Re: Frames - does anyone like them?

Benjamin Franz (snowhare@netimages.com)
Wed, 21 Aug 1996 16:54:17 -0700 (PDT)


Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 16:54:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: Benjamin Franz <snowhare@netimages.com>
To: "F. E. Potts" <fepotts@fepco.com>
cc: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: Frames - does anyone like them?
In-Reply-To: <96Aug21.144027mdt.18433@gw2.fepco.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.95.960821163652.23779A-100000@ns.viet.net>

On Wed, 21 Aug 1996, F. E. Potts wrote:

> John Bro, InterSoft Solutions, Inc wrote:
>  
> > > Urg. It shows how difficult it is to select which browsers are
> > > frame aware and which aren't. Even Netscape fails to do it for
> > > their own browsers.
> 
> Benjamin Franz replied:
> 
> > It's easy - if you bother to use <noframes> instead of playing user
> > agent games. If a browsers understands frames it gets the frames - if
> > it doesn't, it gets the <noframes> content.. 
> 
> There are a few folks around who don't much like frames ;-), so a site
> which wishes to be helpful to its users will give them the option to
> choose the interface (frames or noframes) they prefer.  This option I
> have provided on my site, and the logs are revealing.

Me too. ;-) 

I only use frames on ONE thing I do. And it intelligently uses <NOFRAMES>
to *detect* a browsers support and offers those with support the choice
(which can be changed at any time).
<URL:http://www.nihongo.org/english/chat/> (Note - this is a virtual web
server that is still in development stages as a site - if your browser
doesn't send host - you aren't going to be able to visit it and don't
complain about broken links and missing content: Nyah.)

> 
> It seems that around 70% of my visitors with frame-aware UAs choose the
> frame interface, and most of them stick with the interface as they move
> from chapter to chapter and illustration to illustration.  And yes,
> there have been many positive comments about the site, though most of
> them relate to the content rather than the implementation (which is the
> way it should be -- the goal is to make the site as easy for the
> visitor to use and navigate as possible).
> 
> It seems to me that a site using <noframes> to force the issue with its
> visitors is the one "playing user agent games."

Nope. "user agent games" is when you look at the user agent and *based on
its name* serve a different page. Something guaranteed to break on some
browsers with the number out there lying about who they are - never mind
the versioning problem (anyone else utterly amazed by Netscape's
versioning?). Intelligent use of <NOFRAMES> allows me to prevent options
being presented to users they *can't* use (and no - I am not talking about
anything besides frames). Those who *can* use frames get the choice on my
system. And really - allowing people to opt in or out of frames isn't
that hard with proper design.

As for the 'forcing the issue' - even a site that *does* 'force the issue'
isn't playing user agent games. No more so than a site that uses <H1> or
<TABLE> or any other item. 'But they didn't present it the way I would
have' isn't user agent games - it is site design.

-- 
Benjamin Franz