The PHP Layers Menu System
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The PHP Layers Menu System 3.1.1 (development)

PHP Layers Menu is a hierarchical dynamic menu system that allows to prepare "on the fly" dynamic HTML menus relying on the PHP scripting engine for the processing of data items.

It is released under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), either Version 2.1, or (at your option) any later version.

It supports a wide range of browsers: Mozilla, Konqueror, Netscape, Opera, Internet Explorer; rather old browser versions are supported, too; accessibility is provided for text-only browsers.

It achieves a compact view and a reasonably small file size for the page also with a very large number of entries.

It provides horizontal and vertical layers-based menus whose behavior is analogous to the Gnome, KDE, and MS Windows main menus. It provides also JavaScript-based tree menus, whose look is analogous to the most widely used file managers and bookmark handling tools.

Layers-based menus require JavaScript and work at least on the following browsers:

  • Mozilla 0.6+ (versions 0.9.1+ are suggested)
  • Netscape 6.0+ and other browsers based on Mozilla, e.g. Epiphany and Galeon
  • Konqueror 2.2+ and browsers based on it, e.g. Safari
  • Opera 6.x and 7.x
  • Internet Explorer 5, 5.5, 6.

If old-style templates are used instead of the default ones, layers-based menus work also on the following browsers:

  • Netscape 4.07+
  • Opera 5.x
  • Internet Explorer 4

The PHP Layers Menu System provides also JavaScript-based tree menus, whose nodes can be expanded and collapsed on sufficiently DOM-compliant browsers (they remain completely expanded for the other browsers). They have more strict requirements w.r.t. the layers menus and provide complete functionality only to browsers sufficiently DOM-compliant for the purpose at hand, i.e.:

  • Mozilla (versions 0.9.1+ are suggested)
  • Netscape 6.0+ and other browsers based on Mozilla, e.g. Epiphany and Galeon
  • Konqueror 3.0+ and browsers based on it, e.g. Safari
  • Opera 7.x
  • Internet Explorer 4, 5, 5.5, 6

The following browsers are not supported, as supporting them is either not possible at all or really too hard:

  • Netscape 4.x
  • Konqueror 2.x
  • Lynx and Links
  • Opera 5.x and 6.x

However, full accessibility is provided for the above browsers: the Tree Menus always appear completely exploded (and no node can be collapsed) on them, and this guarantees a rather good accessibility for them.

Two classes are provided to prepare also "server-side based" tree menus (that have just the same look of the above JavaScript-based tree menus, but require the PHP support on the web server) and plain menus that do not require the JavaScript support to the browser.

An arbitrary number of vertical and horizontal menus can be used on the same page.

As much levels as needed can be used and each menu is dynamically generated using data retrieved from a file, a string, or a database table; the data format is rather simple and intuitive.

Multiple languages are supported (i18n) if data are retrieved from a database.

PHPLM is compliant with current recommendations for PHP developers: it works correctly with the following settings

  • register_globals = Off
  • safe_mode = On
  • error_reporting = E_ALL
  • allow_call_time_pass_reference = Off
  • short_open_tag = Off

If PEAR is not used (i.e. if the DB support is not used), it works correctly also if the open_basedir restriction is in effect.

It is compliant with the following standards:

  • XHTML 1.0 Transitional
  • CSS 2.0
Marco Pratesi