The name comes from the Brothers Grimm fairly tale Hansel and Gretel. When Hansel went off into the woods, he left a trail of bread crumbs behind to help him find his way back. Unfortunately birds ate them and he and Gretel became lost and ended up almost being eaten by a witch.
I pioneered the use of the bread crumbs bar many years ago. A school asked permission to teach my method. Now you see it everywhere. I don’t know if people got the idea from me, or came up with it independently. It is not rocket science.
The first recorded use of them was by Jakob Nielsen circa 1995.
My original version used left-pointing arrows, to tell you what would happen if you clicked the bread crumb. My latest version uses right-pointing arrows, to indicate the direction you travelled to get to the current point. This is the most common convention.
You are welcome to copy my method and the styles and images to support it. Check out the breadcrumb, firstbreadbcrumb and lastbreadcrumb classes in the style sheet mindprod.css.
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