Re: Frames and tables of contents

Benjamin C. W. Sittler (bsittler@prism.nmt.edu)
Mon, 23 Oct 1995 11:55:00 -0600 (MDT)


Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 11:55:00 -0600 (MDT)
From: "Benjamin C. W. Sittler" <bsittler@prism.nmt.edu>
To: R J Partington <rjp@heffer.demon.co.uk>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: Frames and tables of contents
In-Reply-To: <199510221210.NAA00323@heffer.demon.co.uk>
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.951023111637.18658A-100000@puce>

On Sun, 22 Oct 1995, R J Partington wrote:

> I've been thinking about the Frames extensions recently implemented
> by Netscape, and while some of the ideas seem to be good, couldn't
> they have been implemented using 'straight' HTML and a well-written
> browser?
> 
> Take the 'table of contents' idea, where you have a permanent frame
> showing you the table of contents at a site for easy navigation. It
> occured to me yesterday (after I noticed there was a <menu> tag --
> only took me a year :) that a 'smart' browser could take this
> information from a page it's just parsed and display a table of
> contents from that. Then it could update the table with submenus as
> further pages where visited. 

The Harmony client (1) already does something like this. It generates a 
sort of "hierarchical history" list with collapsable sublists. I find it 
very useful when navigating large information trees with many 
cross-references.

> As for the 'banner' idea, couldn't that have been implemented by an
> attribute 'locked'? So for a fixed picture at the top of the page,
> 
> <img src="wibble.gif" alt="[wibble ltd. logo]" locked=top>
> 
> which doesn't break existing browsers, and gives you a similar
> functionality. This could apply to paragraphs, menus (giving you the
> table of contents as well), anything sensible really.  This method is
> also more 'correct' as being fixed in position is an attribute of an
> object, not something 'above' the object.

Why not use something like the HTML 3.0 (2) DIV in conjunction with 
stylesheets? Your banner could become

<DIV CLASS="BANNER">
   <IMG SRC="wibble.gif" ALT="[wibble ltd. logo]"> 
</DIV>

with the appropriate rules in an attached stylesheet

DIV.BANNER {
   display = banner -- this property is from the 7 October CSS draft (3) --
}

This would display fine in existing browsers, but it would scroll off the 
screen like any other text. HTML 3.0/CSS level 2 browsers could display the 
banner in a nonmoving frame at the top of the screen.

Benjamin C. W. Sittler

1. Harmony: The UNIX/X11 Client for Hyper-G
   http://hgiicm.tu-graz.ac.at:80/Charmony

2. HyperText Markup Language Specification Version 3.0
   http://www.hp.co.uk/people/dsr/html/CoverPage.html

3. Cascading Style Sheets: a draft specification
   http://www.w3.org/hypertext/WWW/Style/css/draft.html