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Thread: Frames

  1. #1
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    Question Frames

    Could someone tell me what frames are?

  2. #2
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    w3schools could, so could most other tutorials.

    They are basicaly a way of displaying multiple html documents one page.

    eg
    Code:
    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Frameset//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/frameset.dtd">
    <html>
    <head>
      <title></title>
    </head>
      <frameset cols="25%,75%">
         <frame src="sidebar.htm">
         <frame src="page.htm">
      </frameset>
      <noframes>
        Your browser doesn't support frames, get a better one.
      </noframes>
    </html>
    Disclaimer. (1) Whilst I will help you sometimes, if I feel like it, and my advice in relation to your actual question will be of good quality: my posts are to be taken with a pinch of salt. I will be sarcastic, deploy irony and include obscure cultural references for my own amusement without warning.
    (2) You will gain nothing from complaining, and if you try to argue with me then you will not win. No matter how noble your battle seems, I am still better than you, don't be an hero.

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by the tree
    w3schools could, so could most other tutorials.

    They are basicaly a way of displaying multiple html documents one page.

    eg
    Code:
    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Frameset//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/frameset.dtd">
    <html>
    <head>
      <title></title>
    </head>
      <frameset cols="25%,75%">
         <frame src="sidebar.htm">
         <frame src="page.htm">
      </frameset>
      <noframes>
        Your browser doesn't support frames, get a better one.
      </noframes>
    </html>
    Except that example is invalid. I'm not a big fan of the w3schools. See instead The Real Thing. Why bother with typically incorrect tutorials when the spec. is readily available?
    “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”
    —Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

  4. #4
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    Frames are considered by many including of course Nielsen and others as consistently being in the top ten web design mistakes...

    Frames are inaccessible to many screen reader software programs as all they get is the frames page (the number of people who use this software is rather large actually)

    Frames break the backbutton. They take you back to the frames page not the last page you were necessarily looking at.

    Frames are no good for bookmarking. Imagine bookmarking something in a large site only to use that bookmark and be taken to the sites frames page.

    Frames take up valuable screen real estate - nothing is for free with frames.

    Frames are recognised as a problem for both usability and accessibility. I know in Tasmania the government stipulate in their guidelines not to use frames on their sites unless there is no other way to do something essential (still trying to work out what that essential thing could be though).

    Frames add complexity to your design. I had to do a site with nested frames and PHP and passing variables via the frames pages was a logistic nightmare at times. Using CSS and XHTML, looking at using simple PHP includes, all beat Frames hands down.

    I may have missed some more frames issues but the main ones are here. If you are tempted by I-Frames look at using scrolling divs instead.... Food for thought...

  5. #5
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    Why use XHTML over HTML? I think that you are confusing the Strict DTD with XHTML. HTML 4.01 Strict and XHTML 1.0 Strict have a great advantage in the accessibility department, though HTML 4.01 Strict is more accessible than XHTML 1.0 Strict.
    “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”
    —Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

  6. #6
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    I'm sorry but I don't think any of those points about FRAMES had anything to do with whether or not you use them with XHTML or HTML. In fact most people are delivering XHTML as mime type of HTML anyway, just HTML with some extra slashes....

    So I don't really see your point?

    Does a Frame change because its in HTML vs XHTML? No... sorry...

    Maybe I should have typed slower and typed (X)HTML as the standard (doctype) you are using isn't important to frames. Frames is frames

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by porco
    In fact most people are delivering XHTML as mime type of HTML anyway, just HTML with some extra slashes....
    Most people are using tables for layout. Most people use Internet Explorer as their main browser. Most people are not always right. Why deliver XHTML as something it's not? If you're using XHTML, you should be using either application/xhtml+xml (preferred) or text/xml. Otherwise, there's no point in using XHTML.

    This, of course, does not belittle the issue that Frames should probably be avoided if at all possible. Accessibility and user-friendly nightmare. As was stated, the benefits are pretty much covered with Server Side Includes (like SSI, but also available in PHP, ASP.net, JPS, and other server side languages) and CSS (which you should be using anyway. )

  8. #8
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    I'm not breaking the web am I? I've been in this conversation about delivering mime types from both sides for a long time now and really unless you can tell me how I'm breaking the web I guess its not worth my time at present to stop letting it go this way....

