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Drop-down Menu Builders


Dan Wellman evaluates free and commercial software that can help you create menus that expand into sub-menus and are used as a means of navigating your site. He looks at browser-based and GUI-based formats and makes some recommendations.

Author Info:
By: Dan Wellman
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 76
June 23, 2004
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Drop-down Menu Builders
  2. · Why Use JavaScript Menu Creation Software
  3. · Freeware
  4. · Software for Businesses
  5. · Apycom DHTML Menu and Visual Quick Menu Pro

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Drop-down Menu Builders
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On the Internet today there are many programs tailored specifically toward creating smoothly animated pull-down menu navigation bars.  Whenever a need for such software develops, application builders are always keen to exploit the new-found niche. The use of JavaScript as an animation and interaction medium is now so widespread that programs devoted to making its use easier are now abundantly available. Aimed not just at those that do not have the time, means or inclination to learn JavaScript, but also at the developer that wants to shorten their development cycle or increase their productivity, these programs really can make a difference. 

Hardcore coders may take the view that using such software to do the bulk of the work for you is cheating. Unless you're a robot however, you'll probably not be able to recall every single JavaScript method and property, and will turn repeatedly to the reference book for anything reasonably complex. 

But sometimes, JavaScript feels like one of those languages that can be classed almost as an extension of HTML rather than a fully-fledged independent language in its own right, a bolt-on language you might say, and there are different levels of knowledge. The fact that you know that JavaScript exists at all is almost enough to be able to use it effectively. A useful analogy is to think of it in the same way as a car mechanic; a skilled mechanic wouldn't necessarily know how to make every single engine component from scratch, but he would know how to put them together to make them work. Think of using JavaScript in the same way.

At the moment the height of fashion, as far as web design goes, are sexy, animated, colorful menus that expand into sub-menus and are used as a means of navigating your site. They come in every color, style and size imaginable, and every site worth its salt makes use of them. The only draw back is that even the simpler ones are tricky and time consuming to code. Enter the JavaScript Menu creation software; a dedicated, fully functional program designed solely for creating custom expandable menus quickly and easily.


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