Re: Header, Footer, and Sidebars

Liam Quinn (liam@htmlhelp.com)
Sat, 29 Nov 1997 12:53:25 -0500


Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19971129125325.00977d40@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Sat, 29 Nov 1997 12:53:25 -0500
To: www-html@w3.org
From: Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com>
In-Reply-To: <3.0.32.19971129113915.00efe014@pop.webcom.com>
Subject: RE: Header, Footer, and Sidebars

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At 11:44 AM 29/11/97 -0500, Steve Knoblock wrote:
>I understand the concern, and it did cross my mind the first time noticed
>style not inheriting into the included document. Still, I think the 
current
>behavior violates the basic perception of document inclusion. If OBJECT
>means some other thing (applet, what not) embedded in the page (like an
>movie embeded in a Word document) then the spec is correct. But when it
>comes to using this mechanism to include another document within a
>document, I expect it to function as part of the main document. This is 
how
>a word processor include works.
>
>The behavior makes no sense for building a main document from sub-
documents
>if the result does not behave and appear as a whole document. How can we
>take advantage of efficient HTML includes of navigational elements or
>tables for contents then?

I think that's the point.  OBJECT is not intended as a replacement for 
server-side includes and should not be used to build a document from sub-
documents that could not otherwise stand on their own.  An embedded HTML 
document is a complete HTML document, not a portion of a document that one 
might include with a SSI.  For including HTML documents, OBJECT is just 
IFRAME with a better name and no targeting.  The two should be presented 
in the same way by a user agent.

If OBJECT is shoehorned into a SSI replacement, you have a major problem 
when you want to include an independent HTML document that does not 
inherit the base URL or style information of the parent document.  If an 
INCLUDE element is truly desired, then it should be distinct from OBJECT, 
and it should simply include document fragments rather than necessarily 
complete documents.  However, server-side includes seem more efficient to 
me...

>I can't guess the intentions of the designers of the HTML4.0 spec, but it
>seems that the idea is to reduce the load on web servers and in general,
>the number of round trips to the server that are unnecessary. It would 
help
>a great deal to do away with SSI's in favor of client-side includes.

But then you have an extra trip to the server, and an extra download for 
the client.

>If
>they wish to retain OBJECT for "completely independent documents" then 
IMO
>we need a mechanism of HTML inclusion separate from it and distinct from
>SSI, which is wasteful of server resources and requires links be broken
>when changing pages from .html to shtml and back.

If you find the disadvantages of SSI too great, there are alternatives 
like preprocessors.

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--
Liam Quinn
Web Design Group            Enhanced Designs, Web Site Development
http://www.htmlhelp.com/    http://enhanced-designs.com/