attn: php gurus - need general navigation advice

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hi all.

i am building an application and i'm currently focused on the
interface.  i have a tabbed menu across the top that includes several
data entry options and a reports option.

each data entry option has several sub options.  the reports option
will also have multiple sub options.

i was thinking of using assigning a variable to each tab level page and
then using a switch statement create my vertical menu - which would be
set up to vary depending on which tab page was selected.

beside having trouble with the switch statement inside my include page
(i'll figure that out given a little wrox book time), i'm now doubting
the dynamic side menu option altogether.

as i type this, i think i would be better off going for a drop down
style menu where you hover or click a menu item and then the sub menu
appears.  i'd like to avoid javascript, though, b/c i don't like the
idea of forcing people to have it on.

any thoughts from the gurus who have experienced this kind of design
issue before (or just know all the answers without experience! ;-)
would be greatly appreciated.

Re: php gurus - need general navigation advice

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How about separating them into different files? That would give you the
maximum amount of flexibility, since you can modified the layout to fit the
needs of each section.

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Drop down menus are a form of "mystery meat navigation" that we encounter
way more often than we should on the web. Basically you're hiding options
from the visiters. Unless it's an web application designed to be used daily,
few will bother to explore each menu to see what options are available. The
common response is to head straight for the search box/button.

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