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Re: Frames and links

From: John Whelan <whelan@itp.unibe.ch>
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 17:52:54 +0200 (MET DST)
Message-Id: <199809211552.RAA19803@itpserver>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: charlesn@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au
Charles McCathieNevile writes:

> Marju asked if there was a guideline about how to use frames in a way 
> that enabled various points to be bookmarked, and said the current 
> technique was to rebuild the frameset each time, with all links having 
> TARGET="_top"
>
> Nir said that the solution was to not use frames, since rebuilding the 
> frameset every time a link was followed was a waste of bandwidth.
> 
> That is a kind way of viewing it. Rebuilding the frameset each time is 
> like publishing a book in modules, with a binder and complete table of 
> contents available, and then only supplying the modules along with the 
> binder and contents. Non-frames browsers, such as lynx, will be forced 
> back to an intermediate step of establishing the relevant frame for each 
> link followed, which is worse than when frames are correctly coded.

Hear, hear.  Even for frames-capable versions of links, rebuilding the
frameset means an extra step to get to the content pages.

A less draconian solution, if you want to use frames, is to write a
simple CGI that creates the appropriate frameset for any content
document.  I started doing this so I could provide multiple entry
points to a frameset without constructing a bunch of static documents.
You can use SSI to add a link to the appropriate frameset on every
content page, et voila, fully bookmarkable frames.  (Doesn't work if
there are more frameset states than content documents, but 99% of the
framesets out there are one or more menu frames plus a single content
frame.)  See http://www.slack.net/~whelan/cgi-bin/tbrw.cgi for my
implementation of this idea.
					John T. Whelan
					whelan@iname.com
					http://www.slack.net/~whelan/
Received on Monday, 21 September 1998 11:53:19 GMT

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