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Re: Position of main frame

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 10:37:17 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199811141537.KAA12699@access1.digex.net>
To: jfouhy@actrix.gen.nz (Rolando the Goat)
Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Thanks for the clear explanation of what you are experiencing.

It is true that if the site did not use frames, you would be at
least in the right pane when you exercise the browser 'back'
function.  But even that is not quite what you want.

Saving the state of the frameset and the focus on the hot link
that you followed to get to the curent net address is something
that browsers could do, so I am copying the UA group on your

On the other hand, I suspect that even if authors and browsers do
what they will to make the situation better with HTML as we know
it today, there will still be work left to do in the area of
engineering the future web technology related to this case
history.  [And that you are not alone; you are just more
articulate about what you need than a lot of other people you
speak for.]

Note to WAI folks: This discussion could be categorized under
"browse state management" and thereby relates to the "unified
control philosophy spanning DHTML and SMIL domains" issue we have
discussed before in WAI-UA and WAI-PF:DOM discussions.


to follow up on what Rolando the Goat said:
> Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 20:36:55 +1300
> To: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
> From: Rolando the Goat <jfouhy@actrix.gen.nz>
> Subject: Re: Position of main frame

> Al wrote:
> >Let's see if I understand the problem you are experiencing.  You
> >want to start in the main frame and cursor around in there.  Is
> >that true?
> >
> >Have you looked at the draft guidelines for User Agents?  I believe
> >that there is a guideline in that document saying that the browser
> >should provide keyboard commands for moving from frame to frame.
> >
> >Did you read the discussion of a possible "start-reading" 
> >bookmark?  In a framed site this should go at the head of the 
> >body frame with a link to it near the start of the first frame.
> >
> >Would either of these remedies make the frames reasonably
> >workable?  The traditional roles of head, foot, left and right
> >margins are pretty stable in print.  I suspect there are actually
> >good reasons for them if we understood enough.  We have been
> >trying not to take away the designer's layout control if we can
> >avoid it.
> >
> >Al
> Dear Al - sorry about my lateness in replying - I overlooked that little
> blob that indicates an unread message - can W3C do something about that
> (chuckle)?
> In answer to your queries -
> - yes - I do want to start in the main frame. If you were a regular reader
> of The Times (of London), like me, you would know why. The International
> News index of this paper can have 40 items. Everytime I read an item (by
> clicking on it) when I return (by going Back) I don't end up in this index
> but in the left hand frame which is actually a meta index. So I then have to
> click in the frame that contains the index I actually want. A totally
> unnecessary action that's repeated interminably!
> I grant that there's no problem if the user always uses a mouse. However, I
> get RSI if I have to continually position the mouse in the scroll-bar (it
> being so narrow these days) so I have to use the cursor keys. I admit to
> being over the age of 50
> Incidentally, the bad press that 'frames' have got could be due to this very
> problem, and not due to frames per se.
> No. Keyboard commands for shifting between frames wouldn't do. Even using
> Alt-left for going Back is a pain. Just picture yourself a metre from the
> screen and reaching forward with one hand. Using the mouse or hitting a
> cursor key is about all I can manage
> 'Star reading' bookmarks wouldn't do either. Now that I think about it more
> closely, the problem is that the Back button does NOT take you back to where
> you were. Sure, it takes you back to the previous HTML address, but it does
> not take you back to the correct frame within that document!
> Thank you for your reply and keep up the good work. I support the general
> principles of W3C, particularly the encouraging of style to be independent
> of content. I also like the thoughtfulness towards disabled people
> Mike
> >>>>>
> At 10:08 7/11/98 -0500, Mike wrote:
> >> The main or working frame should always be in the top lefthand
> >> corner so that the cursor is automatically dropped there.
> >
> >> Otherwise it's a pain in the neck having to hold onto the mouse
> >> just to click it in the main frame after loading. (To allow the
> >> cursor keys to operate)
> >
> >>  This means that 'contents' frames and other navigation frames
> >> should go on the right, not the left as customary.
> >
Received on Saturday, 14 November 1998 10:37:35 UTC

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