I know I've talked about this approach before on other blogs and forum topics on drupal.org but I figured a video tutorial couldn't hurt. Those that have played with Drupal in any length know that there are two very similar seeming projects for structuring content. One is the core-optional (though everyone uses it) menu module. The other is the core-optional book module.
Now, Menus allow you to structure nodes into hierarchical menus in your Drupal site. And the big difference with Books, is that it allows you to structure nodes...into...hierarchical...menu....hmm.. wait a minute, they're almost identical. In fact one of the (more stupid) things about Drupal 5 is how different these two projects are at a database layer. This was corrected in Drupal 6 and I'm not sure everyone realizes is when they set out to see if they should use books or menus.
In Drupal 6, the major difference between Books and Menus is this -- Books automatically create structured menu items AND Books allow for that nice pager stuff at the bottom of posts (see screen-shot on the right). So, why would someone want to perform this hack I'm going to show-case in the video? Well, currently, Nice Menus (a very popular drop-down java-script project) doesn't support book structured content. If you use the outline designer, you know it uses books to structure things quickly and nicely.
So our real use-case here is, you use the outline designer and need to get things to show up in nice menus for drop-downs and what not. This is actually a very common thing as a lot of people have asked me how we do it in all of our courses. I will say that Nice Menus has an issue created by me for getting book rendering included and that I was successful in getting book rendering accepted into the Menu Blocks project (which we also use everywhere). So, this issue could go away entirely but it's still cool to understand how books / menus work at a DB level so let's go...