HTML Frames (enhancement request and SGML declarations)

Earl Hood (ehood@isogen.com)
Wed, 28 Aug 1996 11:31:43 -0500


Message-Id: <199608281631.LAA13466@bonk.isogen.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
cc: ehood@isogen.com
Subject: HTML Frames (enhancement request and SGML declarations)
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1996 11:31:43 -0500
From: Earl Hood <ehood@isogen.com>

Personal Comments on Frames

   Setting up a sample archive mail archive with the next version of my
   mail converter (MHonArc), was a way for me to learn about Netscape's
   Frames extensions to HTML. The concept of frames has nice possibilities.
   My main gripe is on the implementation of the frames.

   Since the content of a frame must be referenced by a URL, it can make
   maintenance of documents that use frames troublesome since frame names
   and relationships must be managed among multiple documents. It would be
   nice that the contents of a frame can be defined within the same document
   that defines the frame. In the sample MHonArc archive, it would be much
   cleaner if I could define the navigational links and message frame layout
   and content within a single document. Instead, I am required to use 3
   files (frame definition document, navigational links document, message
   data document).

   Also, allowing content to be defined within the same document as a frame
   markup, it will help data providers make a document usable in non-frame
   aware clients. I.e. A single document can be usable by frame and non-frame
   aware clients. Frame aware clients will divide the view into frames and
   display the content accordingly. Non-frame clients will ignore the frame
   markup and display the markup they recognize.

   Many documents that utilize frames would benefit if frame content could
   be defined in the frame definition document. So if anyone from Netscape,
   or other client suppliers, is listening, please consider adding the
   functionality into your products.

  Suggested Implementation

   Basically, if a frame element contains content, then the content will be
   displayed in the frame. If the SRC attribute is defined, then the document
   reference by SRC will be displayed in the frame, and the element content
   will be empty.

   Sample SGML declarations for frame markup:


<!ELEMENT frameset      - 0     (frame|frameset)+,noframes?) -(noframes) >
<!ATTLIST frameset
            rows        CDATA                   #IMPLIED
            cols        CDATA                   #IMPLIED
>

<!ELEMENT frame         - 0     (%HTMLcontent;) >
<!ATTLIST frame
            src         CDATA                   #CONREF
            -- Since src is defined as #CONREF, if the src attribute
               is set, then the content of the frame element will
               be empty and the frame content is obtained from the
               referenced document.  If the src attribute is not
               set, the frame content is obtained from the content
               of the frame element.
            --
            name        NAME                    #IMPLIED
            resize      (resize|noresize)       #IMPLIED
            scrolling   (yes|no|auto)           #IMPLIED
            marginheight
                        NUMBER                  #IMPLIED
            marginwidth NUMBER                  #IMPLIED
>

<!ELEMENT noframes      - 0     (%HTMLcontent;) >

   I am assuming the HTMLcontent parameter entity is defined accordingly.
   It can be replaced with the appropriate parameter entity name if
   defined in the HTML DTD.

	--ewh

----
    Earl Hood                  |   ISOGEN INTERNATIONAL CORP
    ehood@isogen.com           |   dba Highland Consulting
    Phone: 214-953-0004 x127   |   2200 North Lamar #230
    FAX: 214-953-3152          |   Dallas, TX  75202