Nice menus getting nicer

Nice menus is a great little module for creating dropdown and flyout menus in your Drupal site. My time to be a good maintainer for it varies wildly so it often sits dormant for long periods. Last week, during the Thanksgiving holiday, I dove back into the issue queue and after fixing a few bugs I spent most of my time playing with new features. The main things that I am excited about are things that will hopefully make version 2 of Nice menus, well, a little nicer.

I am not a JavaScripter by any means so adding optional JS features have been long-time requests that I have pretty much passed over. Enter the Superfish jQuery plugin though and I don’t need to know JS for things to just work. The patch in the queue still needs a little bit of love (make it configurable and add some more features like hoverIntent) and plenty of testing, but I think this will be a really great addition for folks that want an easy to use JS menu that degrades nicely to CSS-only. You will be able to choose three JS settings: no JS at all (so CSS-only), minimal JS (that makes IE 6 work), and then full JS with Superfish. If you want to help test or tweak the patch, by all means hop into the issue.

The other biggie that still needs lots of love but I am determined to get done, is to add some different CSS styles to the module and let folks just pick one from a GUI. I think we can all agree that the default Nice menus styling is a bit drab. It is designed to just be a generic placeholder for you to do your own styling. My current plan is to start off with a handful, including the “classic” grey that it uses now, a stripped-down version that adds minimal styles to make it work decently but no colors, one that would look decently well in Garland and then maybe two more that just look nice and hopefully work OK with a number of contrib themes. This won’t take away the need for CSS skillz to do customization, but I do hope to provide a few nice looking styles that could work for some people out of the box, as well as providing some “live” examples to work from and learn by when customizing on your own. The patch in the issue queue is a proof of concept and not the final vision, but help with the mechanics of the patch or work on new styles are welcome.

Other than these two biggies, there are lots of other little niceties for version 2, like being able to choose the depth of your menu, having active trail selectors, new menu directions (horizontal children is a common request), etc. I can’t give a timeline for all of this of course, since it will be done as I have time, which is hard to come by. So, if you think this stuff is cool and want to see it sooner rather than later, the issue queue awaits your love and attention. 🙂