Re: Frames spec & the NOFRAMES tag

Stephanos Piperoglou (sp249@cam.ac.uk)
Wed, 4 Mar 1998 14:37:02 +0000 (GMT)


Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 14:37:02 +0000 (GMT)
From: Stephanos Piperoglou <sp249@cam.ac.uk>
To: "Marcus Haas (V.Luckas)" <mhaas@igd.fhg.de>
cc: bhaller@apple.com, www-html@w3.org
In-Reply-To: <199803041026.LAA22643@bells.igd.fhg.de>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.980304142131.9280A-100000@teatime.joh.cam.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: Frames spec & the NOFRAMES tag

On Wed, 4 Mar 1998, Marcus Haas (V.Luckas) wrote:

> Hmmm, can you think of any browser that supports BODY-attributes but no frames ?
> As far as I'm concerned, the only use for the NOFRAMES-Tag is for text-only
> browsers like Lynx. If you check the attributes on BODY, you'll see that none
> of these actually apply...

Netscape 1.2, IE 2.0. You'd be surprised how many people use them; IE2.0 was
bundled with Microsoft Plus for a long, long time and people still install
it, and Netscape 1.2 is still circulating all over the place for various
reasons. I used to work in an ISP that distributed NS1.2 as part of their
software pack for new users up to six months ago - the irony was that their
own web pages were broken for it. There are a LOT of novice users out there
who don't know anything about picking the right tools, much less about
understanding why web page X looks unreadable on their client, or even what
HTML is. And they won't install new software on their computers unless their
technically minded friend/colleague/sysadmin comes along and tells them to.
Plus, they form the majority of viewers of more "mainstream" sites like
corporate & business home pages.

> Yes, that's correct. It also works rather nicely and I think it's far more
> intuitive than having to use five files instead of five for three frames.

I'll repeat my mantra against frames (it's been repeated again and again on
this list...). I think that 99.99% of current applications of frames would
be greatly simplified if you could simply define the content of frames
within a document, in something like <div style="frame: top">content</div>.
This would solve all the problems of documents shown in frames while their
TITLE is nowhere to be seen since the user sees the title of the frameset
document, solve the problem of bookmarking/linking to frame states other
than the one defined in the frameset document without resorting to
client-side methods, solve the problem of stray hyperlinks that don't point
to the parent frame, and so on. As the implementation exists now, it's
stupid at least of anyone to use frames, except for VERY specific
applications like Web chat that really does split the window into separate
sections and updates them separately, instead of doing what MOST people do
with frames, defining headers/footers/navbars that scroll separately from
the main document.

This is not by any means a purist argument! Frame states can't be bookmarked
or linked to, meaning any frame-based site is going to have huge difficulty
appealing to search engine crawlers that are going to INCREASE HITS, as
management will want to hear. And it's going to be hellish to create
coherent hyperlinking within a frame-based site that's of at least medium
size.

I've said this time and again both here and on www-style, I still don't
understand why nobody implemented frames like this.

-- Stephanos Piperoglou -- sp249@cam.ac.uk -------------------
All I want is a little love and a lot of money. In that order.
------------------------- http://www.thor.cam.ac.uk/~sp249/ --