W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > May 1998

Re: target attribute.

From: Stephanos Piperoglou <sp249@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 23:08:07 +0100 (BST)
To: Garth Wallace <gwalla@hotmail.com>
cc: roconnor@uwaterloo.ca, lehors@w3.org, www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.980505225947.284A-100000@teatime.joh.cam.ac.uk>
On Tue, 5 May 1998, Garth Wallace wrote:

> >> I noticed that the target attribute isn't part of the strict DTD.  
> This
> >> means that frame elments must (well not quite must) be part of the
> >> