Re: Header, Footer, and Sidebars

David Norris (
Wed, 26 Nov 1997 07:15:48 -0500

From: "David Norris" <>
To: "Andrew n marshall" <>,
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 07:15:48 -0500
Message-ID: <01bcfa65$083408c0$>
Subject: Re: Header, Footer, and Sidebars

    That is an excellent visual example of my thoughts.  Of course, this
only is a visual example.  The text would still scroll with respect to the
main frame, but, it is the best available for now.  Your idea is great in
itself.  Really, the perfect visual example would be a framed page that is
visually similar.  This would look exactly like the CSS demo, but, would
function more closely to the desired result.  Basically, my thought is to
rid ourselves of frames in favor of a CSS property that does it without
requiring a 'compatible' graphical user agent.  Backward and forward
compatibility is the key.  Older agents ignore it and newer agents enhance
it.  I have read many complaints about the lack of dockable text.  All of
the complaints revolve around the poor design of frames.  Frames have you
loading multiple pages into the display.  In most cases these different
pages are vitally related.  (i.e. You are stranded if you can't see the
other documents.)   It is not feasible to load multiple pages into a
text-only display, as it would be hard to read visually, and, impossible for
speech synthesizers and Braille readers.  It is perfectly feasible to have a
block tag to position the text in a permanent location along one edge in a
graphical agent, though.  A scroll bar could appear as needed.  A user
agent, in an environment where this would not work, could simply ignore that
docking info and render the page top to bottom.  This page would be
perfectly readable by any user agent, old or new.

The problem, currently, is that it requires careful use of CSS.  It should
be a new box property, HTML block tag, or something.  This way it degrades
gracefully with 100% reliability.  A less knowledgeable author could destroy
a document's value by ignorantly misusing your example.  As is such with
frames.  I don't think that absolute positioning is an option in this case,
either.  Absolute positioning requires some level of skill.  We need
something that is very simple to implement.

If there is some interest in this, I could write an example of my thoughts.

,David Norris
World Wide Web -
My Home's Web -
ICQ Universal Internet Number - 412039
E-Mail -
-----Original Message-----
From: Todd Fahrner <>
To: Andrew n marshall <>; 'David Norris'
<>; 'W3C Style List' <>; 'W3C HTML List'
Date: Wednesday, November 26, 1997 2:01 AM
Subject: RE: Header, Footer, and Sidebars

>Andrew n marshall wrote, at 22:25 -0800 on 25.11.97:
>> > This can be visually accomplished with frames, currently.  Frames,
>> however,
>> <SNIP>
>> This can be accomplished with careful uses of CSS-2.