Breadcrumbs are a hierarchal paradigm. Drupal is not at all hierarchal (though book and taxonomy try to impose some hierarchy).

So i recommend to turn breadcrumbs off.
1) They never make intuitive sense to users. Why, right now, at the top of this page, it says "Home » content » create content". In my mind I am in "Home >> Forum >> Usability feedback >> New entry".

2) From page to page as you do stuff, the associated breadcrumbs change wildly and bear little resemblance to what you are doing or where you have been.

3) There is no value in walking back up the link path. It seldom takes you somewhere relevant to what you are doing

4) Most of all they often don't shed any light on what you are doing right now

This isn't a criticism of Drupal, or of the breadcrumb functionality. It is the very nature of Drupal that breadcrumbs don't work with it.

Comments

styro’s picture

They can work on certain Drupal sites, but as you've noticed Drupal can be far more flexible than what can be matched by breadcrumbs.

Sometimes I use them, sometimes I don't. But I agree, that the moment they start becoming difficult - just forget about them. It's not worth the effort to try and make them fit a non hierarchical site.

--
Anton
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Steve Viscido’s picture

I don't know about turning them completely off... but I definitely agree that the breadcrumbs aren't always left intuitively. Several users at my site have complained that breadcrumbs are a bit confusing...

Perhaps we need some admin options for how breadcrumbs should show, rather than turning them off.

Jaza’s picture

Drupal by default lets you create a site as a non-hierarchical web of pages. But the 'Drupal model' is what you make it, really. It is certainly possible to create highly structured, hierarchical sites, where the breadcrumbs are meaningful on all pages - the category module (among other modules) is trying to make this easier. If breadcrumbs aren't appropriate to your site, then turning them off is as simple as removing them from your theme's main template file (which is page.tpl.php, if you're using PHPTemplate). But they are an important feature of Drupal, and removing them altogether is IMO a very bad idea.

Jeremy Epstein - GreenAsh

Jeremy Epstein - GreenAsh

k9gardner’s picture

I happen to be using Drupal to create and manage a very hierarchical site, with some random access capability always necessary. And so for this user navigation, breadcrumbs are essential. More importantly though, I think, my SEO people tell me that I need to have breadcrumbs that lead to the current page, not to the previous page. I have no problem at all from a usability perspective if there is a self-referent link on a given page; it doesn't bother me at all.

The issue is, why is it so hard to turn on? I have built a very hierarchical site with effective use of menus and url aliases. But in order to get effective breadcrumbs, from everything I'm reading, I have to install and learn how to configure not one, but two new modules, taxonomy and taxonomy_breadcrumbs, which just seems absurd and bizarre. And in addition (or in place of??) I may need to install PHPtemplate? I certainly don't want to start messing around with whole templates for the site.

I don't know why there wouldn't just be a switch within Drupal that says "include self-referent links in breadcrumbs" or some such, and be done with it. I am under extreme duress trying to figure out how to make this work, on a very tight time schedule, and I must say I am not appreciating the nuanced reasons for it not being there by default.

If someone could please spell out, in a very simple and direct way, and without making assumptions about what other modules I may have installed, how to, (a), replace the "home" term with the domain name, and (b), include the current page as the last link in the breadcrumb chain? For this, I would be deeply indebted.

DrupalBone’s picture

Drupal 6 right now. I'm now using the menu breadcrumb module for this. I don't know how to change home, but at least this will give you the menu breadcrumb trail.

sepeck’s picture

I have found that aliasing with the path module allows you to build out nodes that bread crumb the way you would expect. Not everyone needs this behavior so the flexibility it useful.

-Steven Peck
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

-Steven Peck
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide

Gary Feldman’s picture

Never is a bit strong. While reading this thread, they said Home » Forum » General » Usability feedback, which not only makes perfect sense, but is useful. When reading the handbook, they're even more useful, since the tree is both deeper and wider.

But the Drupal model isn't relevant here. That's like saying you can't have a round room on a house because lumber is rectangular. Or that you shouldn't display more than one node on a page because they're not stored that way in the database. Drupal is just the infrastructure tool set. Every web site has its own navigation model, and it's important for Drupal to have a variety of tools to support those various models.

rkendall’s picture

I think it would be good to be able to assign a vocabulary as a 'site default', that could be used as a structuring tool for a website - linking in with the breadcrumb and the primary/secondary/(tertiary)/etc menus, and even possibly the path alias.

