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Related Topics: FormattedSearch, InternetExplorer, PopupPageIndexForEditing, SherlockAndMozillaSearching, WebChanges, WebSidebar, WebSidebarIE, Main.WebSidebarIEAll

Internet Explorer Sidebar for MacOS

I had been following the discussion regarding an Internet Explorer sidebar for TWiki with great interest because of the potential usability boost of providing quick access to topics. However, all of the the installation instructions applied to Windows systems and since it looked pretty involved (e.g. modifying the registry) I had assumed that it was technically over my head to translate it over to a Mac system. Well today, I decided to fool around with it and, to my surprise and delight, found it was incrediby easy to implement the sidebar on the Mac system. Dare I say that this reflects the generally superior usability of Mac systems? big grin

Installation IE Sidebar for TWiki site

Let me just say first that these instructions relate to installation on a Mac G4 running system 10.1.2 with Internet Explorer 5.1.2. My guess is that this would also work fine on OS 9.x as long as your using a version of IE above 5.0.

What makes this installation so easy is the "Page Holder" feature in IE for Mac. Basically, we will simply be installing WebSidebarIEAll as a "Page Holder Favorite."

Here we go:

  1. Open up WebSidebarIEAll in a separate window.
  2. In that window, open the Page Holder tab on the left side of the window.
  3. Click "Add." If you want to keep it for future use, click on "Favorites" and select "Add to Page Holder Favorites."

Done. Not too shabby, eh?

Implementing IE Sidebar for your own TWiki site

Embodened by having completed the above feat ( in about 3 minutes), I decided to see what it would take to install this capability on my own TWiki site. It took a few more steps but was still very easy.

  1. "Edit" the WebSidebarIEAll . Copy the entire page and hit "Cancel".
  2. Go to the "Main" (or comparable) web on your site and create a new topic WebSideBarIEAll. Paste the text you copied from WebSidebarIEAll .
  3. Modify the WEBLIST variable to reflect the webs on your site. It's down around line 14 and you edit the list that follows "web=".
  4. Modify the reference for the "About" link (top left). I decided to have this link go back to the InternetExplorerSidebar topic on the TWiki.org site so I inserted the full url at the appropriate place in the form. This is a little tricky to find. It's about 3/4 of the way through the page code. Right before the string that says "title="About this sidebar"", there's the link reference that begins with "a href=". Replace what's between the quotations with http://TWiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Codev/InternetExplorerSidebar.
  5. Preview, and save.
  6. Go back to WebSidebarIEAll and download the two attached graphics "twikilogotiny.jpg" and "dosearch.gif ." Now attach these to the new WebSideBarIEAll on your site. (I have to admit I had some trouble at first having these graphics show up on my site but then that mysteriously cleared up.)
  7. The last detail is that in order to use the very useful "Topics" link (see PopupPageIndexForEditing), you need to add a WebFastList topic to each of your webs. As we did in step 1 above, Edit WebFastList, copy all the text, and hit cancel. Now in your new WebSideBarIEAll topic, click on the "Topics" link near the top. You'll get the "Topic does not exist" page and go ahead and create it. Paste, preview and save. Now, in the WebSideBar, click on the drop down menu and jump to another one of your webs. Repeat this step until you've added WebFastList to all of your webs.
  8. Add your new WebSideBarIEAll to your "Page Holder Favorites" for quick future access.

That's it!

Now that I've completed this, I realize the only down side is that if I demonstrate this to my users that have Windows machines, I have to figure out how to install InternetExplorerSidebar in that system. As a predominately Mac user, I just hate anything that involves editing the windows registry. wink

-- LynnwoodBrown - 23 May 2002

Comments, Suggestions, Questions

Thanks for documenting this. In fact, there is a simple way to install the IE sidebar on Windows without editing the registry, which also lets you call up the sidebar from an IE Links bar button. See InternetExplorerSidebar comments near the end, there are a couple of JavaScript links that will add the sidebar.

-- RichardDonkin - 29 May 2002

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Topic revision: r2 - 2002-05-29 - RichardDonkin
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