Support list collapsing and expanding in HTML exports

Use case

The Dynalist HTML export is a good tool for sharing a Dynalist document in contexts where we cannot or do not want to give access to the original Dynalist document. For example:

  • Sharing one node by e-mail from a document that is otherwise private.
  • Exporting the whole document to HTML and including it as documentation into a Git repository – which is what I do right now, because Dynalist is great to collect and organize knowledge while working on a project.
  • Posting an export of a document on a forum, or into a blog post. For example, I did this before with an equivalent HTML document generated from FreeMind.

All of these uses would be much improved when the exported HTML document would be a collapsible list like the list in Dynalist itself.

Problem and solution

When a Dynalist document becomes longer than a few screen pages, it becomes hard to read when all nodes are expanded. That’s exactly why Dynalist has collapsing and expanding lists. However in the HTML export, the list is not collapsible, limiting the usefulness of sharing these documents.

As a solution, there are JavaScript and even pure CSS solutions to make HTML lists collapsing and expanding. One good open source implementation can be found in the HTML export feature of the mindmap software FreeMind, for example. The HTML file should still be a single file (with all JavaScript and CSS and icons embedded). For using the same embedded icons multiple times in the HTML file, see here.

Probably this extended HTML export would be a separate option in the export dialog.

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