User defined menus

Last edited by GiorgosKontopoulos:
Replaces old-style internal links with new pipe-split links.
Fri, 20 May 2016 07:38 UTC [diff]

There is already a solution to create, manage and use menus from WikkaMenus. I was troubled because it allows any WikiUser to change any menu, possibly changing so the interface used by the other users. Also I wanted something closer from the users, allowing them to design icon-menus if they want.

An alternate solution

So I came with a simple idea that any user could simply define a WikiPage named UserLogonMenu where he would simply type in the menu he wants using the standard wikka formatting. He may define the ACLs of this menu page as he wish. This solution is perfectly compliant with the WikkaMenulets too.

The header.php and the stylesheet needs to be slightly changed so that when the system finds a page named UserLogonMenu it simply use it as the user menu. It also allows the admin to design an alternate GuestMenu for unidentified users.
I decided to have a class different from the "header" one but this is not mandatory.

The code

This code relies on the ExistsPage()function available from
It also include the LoggedUsersHomepage proposal.

New header.php - the lines commented by only if you wish a different presentation are not mandatory
    $message = $this->GetMessage();
    $user = $this->GetUser();
      $site_base = $this->GetConfigValue("base_url");
      if ( substr_count($site_base, 'wikka.php?wakka=') > 0 ) $site_base = substr($site_base,0,-16);
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">

    <title><?php echo $this->GetWakkaName().": ".$this->PageTitle(); ?></title>
    <base href="<?php echo $site_base ?>" />
    <?php if ($this->GetMethod() != 'show') echo "<meta name=\"robots\" content=\"noindex, nofollow\"/>\n";?>
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
    <meta name="keywords" content="<?php echo $this->GetConfigValue("meta_keywords") ?>" />
    <meta name="description" content="<?php echo $this->GetConfigValue("meta_description") ?>" />
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="css/<?php echo $this->GetConfigValue("stylesheet") ?>" />
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="css/print.css" media="print" />
    <script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">
        function fKeyDown()
            if (event.keyCode == 9)
                event.returnValue = false;
                document.selection.createRange().text = String.fromCharCode(9);

    <?php echo (!$user || ($user["doubleclickedit"] == 'Y')) && ($this->GetMethod() == "show") ? "ondblclick=\"document.location='".$this->href("edit")."';\" " : "" ?>
    <?php echo $message ? "onLoad=\"alert('".$message."');\" " : "" ?>

<div class="header">
    <h2><?php echo $this->config["wakka_name"] ?> : <a href="<?php echo $this->href("", "TextSearch", "phrase=").urlencode($this->GetPageTag()); ?>"><?php echo $this->GetPageTag(); ?></a></h2>
        if ($this->GetUser()) {
            if ($this->ExistsPage($usermenu)) {
                echo '</div><div class="menuicon">'; //only if you wish a different presentation
                echo $this->Format($themenu["body"]);
                echo "</div>"; //only if you wish a different presentation
                echo ($this->GetUser() ? $this->Link($this->config["logged_in_homepage"]) : $this->Link($this->config["root_page"]))." :: ";
                echo $this->config["logged_in_navigation_links"] ? $this->Format($this->config["logged_in_navigation_links"])." :: " : "";
                echo "You are ".$this->Format($this->GetUserName());
        } else {
            if ($this->ExistsPage(GuestMenu)) {
                echo '</div><div class="menuicon">';  //only if you wish a different presentation
                echo $this->Format($themenu["body"]);
                echo "</div>";  //only if you wish a different presentation
                echo $this->Link($this->config["root_page"])." :: ";
                echo $this->config["navigation_links"] ? $this->Format($this->config["navigation_links"]) : "";

Add something like this in the style sheet file if you want a different presentation for these menus
.menuicon {  
    color: #333;
    background: #CCCCCC;
    text-align: center;  

Menu samples

You may have something like:
[[HomePage | Home]] - {{edit}} - [[PageIndex | Index]] - [[Docs:FormattingRules | Writing rules]] - SandBox - [[UserSettings | Settings]] - [[UserName | My Home]]

Or more sexy like (I already use an icons folder but the user could upload its own icons using the files action:
{{image alt="Home Page" title="Home Page" url="icons/32/home.png" link="HomePage"}}{{imageedit alt="Edit Page" title="Edit this page" url="icons/32/pen.png"}}{{image alt="Index" title="Pages Index" url="icons/32/dictionary.png" link="PageIndex"}}{{image alt="Formatting Rules" title="Formatting Rules" url="icons/32/Whiteboard.png" link="FormattingRules"}}{{image alt="Sandbox" title="Sandbox" url="icons/32/paddle.png" link="SandBox"}}{{image alt="User Settings" title="Change Settings/Logout" url="icons/32/kgpg.png" link="UserSettings"}}{{image alt="User Page" title="My own page" url="icons/32/identity.png" link="UserName"}}
Here is how this one here above looks like :
The page shown here above is what we call our WorkSpace and it also links to various pages through a dedicated menu: guess where these icons link to?

As a general rule, icons and layout properties should not be addressed in the code. They should all be taken care of by the appropriate CSS stylesheet. In WikkaMenus this is possible by adding a different id to each menu entry that can then be modified at will in the stylesheets. Still, if you really want a user to add a custom icon before a single menu entry on WikkaMenus (not already formatted with an icon by the CSS stylesheet), this is perfectly possible by adding something like {{image ...}} MenuItem in a single row in the menu interface.
Actually I had started thinking of menus in a way very similar to yours. Then I realized that the biggest limit in using Wikka pages as a source for menus is that they allow very little control on the output. As I suggested in the WikkaMenus page, the proper solution for formatting menus (either horizontal or vertical) is to use unordered lists and to modify their appearance through the proper CSS selectors. This is difficult to do using the standard Wikka formatters (unless you embed HTML with style tags in the code, which is definitely not a good idea). How do you display the main menu as a vertical menu, following your approach? Consider that you can always produce "-" or ":" as menu item separators in the stylesheets (the power of CSS-generated content!).
Another interesting aspect of WikkaMenus is that they allow an arbitrary number of menus to be created, deleted and renamed. You can always impose that some menus (like system menus) be read-only, while at the same time allowing the wikka admins to freely customize the number and appearance of menus (this was a suggestion made by JavaWoman). For instance, you might want to add a second (or third, or fourth) horizontal menu, or floating menus in the page etc. In the future, we might even consider the possibility of cross-referencing the menu table with the user table to store user-customized menu settings.
WikkaMenus, finally, allow menus to be created, deleted and renamed, which gives the whole system more flexibility and does not make a sensitive element like a menu depend on the name of a hardcoded page.

Look at SmiliesAction for a simpler image action, and for a workaround for IE handling of PNG's transparency

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