    While tables have problems when used for layout (ie screen reader software may not interpret a table based site properly) instead of displaying tabulated data as tables are intended for, and IE creates problems because it refuses continuously to follow standards (which it usually had a say in somewhere along the line), these are not in the same category of 'most people do'.....

    Most people do a lot of things nothing to do with the subject at hand, which was frames by the way.

    When I say 'most people deliver as text/html mime type' then look at the spec... XHTML 1.0 may be delivered either as text/html or application/xhtml+xml. Only XHTML 1.1 'must not' be delivered as text/html. Whoop me if I'm wrong.

    I've even blogged it on several occasions, one of which is

    Serving application/xhtml+xml with PHP

    As I can see it at the moment there isn't a really good argument on either side of that debate to actually win it at the moment outright. Its handy if you want to do a bunch of XML stuff, and if I've got spare time myself I may consider doing so. But if you do know any 'good' reason that my XHTML 1.0 should be delivered not as text/html when it 'may' be delivered in this way in the spec I'd be grateful and may just use the code I blogged to do so.

    I'd take a very short breath here and without wanting to inflame you further, I'd say that its a big internet and a lot of it is about compromising and using what works right today. So HTML 4 is great, XHTML is great (delivered in whatever 'standard' or mimetype).

    I really can't see the point in just grabbing a general sentence out of a forum post ( a true statement by the way - most are delivering unwittingly as text/html ) and attacking me because of that general truth.

    The thread, after all, was somebody wanting to know the lowdown on frames....

  9. #9
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    Otherwise I apologise for offending you and other forum readers. I only mean to be helpful and courteous. Sorry

  10. #10
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    I do not mean to incite anything. However, I simply wish to point it out to you. Honestly, without meaning to sound harsh at all, delivering XHTML as text/html seems completely inane to me. XHTML IS XML. To be properly parsed as such, it must be delivered as XML. Otherwise, it's just treated as funky HTML.

    XHTML is derived from XML. So why are you treating it as SGML? What are the advantages. I realize this now. I used to use XHTML. I don't often anymore. Why? Because as I read more about it, and examined it, I realized that I had no real justification for it. There is not enough XML support from the majority browser (IE) for me to feel comfortable or justified in delivering it as it should be. I'm not justified since I'm not implementing other XML technologies, either. Thus, I don't see the point in it. If I've exploiting syntax similarites so that, in affect, I'm feeding all browsers HTML, then where's the advantage in that? Until the web has reached a point where XML can be used freely, I'll stick with HTML.

    Now, I would like to draw a parallel. Frames. There are some who find that they really need them. But honestly examine your situation, and ask yourself if you really need them, and if there's a better way. There are other options being developed, like xFrames, but the web isn't ready for that. There are alternatives to Frames, though. Much simpler methods.

  11. #11
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    Why do I make my pages in XHTML and not deliver them as application/xhtml+xml? Mmmm now that is interesting cos its relevant to a lot of people I guess.

    a) I'm too lazy and pushed for time at the moment to put the PHP script in

    b) Cos having well formed markup is cool to me, its just as easy to write XHTML as HTML (just some extra slashes etc nothing hard), its forward compatible, if I want to deliver it as XML later down the track it just takes a PHP script to change its mime type, it gives me the XML option later on. So its a personal choice thing.

    I think a lot of people are missing the point that XHTML just really forces you to write stricter code. Its not going to stop the world turning, doesn't need any reason for me beyond I know my pages better than before, doesn't even need to be profit in it because its not taking any longer to code XHTML. I don't see what the problem is. I actually gave a talk at the Uni about the evolution of markup languages, specifically on the issues of GML through to XML and the rewriting of HTML as an XML application. XHTML is about the move forward.. I guess thats the only thing I can say... There will be no more versions of HTML but its still a standard and valid and works fine. I think the bigger issue is getting people to use DTDs of any type, to validate their pages and write good clean code, maybe touch wood pick up tools like (HTML KIT and dump those big dumb WYSIWYG editors. I'm not into Linux myself but I like the Kill Bill tee shirts on sale at the moment Kill Bill tee shirts

    As for frames well does my 'not' delivering XHTML for the time being at least make my sites inaccessible. My portfolio has 5 examples of XHTML 1.0 strict tableless sites. Whereas using Frames is a direct accessibility usability issue. Ok if someone wants to use them but do so knowing the science about whether or not this is a good thing or not in the situation at hand.

