Next parent slug

I haven’t (yet) used Notenik to create a book / knowledge base however a piece of functionality i would like to see would be the possibility of using a ‘Next Parent’ slug on parent pages. This would allow the user to easily skip sections (or sub-sections) that are of no interest.

Using the excellent Notenik Knowledge Base as an example…

If I am on section 11’s starting page (Field labels and types), then along with the option of ‘Next’ (to go to the next page 11.1) I would like a ‘Next section’ option too which would take me to section 12.

Similarly, if I am on page 11.9 (web-making fields), along with the option of ‘Next’ (to go to the next page 11.9.1 ) i would like a ‘Next topic’ option too which would take me to section 11.10.

This is an interesting idea. I can see the utility, but am wondering whether it is worth the additional complexity of giving the user two options at the bottom of many pages, instead of only one? Also, I wouldn’t be quite sure how to label it: ‘Next Parent’ would not be quite right, because the next child at this level could in fact be a parent at a deeper level; so it might have to be something like ‘next peer’. But would most people understand this?

Might need to give this some more thought… Interested in opinions from others, as well.

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It just occurred to me as i was browsing through the knowledge base on my phone and ended up having to go through a load of sub-pages when i would rather have just skipped to the next main bit.

True. Next peer makes sense. And i suppose it wouldn’t need to be that term that is displayed to the end user/reader. Something like 'Jump to <NextPeerTitle>' would probably make more sense.

Texinfo refers to (non-root) top-level sections as “chapters”. In line with Notenik’s concept of Web books, I’m quite fond of this term myself. In our case, this is useful to solve the complexity of how to refer to the siblings of a child note’s parent[1].

A merge variable like =$next-chapter$= could suffice. It may be advantageous to round out the suite of navigation variables and compliment =$next-slug$= by adding =$prev-chapter$= and =$prev-slug$= as well.

  1. Alternatively, we can take the Opal approach and refer to them as “aunts” (I’m half joking). ↩︎

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I’m still struggling with this a bit. Providing a simple ‘next page’ option at the bottom of each page just seems to make sequential reading easier. But what if you don’t want to read every page sequentially? What if you want to move forward but jump up a level? What if you want to advance to the next peer, skipping lower-level pages? And how would we make all these options available and clickable without causing confusion?

And then, in all of these cases, if you don’t just want to go straight through, why wouldn’t you just consult the List tab, which shows you where you are and all of the places you might want to go next, and allows you to select any of them?

So, giving this some more thought, but can’t quite see yet how it would be a good thing overall.

Not a problem. Is absolutely fine if it doesn’t fit your vision for the app.

If I am reading in the Notenik app then absolutely. In fact there I don’t even need the ‘Next’ page link as there are native navigation options.

It is when I am (or another reader is) accessing a published web book online that I am meaning. Again the Notenik Knowledge base is a good example. If I am skimming through that sequentially on my phone and i get to a section such as 14. Merge Templates then when i get to e.g. 14.3 Variable modifiers I might be comfortable knowing that they exist and what they do but not want to have to navigate through 40 sub-pages detailing each option. There I would like an option to Jump to: 14.4 Merge Commands.

My vision would be for any page that has sub-pages to have this ‘Jump to next peer’ option. Where there is no next peer i would ideally like that to change to ‘Next parent/aunt’.

On any page without a sub-page you would only be presented with the standard Next page option. On a page with sub-pages you would have that same option but also this single additional option.

That’s very helpful. Thanks. Let me think about this some more.

Take a look at the latest published version of the Notenik Knowledge Base, and let me know what you think.

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I think that is fantastic and works exactly like I had envisioned. This kind of approach affords the reader a much more flexible route through the text.

Are you any more convinced of its merits?

Yes, @oddballs, thanks for being patient with me! I do see this as a definite improvement!