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WordPress admin menu solution to solving screen real estate

I think believe WordPress is a great blog online publishing software and I use WordPress on this blog and also in several other sites. For instance I use it in JavaMidlet to write about news and articles about mobile Java. I’ve also converted from a previous CMS the Ortigas Online site to WordPress and actually using it as a CMS (more on this later).

Several days back, I’ve read about the recent plan of WordPress to change the admin menu in version 2.7 from a horizontal one to a new vertical menu. Didn’t make it to the survery so I’d just want to write about a suggestion I have on how to handle the menu change due to user requests to handle screen space.

First of all I think that the location of the menu is just fine where it is right now (on top). Most of us if not all use software that have menus on top — Windows, Linux, MacOS, Solaris … I think it’s just easier to navigate if the menus are on top — consistently in just one place.

If the issue is screen real estate, I think there’s a simple and elegant solution to that problem that is currently being used by the operating systems that most of us use right now. That is use auto-hiding top heading / menu.

To further explain my point, I’ve made a sample image of what would solve the screen real estate problem.

wordpress-admin-heading

We can treat the WordPress Admin heading area (the menu area) as some sort of Linux panel or Windows task bar wherein we can enable or disable an auto-hide feature. When enabled the area will automatically hide itself leaving only a small obtruding portion. When we want to use the menus, all we have to do is move our mouse over the area and the menus will roll down and get displayed again. Since the WordPress admin uses JQuery, a little of CSS and the JQuery lib can probably do it with little work.

I checked the current WordPress 2.6.2 to see if I can create a plugin to the solution but I found out that there wasn’t a “containing DIV” that I can “control” to be able to do something similar without having to modify the code.

If the menus were placed in a vertical position, that wouldn’t really solve the problem, we will just be using vertical screen real estate instead of horizontal real estate. And in a time when NetBooks are becoming more and more popular. We’ll probably see more bloggers carrying these small gadgets around for blogging, I think vertical screen real estate is also important to use efficiently.

Anyway, I hope it can be done this way instead of changing to vertical menus.

Gerry Ilagan

Gerry Ilagan is into mobile apps and WordPress development at @speeqs. He loves to write about electronics, the Internet of Things, mobile phones, and #crazyideas.

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