    XHTML is basically a transitional step toward an XML future.... its ok not to go there for now, but like any computer science occupation things will change and fast. We can't be complacent the web will stay as it is. Think back five years and then try to imagine another 5 years. So for now I choose to code the way that I do.... Umm guess that answered the question...

    I further apologise for offending anyone who believes otherwise, live and let live....

  12. #12
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    XHTML, as I see it right now, is not useful unless you wish to encorporate other XML languages.

    Do not get me wrong. I'm by no means belittling XHTML. I'm most excited about XHTML 2, in which we'll see the most drastic changes in years. Between the completion of XHTML 2 and CSS 3, I'm besides myself with joy. I'm also a realist, however. I'll tell you right off the bat, that both of these technologies are utterly useless to us right now. I see the future of markup languages and CSS evolution going nowhere until Internet Explorer is gone. Simply said, it has staying power. People still use IE 5. Until there's a major shift away from IE, we won't be able to touch advances with a ten foot pole.

    Years down the road, I very much hope to be using XHTML versions. Imagine, being able to easily implement new, and even customized markup languages, and browsers don't need to be upgraded! Us web designers are given much, much more power to control documents. This is the beginning years of the technology of the internet. It's loose, exploding, and unregulated, with certain obstacles. Hopefully, it'll sort itself out soon, but until then, we must do what we can. And for now, that means HTML 4.01 Strict.

    By the way, how is XHTML any stricter than HTML 4.01 Strict?

  13. #13
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    Mmm let me put it this way... what am I hurting using the XHTML doctype? Or the HTML 4 doctype for that matter?

    I personally choose XHTML to give me forward compatibility and the option to go XML in the near future with ease but neither is a real limitation. When desired I'll drop in some PHP and deliver it as necessary.

    Does it matter the difference? Really? I mean if you're validating your documents as well formed HTML 4 then thats great! A norwegian guy this year did a PHD thesis or something (might be wrong country or degree there) and he examined 1,000,000 websites. Only about 1% had valid doctypes and only a fraction of those actually validated. I use the doctypes for me and me only - they allow me to check my code is well formed saving me a bundle in lost time tracking down minor sytax errors. I try to be as accessible as possible and I'm getting better at it where my competition is delivering sites that aren't accessible. Display my site on a screen reader for instance and do the same on my competitors and my clients face shows renewed confidence. A fun toy to play with is gelon, although can't vouch for its full accuracy lol. Clients love that stuff. Pull up a big named site or two and see how it reacts. Umm Deja Vu and look at sites in IE 2 and NS 1.0. Fun. So basically I'm not a crusader I'm a realist too. What people need to see is that the way I make pages (irrelevent to the doctype) is more effective than my competition. Generally speaking anyway cos they don't care for technologies like us.

    Mmm on the IE death theme, well remember the days when IBM were the biggest manufacturer of computers in the whole world?! Some guys got a contract to build 12 or 15 calculators and were too dumb to build the 12 different ones so they made one that did all jobs. They bought it back off the Japanese for about $50,000 or something and that was the birth of Intel and the X86 architecture, a legacy mind you that haunts us to this day!!! Another most people do = PCs. IBM never saw the potential of the desktop market and fell into the background.

    I forsee a time when Microsoft will not be the main browser. In fact they claim over 90% and slipping market share but its mainly cos they come pre-installed and people don't know the options out there. Also at the end of the day they are very reluctant to want to see an open web, they'd really like a .NET architecture or at least a part of the web locked off as a Microsoft only thing. Even if its only conceptual. What interest do they have in standards? None. Now how much of that 90% is real browsing. Thats just people who own a PC basically, I've got a 98SE in the cupboard they're counting I'm sure. I've got faith is all, that oneday complacency will pass the fat pigs by and governments especially will vote for the free and ohhhh nooooooo I'm doing it again aren't I....

    Not getting much work done this afternoon and will have to work tonight now lol. Ah visitors arriving....

    Ciao from Norty Pig then.... good to exchange healthy opinion. I figure both views are valid expressions of men in the trenches...

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