Re: Wrong approach towards Frames (was: New tags...)

Benjamin Franz (snowhare@netimages.com)
Tue, 11 Feb 1997 08:52:17 -0800 (PST)


Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1997 08:52:17 -0800 (PST)
From: Benjamin Franz <snowhare@netimages.com>
To: Stephanos Piperoglou <spip@hol.gr>
cc: Jim Wise <jw250@columbia.edu>, Dave Carter <dxc@ast.cam.ac.uk>,
Subject: Re: Wrong approach towards Frames (was: New tags...)
In-Reply-To: <Pine.LNX.3.95.970211163935.206A-100000@fenchurch>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.95.970211084613.29126C-100000@ns.viet.net>

On Tue, 11 Feb 1997, Stephanos Piperoglou wrote:

> 
> WHY on Earth does ANYBODY think <BANNER> isn't well thought out, or to put
> it another way, that it's not a good solution?
> 
> Take a look at any site using frames today. They are used for VERY specific
> purposes: Creating "navigation bars" (i.e. top-level ToCs) and presenting
> logos, copuright notices etc. That is, frames are simply a part of the
> document that doesn't scroll. Nobody uses them for anything else!


Counter-example #1:
<URL:http://www.netimages.com/ni-cgi-bin/chat.cgi>.

Here frames are used to isolate the automated updating of the chat display
from the message entry form so the automated update doesn't cut-off
message entry.

There *are* other uses. I can think of at least two additional seperate
uses where content isolated frames are the *right* solution: Web page
commentary and Meta-website submission validation and review.

> What's the main drawback of Netscape's implementation? Each frame contains a
> seperate document, hence a link can only be followed in one frame at a time.
> What do people do to counter this? They use platform- and browser-dependant
> scripting languages to change more than one frame at a time (i.e. to make
> the "Next" button point to the next section or the icon representing the
> document you're viewing be highlighted). But ALL frame-enabled pages revolve
> around one main frame where the document is displayed, which usually
> scrolls, and one or more "supporting" frames which display static
> information.

Untrue. By linking to other frame documents you can change *all* the
visible frames at once. And you are making a sweeping generalization that
is easily disproved.


> Netscape's structure is based on the philosophy that many equivalent
> documents are displayed simultaneously. That's the problem with this
> solution, and a CSS-based solution that was proposed a while back by Bos,
> Raggett and Lie called "Frame-based layout via Style Sheets" [1]. It
> approaches the problem from the wrong angle.
> 
> [1] http://www.w3.org/WWW/TR/NOTE-layout.html
> 
> <BANNER> puts all frames in ONE document. This is good because frames are
> really just "satellites" around the main document, thus they update with
> every new document, and they can be displayed inline if the user agent
> doesn't know about BANNER. This does not really waste any appreciable
> bandwidth, it only takes less time and effort for the document author to get
> the desired result.
>

If that is what you want. For some problems divying up a single document
into chunks is inadequate. Content *isolation* is needed. And you *could*
do what you want with Netscape's frames as well. Think about it for awhile
and I am sure you will discover how to put different pieces of the same
document into frames - it isn't hard.

-- 
Benjamin Franz