Re: [WSG] directory structures

2003-12-12 Thread Gary Menzel

 I think logical to the user not the owner is spot in for the website

Definitely agree with that.

 But the actual directory structure, where you put your content, you need
 own that. And the #1 rule I aim for is that you don't want to change
 directory structure (whereas you quite likely will want to adapt your
 website navigation).


Agree that you need to own the directory structure.  The directory
structure for a site should make sense to the owner of the information. It
may make no sense at all to a user of the information.

Disagree that you dont want to change the directory structure.  If you own
it you should be able to change it.  More importantly, you should be able
to change it without it impacting on how the user of your information
finds said information.  IE. your directory structure is only a convenient
mechanism to represent an information architecture because web servers
work that way.

 Because the directories will be reflected in the URL

Part of the problem with the way URL's worked in web servers initially
(and in many cases still do) is that the web server was lazy and simply
mapped everything after the domain to some point in the file system.  This
is an implementation thing that does not need to be so.

That is becoming less and less the rule these days as organisations
realise that what a user sees via a URL does not have to match up with
where the resource is in their system.

Even a URL that LOOKS as though it is a directory struct may not even map
to the file system at all and may map to a database.

That was another point I was trying to make earlier when I was talking
about URN's.

Just because a URL looks like it maps to directories doesn't mean it does.

Gary Menzel
Web Development Manager
IT Operations Brisbane -+- ABN AMRO Morgans Limited
Level 29, 123 Eagle Street BRISBANE QLD 4000
PH: 07 333 44 828  FX:  07 3834 0828

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Re: [WSG] directory structures

2003-12-12 Thread Jonathan Baldwin
This is quite an interesting off-topic thread!

On 12 Dec 2003, at 07:17, Gary Menzel wrote:

Agree that you need to own the directory structure.  The directory
structure for a site should make sense to the owner of the 
information. It
may make no sense at all to a user of the information.

Mmm... You see, I agree that in terms of ownership the site owner 
rules the coop. But I think, if we were to get into a situation where, 
as others were saying, users try to navigate a site by guessing the 
directory structure, but were thwarted by our esoteric organisation, 
then fundamental questions need to be asked. I can't see many cases 
where the two issues of ownership are in conflict, and if organising a 
site in a way that makes sense to users doesn't cause too many 
problems, then why not do it?

But a well structured site, with good navigation, shouldn't matter. 
Remember when we all used frames (admit it - we did) so a user would 
only ever see the base URL in the browser bar?

I think the point I was trying to answer was that a lot of users (and I 
would say they are a minority in fact) use URLs to navigate a site and, 
as such, a logical directory structure is essential. But also, if you 
have a lot of contributors (even if they only contribute by saying 
ok) it helps to be logical. I recently sat through a painful hour of 
getting a site map approved in which a key player had a fundamental 
problem understanding that a page on the second level of the site was 
actually visible at all times from the front page. I'm also currently 
tearing my hair out with a site manager who just doesn't get the 
blindingly obvious site structure I set up - he would if he'd come up 
with it himself and I wish I'd let him, or at least (ahem) guided 
I don't think we do ourselves any favours by making things needlessly 


(just got back from Christmas lunch so apologies if this post makes no 
sense whatsover!)

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