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IP.Content 2.3 Dev Update: Navigation Bar

Posted by bfarber , in IP.Content 29 December 2011 · 12,137 views

We hope that everyone is enjoying reading about the upcoming changes you will see in IP.Content 2.3. As we outlined originally, our focus is on four primary goals: usability, consistency, SEO and strengthening our existing feature set. One common usability issue our clients have pointed out is that after they create a page, there is not an easy way to link to the page in the primary navigation bar. While you can certainly edit the skin to accomplish this (and indeed, this is what most clients ultimately do), we have decided to build into IP.Content 2.3 a more robust and easier to use solution.


Our new primary navigation menu manager

Beginning with IP.Content 2.3, there will be a new link under the IP.Content 'Settings' module labeled "Navigation Menu". In order to use this new feature, a hook (provided in the IP.Content download and installed automatically for you) must be enabled - if it is not, the page will show you an error message indicating that the hook must first be enabled before you can utilize the navigation menu manager. Otherwise, you will be presented with a list of the applications installed in their current positioned order (which determines the tab order on the front end).

You can edit these applications from here to perform the following functions:
  • Change the tab 'title' (the text that shows when you mouse over the tab)
  • Change the application's public title (be aware that third party language packs can override this)
  • Toggle whether the tab is hidden or not
  • Change the tab permissions (who has access to see the tab)
  • Add custom attributes to the anchor tag that is drawn. This is a feature unique to IP.Content, allowing you to add custom onclick handlers, rel attributes, and other similar attributes to your tabs if you have a need.
In addition to being able to manage your existing applications, you can add custom tabs to your navigation bar from this page. Your custom tabs can be normal tabs that link to a page, or a dropdown menu (and you can choose whether to activate the dropdown menu when clicked, or when moused over). If you choose to make the tab a dropdown menu, you will be presented with an area to provide the links to display in this dropdown menu. As with applications, you can define the text to display on the tab, the 'title' or mouseover text, which groups can see the tab, and custom attributes to append to the HTML anchor tag. Additionally, you will need to supply the URL as well.

You can reorder your tabs in any order you like, putting them before, after, or intermingled with your regular application tabs. A handy preview window at the top of the screen allows you to quickly and easily see what the end result will look like, without having to visit the community front end and refresh the page. This preview is shown inside an iframe and is updated automatically whenever you reorder your tabs.

Tabs will automatically highlight when you are viewing that page, and disable associated application tabs from highlighting, if appropriate. For instance, if you link to an IP.Content page, the 'Pages' tab will no longer highlight, since a more appropriate tab has been lit up. Database strings are ignored, so any category or record you view on that page will still cause the tab to light up. Additionally, if you view a page that is linked to within a submenu, the submenu tab will light up.

Here are a few screenshots to give you an idea of the interface

Here is the overview screen, showing the tab bar preview, list of applications, and list of custom tabs you may have added.

Posted Image

Editing an application allows you to manage tab and link related details

Posted Image

Adding a custom tab allows you to create a submenu if you wish to, with an unlimited number of links in it

Posted Image

New tab bar on the front end, complete with custom tabs and a dropdown menu

Posted Image


Wrapping up

And no, that's not a pun based on the fact that Christmas just passed. :wink: It's a natural action for a new client to add a page and proceed to want to place a tab link to that new page on the front end, only to find that this requires navigating to the template manager and jumping into the HTML code to accomplish. This new module in IP.Content should make it much easier for new users and advanced users alike to quickly add navigational tabs to their custom pages (or any link they want!) in IP.Content. We will be monitoring feedback on this new module to look for ways to improve it in future releases, so please share your thoughts in the IP.Content feedback forum. And we look forward to your comments on this new feature below!

  • tenaki, The Old Man, Nick▓ and 23 others like this



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markopolo2002
Dec 29 2011 10:02 AM
Really like the direction IPContent, and IPBoard in general is going :)
    • media, Eduardo Bautista, Sokii and 1 other like this

Really like the direction IPContent, and IPBoard in general is going :)


Could not agree more, IP.Board 3.3 plus IP.Content 2.3 will be awesome!
Fantastic!! Figuring out how to create a custom menu was the most frustrating part of setting up my forum. This is by far the most useful improvement to IP.Content that could have been made!
    • Birdsofprey likes this
I really like this. As my community grows and we blend in different forms of intermingling, it becomes less of a forum and more of a portal and functionality like this will allow us to make that transition smooth and painless.
    • Sokii and Marcher Technologies like this

Really like the direction IPContent, and IPBoard in general is going :)

+++
See a BIG problem: multilingual boards... not possible to add the tab name to language pack?
    • Sonya* likes this
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markopolo2002
Dec 29 2011 11:29 AM

See a BIG problem: multilingual boards... not possible to add the tab name to language pack?

