Re: Extending URL syntax for framesets?

Holger Wahlen (wahlen@ph-cip.Uni-Koeln.DE)
Tue, 29 Jul 1997 14:04:34 +0200


Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 14:04:34 +0200
Message-Id: <199707291204.AA25009@jupiter.ph-cip.Uni-Koeln.DE>
To: www-html@w3.org
From: wahlen@ph-cip.Uni-Koeln.DE (Holger Wahlen)
Subject: Re: Extending URL syntax for framesets?

On Mon, 28 Jul 1997 14:19:20 -0700, E. Stephen Mack
<estephen@emf.net> thought about possibilities to link to a
certain instance of a frameset:

| I would like to propose discussion on an extension to URL 
| semantics that specifies the base frameset URL (so that the 
| frames can be created) and then adds the appropriate frame 
| URLs, in much the same way as the FRAME elements within the 
| FRAMESET element in the frameset document currently specify 
| individual URLs.
| [...]
| This list may not be the best place to propose changes to 
| the URL semantics, but since it's a frames issue that 
| coincides with HTML 4.0's introduction of frames, I thought 
| people here would be the most interested (and opinionated).

I suggest to treat the problem as two separate ones:
	- How should URLs for a frameset instance be defined?
(And should they at all? See my next message for a thought
about that.)
	- How can HTML deal with them?
The first question may not belong on this list, and I don't
have enough detailed knowledge about possibilities and
problems in that regard anyway; so I'll just talk about the
second one. To be able to give some examples, though, I'll
use Stephen's syntax, just with whitespace instead of "?" as
a separator, thus:
	"frameset target1=file1 target2=file2 ..."

The idea that has come to my mind is the addition of an
attribute to A - say, FREF -, that could point to a frameset
instance just like HREF does to a single file. This would
make two links of a different kind in the same opening A tag
possible, which could improve the behavior of no-frame
browsers.

Imagine, for example, the site I want to link to has a page
frameset.html, which builds up two frames, one for the menu
(menu.html) and the other the pages with the actual contents,
let's say information about some animals (cat.html, dog.html
etc.):

  <!-- in frameset.html -->
  <FRAMESET ROWS="*,4*">
    <FRAME SRC="menu.html">
    <FRAME SRC="welcome.html" NAME="main">
  </FRAMESET>

Now I talk about cows in some text of mine, so I'd like to
add an appropriate link. If there's only HREF, I have to use
this (omitting the http://... part for brevity):

  <A HREF="frameset.html main=cow.html">cows</A>;

that would work for browsers with frames, but it's not clear
what others should do. Display a NOFRAMES part of the first
page in the list? Possible - if it's present at all -, but
when I follow a link that says "cows", I expect to get to the
cows page, not to the animals menu, even though I can look
for it there and reach it after following ... one? two? five?
more links.

On the other hand, if there are two separate attributes, I
can use this:

  <A HREF="cow.html" FREF="frameset.html main=cow.html">cows</A>.

No-frame browsers could still load the page with the
pertinent information - and even older ones would -, while
the others display the frameset and fill the frames with the
contents I've specified.

Of course, if the author had the use of cow.html within a
frameset in mind when he designed it, perhaps I don't really
want a no-frames browser to go there; for instance, it may
not contain any navigational links itself and thus be a dead
end. In that case I can leave out HREF,

  <A FREF="frameset.html main=cow.html">cows</A>,

so that no-frames browsers don't treat this as a link at all
("click here" looks *very* strange then, though ;-) ) - or,
if the author of the animal pages has provided separate
versions, I can use

  <A HREF="cow-noframes.html" FREF="frameset.html main=cow.html">cows</A>.


Expecting enthusiastic comments ;-),
	Holger


PS: Sorry if this is just a repetition of an earlier
suggestion; I'm rather new to the list and still trying to
make my way through the archives. But as this topic showed up
just now, I thought I'd share my thoughts.

____  |__|   / Holger   //       mailto:wahlen@ph-cip.uni-koeln.de  ____
      |  |/|/  Wahlen  //  http://www.ph-cip.uni-koeln.de/~wahlen/