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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorahri
    • CommentTimeJan 6th 2018

    e.g. Monoidal Category - hover over “Monoidal categories” on right-hand sidebar to bring up the whole sidebar, bring your mouse down to “monoidal dagger-category”: the sidebar disappears!

    On a more general note I find the on-over nature of the sidebar quite distracting and glitchy as a whole: perhaps it can be always-on instead?

    Thanks for all the hard work on the website, as a Category Theory newbie I’m finding it really helpful!

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeJan 6th 2018
    • (edited Jan 6th 2018)

    To fix the sidebar, click on it! (On any point inside it which is not on a hyperlink.)

  1. Coming back to the suggestion of ahri that the sidebar should be always on, I would like to hear what others think about this.

    I am currently working on a re-write of the nLab backend which will move as much as possible server-side. In particular, the markdown rendering will take place server-side, and hopefully MathJax-rendering as well, so that things will be much faster. The sidebar would then be the only significant thing which would need to be client side, because it is interactive (expands when clicked on). I would be very happy to move it server side as well: making the sidebar always on would enable this. It would incidentally mean that the nLab would then work fine if one has Javascript switched off, which is not something that will bother many, but would be nice.

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorDmitri Pavlov
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2018

    Re #3: I find this expanding/contracting sidebar extremely annoying. It tends to activate at most inappropriate moments.

    Meanwhile, there are giant white margins on both sides. Why not decrease their size and make the sidebar permanent without changing the width of main text?

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2018

    If the sidebar were to be always on, I would not want it to take up any of the horizontal space alloted to the main text of the page. I don’t have a problem with the sidebar; I just ignore it and it hardly ever pops up, and in the rare cases when it does I just move my mouse a little and it disappears.

  2. Thanks for the thoughts! Regarding #4: regarding the margins, I am open to the suggestion, but on a mobile for instance things are much more cramped, probably too cramped to have the sidebar be outside of the main text.

    I suppose that there are the following alternatives.

    1) Sidebar always on, in the same place as it currently is.

    2) Sidebar removed completely.

    3) Sidebar always on, but in some different place, perhaps outside of the main text, as in Dmitri’s suggestion in #3.

    4) Sidebar expands when hovered over, as currently.

    5) Sidebar expands when clicked on.

    6) Sidebar expands either when hovered over or clicked on, but is in some different place.

    7) Sidebar is changed to a link to some kind of ’Context’ page.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to all, I think. I’d appreciate some kind of votes/order of preference for these!

    Personally I think I would favour 2), as I don’t think I really use the sidebar much. If not 2), then I’m not sure, but I think perhaps 5), and if not that, then 1) or 7). One could do 5) server side, serving a new page when the sidebar is clicked on, but this might be a bit too clunky.

    • CommentRowNumber7.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2018

    I would prefer 5) if a change needed to be made, and not as a new page.

    In my idealistic dream world, this would be responsive to screen size, so that on mobile clicking on the sidebar gives a full screen list much like the so-called hamburger menus one sees. On larger screens it could be in the margin space, rather than forcing a reflow of the text.

    • CommentRowNumber8.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2018

    I don’t think we should remove the sidebar completely, as there are people who think it is important; that rules out 2. But we should minimize the distraction it poses for those of us who don’t use it; that rules out 1. It sounds like some people find 4 distracting too. I’d be okay with 3, 5, 6, or 7.

    • CommentRowNumber9.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2018
    • (edited Feb 27th 2018)

    I also like 5.

    By the way, just for comparison, on Wikipedia the same kind of functionality exists.

    Such as at the very bottom here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_electrodynamics

    There the boxes open when clicked on, and they stretch horizontally over the whole page.

    • CommentRowNumber10.
    • CommentAuthorDmitri Pavlov
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2018

    CSS allows to use separate styles for mobile and desktop devices.

    CSS also allows to use a different style when the page is wider than, say, 60em. So one can detect wide screens and expand the sidebar automatically without narrowing the main text.

  3. Re #7: yes, as Dmitri suggests, different settings for a mobile and desktop are normal nowadays. For now, though, I plan not to get into this: I plan just to use the current CSS, and re-write the backend (basically replace ’Instiki’ apart from continuing to use its style sheets). Then people should not notice any significant difference except for a speed up. If anybody else is into frontend design, though, they are very welcome to join in; just contact Urs, Adeel, or myself.

    It sounds like #5 is popular, so let’s go for that. I’ll keep it client side. For those who prefer to switch off Javascript, their user experience will not really be much affected, they will just not be able to use the sidebar.

    • CommentRowNumber12.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeApr 14th 2018

    It looks to me as if no changes have been made yet. The sidebar works exactly as described in ahri's and Urs's initial comments, regardless of whether Javascript is on or not. (So it seems to be done entirely with CSS, which I appreciate.)

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