Overall Structure of Text Collections ("Site Structure")

1. Overall Structure of Text Collections ("Site Structure")

1.1. (Multiple) Text Collections

The graphein tools manage a single logically coherent set of texts (for some definition of "logically coherent"). Multiple separate text collections may of course be managed by the graphein tools, but when this is done they are entirely independent. For example, I maintain my Circuitous Root™ writing as a single collection of texts (based in a single Subversion/SVN repository) using graphein. Independently, I also maintain the graphein-managed subset of the lemur.com™/Singing Lemur™® website as a separate collection of texts (based in a different Subversion/SVN repository), also using (a separate copy of) graphein.

At present, graphein has no provisions for coordinating multiple separate uses of itself (other than explicitly encoding references from one text collection to another in the content of a text).

1.2. The Hierarchical Structure of a Text Collection

1.2.1. Hierarchy and Fit

In graphein, I make assumptions about the overall structure of a collection of texts. If the collection of texts fits well with this structure, then graphein may work well with it; if it does not fit, then graphein isn't the right tool.

1.2.2. Home

I assume that a text collection is a "tree-structured" hierarchy with a single root directory occupied by (at least) a (required) "Home" text. Since I think that it is always useful to be able to get Home at a single click, graphein maintains a link (with an icond) on each document "back" or "up" (or whatever you want to call it) to the "Home" document.

Getting ahead of myself here a bit, most of the pages other than the "Home" page will have a set of standard navigational links (some with icons) at their bottoms. These will be structured in terms of "Categories," "Topics," and "Up" (up a level of the hierarchy). Since the Home page itself isn't a part of any of these Categories or Topics, and since there is no place "Up" from it, it has none of these links.

The Home page may, however, have the "Forward" and "Backward" navigational links (see below), as other pages may exist at the same directory level in the hierarchy (even though they are not distinguished as the "Home" page). The Home page will also probably have the "About the images" link (see below), unless it contains no images.

1.2.3. Categories

I futher assume that the collection will have a first-level division into a set of relatively broad "Categories." For example, my "Circuitous Root" text collection is divided at this level into "Artifice" (where I put my workshop-related material), "Language," "Essays," "graphein" (where the graphein system itself is documented), and perhaps other categories.

As noted earlier, the "Home" page/text will not (cannot, logically) have any "Category" link. From that point down, however, each page/text will have such a "Category" link. This raises an interesting question: what should that link point to?

For texts within a particular category, the answer is simple: it points to the main or "index.tei" page for that category.

For the main or "index.tei" page which organizes a particular category, however, the question is not so simple. Here, the "Category" link could point either to itself (which is a bit redundant), or it could point up the hierarchy to the next-level-up of which the current Category is a category. For example, the "Artifice" Category of "Circuitous Root" could have a Category link which points up to the Home page, since it is a first-level category under the Home page.

When I first started the current version of graphein, I chose this option: point up. I found after a while though that I kept forgetting what the "Category" link was supposed to do. The fact that in this approach all three icons for the navigational links in, say, the Artifice index.tei page were the same ("Home," "Category," and "Up" all had links to, and icons for, the Home page) made it more confusion still.

So later (2007-08-08) I decided to change the semantics and implementation of the "Category" navigational link so that it pointed instead to the main ("index.*", or "index.tei" in the source) text for the Category.

1.2.4. Topics


1.2.5. "Up" Link


1.2.6. Multiple Texts in a Single Directory Level (Forward/Backward Links)


1.2.7. Topics within Topics


1.2.8. Categories within Topics within ...


About the images

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