apr 2005

Along the lines of Anton, it would be great if we had many example applications shown and documents, similar to the examples of TWikiApplications in Sandbox web: MeetingMinutes, SearchBookTitles, SearchBookAmazon, ChangeRequest, DashboardWithDynamicInclude, SimpleFAQ, DiscussionForum, HeyHoPress, IFrameExample, XslWiki

-- ThomasWeigert - 17 Apr 2005

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Topic revision: r12 - 2005-04-17 - ThomasWeigert
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