[thelist] a good DOM menu javascript?

Dave Merrill dmerrill at usa.net
Sun Dec 4 06:49:49 CST 2005

Zhang Weiwu wrote:
> I think amone my requirements, one of them is particularly difficult.
> That is this point I mensioned in my original message:
> >* allows a lot of menu items (e.g. when there are 60 menu items, the user
> >don't need to buy a 30'inch tall display to be able to select 
> the last one.
> >Again, simply <select> fits in this case for it's scrolling ability)
> >  
> >
> I think most of the js menus I tested failed to deal, e.g. 50 menu
> items. examples are udm and yadm. Check the screenshot:
> gopher://sdf.lonestar.org/g/users/weiwu/udm.gif
> gopher://sdf.lonestar.org/g/users/weiwu/yadm.gif
> I am going to go on searching for proper menu for my case, or perhaps I
> myself already had a bad design to allow such thing happen (50 menu
> items). If you already know any menu system that fits, please let me
> know. Otherwise I start from the easiest-to-modify one and patch it.
> To make the context clear: I am looking for a way to let the user easily
> select one from 300 employees to see his or her records. Some
> departments do have more then 50 employees. Perhaps I should stop
> thinking about any menu, I should use a pop-up search form.

Usability of a design comes first, then the technology to achieve it. IMO, that's too many items for a menu, period. A menu also lists employees in one fixed order, so if the user doesn't know the employee's department, they're lost. A simple search form and result list would be much better. I agree that a separate popup make the user go through an unnecessary extra step; just show the search form above the result list.

If you're really set on a menu solution, I'd suggest breaking the employees within each department down further, maybe by first letter of last name, maybe grouped A-E, F-J etc. That doesn't guarantee some grouping won't have a lot of names in it, but it's closer.

I'd also suggest that in the event of overflow, a multi-column menu would be easier to use than a scrolling one. I've never looked for a DHTML menu that did that.

Dave Merrill

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