There are advantages in working with hierarchies. First you think at a higher level, then you move down to the details at a lower level. Hierarchies invite us to classify, to divide and ultimately to analyze and plan our work better.

An advantage of the web is that, if we look at webapps or web sites, the structure of the URLs reflects a hierarchical organization. To make an example, let's think of a webapp made of nine pages. This can be visualized as follows:

Webapp page hierarchy:

  • Welcome
  • Services
    • Web design
    • Java development
    • Helpdesk
  • About us
  • Intranet
    • HR
    • Directory

A Portofino application is made of (possibly many) pages organized in a hierarchy. A page can have child pages under it. A child page can have further child pages. The pages at the top level are called root pages. The page hierarchy can have as many levels as needed.

URLs and fragments

Each page has an associated URL. A URL can be typed in the browser, can be bookmarked or can be sent by email to a friend or colleague.

The last part of a URL is the fragment.

The breadcrumbs are the composition of the names of the pages from a root page to the current page.

The following table summarizes the breadcrumbs/URLs/fragments for the example.

Breadcrumbs Full URL Fragment
Welcome /welcome welcome
Services /services services
Services > Web design /services/web-design web-design
Services > Java development /services/java-development java-development
Services > Helpdesk /services/helpdesk helpdesk
About us /about-us about-us
Intranet /intranet intranet
Intranet > HR /intranet/hr hr
Intranet > Directory /intranet/directory directory