I don't find the fading technique the most important aspect. But I do see the added value of a dynamic page top that notifies the user of changes or messages.
What I would like to keep: a block at the top of the topic that is visible when we want to show the user a notification or error message. The message that is normally shown in a separate (oops) page would now be prepended to the topic text. Of course skin authors would be free in the design of that info block. Personally I would be reluctant to fancyfy this.
Sometimes you get an alert page, like this one:
File has been uploaded with different name
The file has been uploaded and attached properly to the CompPackages topic.
However, the filename has been changed from Comp 20060724.png to Comp_20060724.png. Please make a note of it.
In some cases, TWiki changes the name of the uploaded file to make it safe and accessible across all platforms:
Spaces are replaced by underscores
A .txt extension is appended to some filenames for security reasons
Some characters such as ~, $, @, % are removed
You may be able to get your TWiki administrator to change the settings if they are inappropriate for your environment.
This is a long text with details
This breaks the flow
I need to make the decision to continue
I need to find the link to continue
Ruby on Rails has solved this differently. Any note can be put as a temporary notice at the top of the page - this is called a Flash. A Flash is commonly a yellow block that fades to transparency in a few seconds, giving attention to this item.
The fading technique is called the Yellow Fade Technique.
Info by the 'inventors' - The YFT makes it super easy to spot edits/changes yet its unobtrusive nature lets people quickly get back to work once a modification is confirmed.
In all skins a container needs to be created to hold an action message (different from a more permanent system message like BROADCASTMESSAGE)
In PatternSkin the template directive flashnote looks like:
That is: if variable FLASHNOTE is set, its contents is displayed inside a html div with class twikiNotification (if empty, no div is created). The directive should be rendered just above the topic text.
How permanent is the message? Should a common closing button be used? Not that common, but iGoogle has it.
What happens if you reload the page? Should the message still be visible?
What happens if multiple notes are set, for instance by core and by a plugin? Should this result in a list of notifications?
TWiki does not have a way to deal with lists in templates.
Should we strive for a generic visual style of the box, regardless of the skin?
What notifications can we implemented using this mechanism?
Create a list of messages, for instance from messages.tmpl
I guess they can easily be enhanced to change style on notification type (notice, error, warning, ...) like these:
Note that this approach won't need a skin change. They do have the advantage that multiple async events
may produce a flashnote without kicking out the previous one.
-- MichaelDaum - 16 Jun 2009
Here's an interesting demo of unobstructive user feedback using transparent messages:
And here's the jquery.message plugin to make it happen. Released just today.
-- MichaelDaum - 19 Jun 2009
I would love to have this. But it raises a number of questions:
I am committed to jquery ... the project as a whole should do that step as well ... see MoveToJQuery
Let's move on.
-- MichaelDaum - 20 Jun 2009
If we choose a jquery solution, FW core and plugins must rely on its existence. So that needs an API.
-- ArthurClemens - 05 Jan 2010
jquery is now part of the package.
-- ArthurClemens - 24 Feb 2012