HierMenus CENTRAL: HierMenus In Progress. Status Report: HM6 Preview (1/4) | WebReference

HierMenus CENTRAL: HierMenus In Progress. Status Report: HM6 Preview (1/4)

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Status Report: HierMenus Version 6 Sneak Preview

D.M Ragle, March 3, 2004

Our HierMenus script continues to improve, thanks in no small part to suggestions made by you, our customers (both current and future). Version 6 of HierMenus, which we're in the process of wrapping up as I type this, is chock full of improvements as a direct result of requests you've made of us over the years. We're pleased to offer a sneak preview of what you can expect in the next version of our popular menu navigation script.

As a reminder, though our articles can be appreciated by all HierMenus fans, the HierMenus script itself is a licensed product and its use on your site(s) requires a paid license agreement. Contact John Maher at hiermenus1@jupitermedia.com or call him at (203) 662-2889 for further information (be sure to let him know how you plan to use HierMenus and tell him a bit about your organization, as well).

Menu and Item Specific Parameter Settings

In past versions of HierMenus, configuration parameters were limited to global, page-specific, or menu tree-specific settings. (In a few specific instances, parameters could also be differentiated between top level menus in a menu tree and all of the tree's children.) Menu tree-specific settings mean that you could style an individual menu tree differently from another menu tree, but you could not style the child menus of a particular menu tree differently from their parent menus. All child menus, with few exceptions, inherited the look and feel of their parent menus. Additionally, certain configuration parameters such as border and separator widths were not available on the menu tree level; meaning that, at best, they could only be set once to apply to all menus displayed on a particular page.

HierMenus version 6 offers a wealth of new menu design possibilities, by supporting nearly all configuration parameters on a menu-specific level. No longer is a designer limited to child menus which all look exactly like their parents, as each individual menu contains a full set of configuration parameters that are applied specifically to that menu; including colors, fonts, and widths (menu, border, and separator widths). Of course, global parameter settings are still supported for ease in assigning settings that the designer requires to be established "across the board."

HierMenus version 6 also implements item-specific parameter settings, which override the menu-specific settings for any particular item within a menu. Practically all the parameters that can be set on a menu level can be overridden for a specific item; including background and rollover colors, padding width settings, and font sizes and styles; meaning that the individual items of a menu need no longer be identical to one another in appearance.

Finally, in HM5 and previous versions, certain parameters could only be set on specific types of menus; for example, scrolling was never applied to PositionUnder menus, and the KeepInWindow behavior was never applied to permanent menus. Both of these restrictions are removed in HM6, meaning that you can create PositionUnder menus which properly display scroll bars if they exceed the height of the view screen; and the initial display of permanently visible menus can be automatically adjusted to be within the viewable area of the browser. And because each of these parameters can now be applied specifically to individual menus, you can always specifically set them so as to emulate the HM5 behavior, if you so choose (by setting the ScrollEnabled and KeepInWindow override variables specifically on the menu in question).

New Menu Styling Options

In addition to the expanded capabilities of existing configuration parameters as described above, HM6 will offer many new menu styling options for the first time. Among the newer offerings:

But what about all those "not supported in NS4" disclaimers? Let's continue our preview with a look at HM6's support for older browsers.

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Created: March 3, 2004
Revised: March 3, 2004

URL: http://www.webreference.com/dhtml/hiermenus/inprogress/13/

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