That's obviously a problem specific for multilingual boards, not a BIG problem for most Invision users though. Even at that, there is always Google translate which is what I'm using for our board.
Finally!
Will it be possible to have more then one Tab and allow the user to make more then one drop area?
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IPBSupport.de
Dec 29 2011 11:50 AM
The submeu looks bad and does not match the rest of the menu...
    • Derzhis and Marcher Technologies like this
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Edward Shephard
Dec 29 2011 12:01 PM
Excellent. Any chance of being able to add icons to menu items please.
    • mynsc likes this
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Miss Moiraine
Dec 29 2011 01:37 PM
I'm interested in how the mobile version of it will work.

The submeu looks bad and does not match the rest of the menu...

I'm sure that the skinning is yet to be completed. ;)
This is awesome but I do want to push the pointy end of the surfboard at your neck to say you do this too Invision Power, and it's a blessing, a curse, a choice ..., to run the rest of the your website external to the ipboard forums. Some of us like to do that too. It sounds like the navigation feature you mention won't accommodate that. Sure, an external ipcontent driven website may have a custom template that wouldn't work with a default navigation feature like this but ... wouldn't it be cool if:

1. you offered a stand alone option for ipcontent and its navigation and submenus while still hooking (right term?) into the look or skin of the board (basically ipwrapper w/o board menu)

2. you offered the ipcontent as part of the ipwrapper and its navigation and submenus

I may have missed something in your post or other blog entries but will this new navigation feature also work with all the options for the ipboard, especially to accommodate some of the third party apps (where we want them to have a tab and a submenu)? Think of the wonderful flexibility if this navigation system could work on ipboard for say Andy's Classified app (Classifieds + submenu for UK listings, FR listings, US listings ...) or Brandon's Links app (Links + submenu for X links, Y links, ZZ links), and for say the Gallery with submenu for different categories)
Finally!!

Next up should be what happens with search on an IP Content created page e.g. a Portal page should default to searching forums rather than searching pages.
well sorry Mat, seems your navigation bar is being outdated.

Though, thats what happens when you create something good :P
Wow, lots of comments to catch up on.

See a BIG problem: multilingual boards... not possible to add the tab name to language pack?


Custom tabs - not at this time (although editing the skin in a creative fashion could accomplish this).
Default application tabs - the language pack title is still supported (and a note on the application edit form is shown so users are aware of this).

Will it be possible to have more then one Tab and allow the user to make more then one drop area?


Yes, you can create unlimited tabs/submenus.

The submeu looks bad and does not match the rest of the menu...


It is identical styling to the user submenu at the top of the page...

Posted Image

Excellent. Any chance of being able to add icons to menu items please.


Icons will not be supported in this release. We will gauge the feedback to determine ways to improve it moving forward in future releases.

This is awesome but I do want to push the pointy end of the surfboard at your neck to say you do this too Invision Power, and it's a blessing, a curse, a choice ..., to run the rest of the your website external to the ipboard forums. Some of us like to do that too. It sounds like the navigation feature you mention won't accommodate that. Sure, an external ipcontent driven website may have a custom template that wouldn't work with a default navigation feature like this but ... wouldn't it be cool if:

1. you offered a stand alone option for ipcontent and its navigation and submenus while still hooking (right term?) into the look or skin of the board (basically ipwrapper w/o board menu)

2. you offered the ipcontent as part of the ipwrapper and its navigation and submenus

I may have missed something in your post or other blog entries but will this new navigation feature also work with all the options for the ipboard, especially to accommodate some of the third party apps (where we want them to have a tab and a submenu)? Think of the wonderful flexibility if this navigation system could work on ipboard for say Andy's Classified app (Classifieds + submenu for UK listings, FR listings, US listings ...) or Brandon's Links app (Links + submenu for X links, Y links, ZZ links), and for say the Gallery with submenu for different categories)


I'm afraid I'm really not clear on what you are asking. Hopefully the following clarifications answer your questions.
  • This is not a general use menu module. It is purposed SOLEY to manage the primary navigation bar as generated by your IP.Board skin_global -> globalTemplate wrapper
  • If you use the IP.Board wrapper for IP.Content, it will work on your external site as well.
  • Every application installed will be drawn, first party or third party (I do not have third party applications installed locally, so of course none are shown).
  • You could hide the 'Gallery' application tab, and add a custom Gallery tab with a submenu. This is entirely possible of course.

If I didn't answer your question, I apologize (I'm not sure what you were getting at exactly).
    • The Old Man likes this
Awesome! Can't wait for this release :D
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Marcher Technologies
Dec 29 2011 06:22 PM

It is identical styling to the user submenu at the top of the page...Posted Image


but does not match the more menu at all, nor does it "look" like a proper navigation submenu...
Wrapper-less is still a no-go?
    • Robert Simons likes this

It is identical styling to the user submenu at the top of the page...Posted Image


I'd have thought the styling would have been matched with the "More.." drop down on the navigation bar currently... Oh well, can always be skinned.
    • Marcher Technologies likes this

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