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Developing a Breadcrumb Control

Hansel and Gretel used breadcrumbs to mark their path in the forest, but the birds had a competing agenda. Well-designed Web sites use the same idea to assist a visitor in navigation: breadcrumb links above the main content of a Web page help to orient a visitor within a Web site and provide a convenient way to retrace one’s last steps. Fortunately, Web sites don’t have to worry about birds.

If you surf the Web as often as most of us do, you will have noticed that breadcrumb links are not standardized across Web sites. Figure 15-12 shows an example of breadcrumb links as implemented in VB Snippets.

Figure 15-12. VB Snippets breadcrumbs indicate the path the visitor used to select a particular code snippet.
Chapter 15, Figure 12.

The VB Snippets Web site allows the visitor to browse through all of the code examples or to browse through just those snippets that are associated with a particular keyword. Whenever a visitor clicks a keyword link, the Web site displays the browse page for that keyword. The screenshot in Figure 15-12 displays a code snippet from the ArrayList browse page. The breadcrumb links provide an easy way for the visitor to return to that particular browse page, to the browse-all page, or to the homepage. And, of course, all but one of the links in the navigation menu are also available.

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