You know it's a cool idea :)

_craig’s picture

> Drupal is not at all hierarchical (though book and taxonomy try to impose some hierarchy).

I respectfully disagree. Drupal can be hierarchical and I like using taxonomy to create a hierarchical site. If you want your breadcrumbs to reflect the taxonomy hierarchy, try the taxonomy_breadcrumb module.

drupal777’s picture

allows one to create perfectly hierarchical content, doesn't it?

chessdev’s picture

how do you globally disable breadcrumbs?

sepeck’s picture

Take them out of the theme template.

-Steven Peck
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

-Steven Peck
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide

kowalke’s picture

Category and taxonomy_breadcrumb look like great modules. Are there any options for those of us still on 4.6, however (aside from upgrading, of course)?

Jaza’s picture

taxonomy_context does a pretty good job of making breadcrumbs out of your 4.6 taxonomy terms.

Jeremy Epstein - GreenAsh

Jeremy Epstein - GreenAsh

makemode’s picture

How do you turn it off when using Chamelon - there is no page.tpl.php file?

Thanks!

Accessibility Accessibility

styro’s picture

Info on plain PHP themes (eg Chameleon):
http://drupal.org/node/11795
http://drupal.org/node/55126

Basically you'll need to override some function(s). You could either override the theme function that outputs breadcrumbs by getting it to output nothing, or override the theme function for the page so that it no longer adds breadcrumbs to the output. The first option would probably be the best for future maintenance I reckon - although I've never used plain PHP theme myself ;)

The theme functions in question:
http://api.drupal.org/api/4.7/function/theme_breadcrumb
http://api.drupal.org/api/4.7/function/theme_page
--
Anton
New to Drupal? | Forum posting tips | Troubleshooting FAQ
Example Knowledge Base built using Drupal

mikeschinkel’s picture

It is the very nature of Drupal that breadcrumbs don't work with it.

I disagree strongly with your premise. Issues with breadcrums in Drupal are not because of the nature of Drupal, they are because of the lack of a good breadcrumb architecture in Drupal. We should try to improve the architecture, not "throw the baby out with the bathwater."

FYOI, Jakob Nielsen, well-known web usability expert reports Breadcrumb Navigation Increasingly Useful in April 2007.

KingMoore’s picture

I don't like how the breadcrumbs are generated based on the node, because many times a node has more than one category or whatever, and so Drupal just randomly (or perhaps by lowest ID) chooses the one parent to put in the breadcrumb.

IMO breadcrumbs should be determed by the path the user took to get somewhere (unless linking directly to a page in which case you need to do something else).

bethhauck’s picture

The idea that "walking back up the link path" is the purpose of a breadcrumb menu is a misinterpretation of their value. I may not want to go to the grocery store right now, but knowing where I am in relation to a landmark is part of how I understand what I'm looking at.

cdonner’s picture

"Breadcrumbs don't fit the Drupal model. Turn them off."

This entire thread is backwards. The question is not whether breadcrumbs fit the Drupal model, the question is whether you (or the person who pays you) want breadcrumbs on your site. You can make Drupal display breadcrumbs if you want them. Having this discussion from the technology angle is not appropriate and does not serve the credibility of software developers in the web world.

commonpike’s picture

Breadcrumbs are a hierarchal paradigm

No, breadcrumbs are supposed to be a trail of where you came from. That is why they are called breadcrumbs, and not .. stairs or something.
I agree, they are wrong the way they are (often) implemented.

*-pike

*-pike

susanoc262’s picture

I commented out the following from the drupal-7.4/theme/bartik/templates/page.tpl.php file and it removed the breadcrumb. Thanks!

if ($breadcrumb):

endif; -->

happyEasterquotes’s picture

thanks you

givayt’s picture

Sometimes I use them, sometimes I don't. But I agree, that the moment they start becoming difficult - just forget about them. It's not worth the effort to try and make them fit a non hierarchical site.

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