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MySQL Cookbook by Paul DuBois

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Creating a Navigation Index from Database Content

Problem

A list of items in a web page is long. You want to make it easier to move around in the page.

Solution

Create a navigational index containing links to different sections of the list.

Discussion

It’s easy to display lists in web pages (Recipe 17.3). But if a list contains a lot of items, the page containing it may become quite long. In such cases, it’s often useful to break up the list into sections and provide a navigation index, in the form of hyperlinks that allow users to reach sections of the list quickly without scrolling the page manually. For example, if you retrieve records from a table and display them grouped into sections, you can include an index that lets the user jump directly to any section. The same idea can be applied to multiple-page displays as well, by providing a navigation index in each page so that users can reach any other page easily.

This section provides two examples to illustrate these techniques, both of which are based on the kjv table that was introduced in Recipe 4.12. The examples implement two kinds of display, using the verses from the book of Esther stored in the kjv table:

  • A single-page display that lists all verses in all chapters of Esther. The list is broken into 10 sections (one per chapter), with a navigation index that has links pointing to the beginning of each section.

  • A multiple-page display consisting of pages that each show the verses from a single chapter of Esther, and a main ...

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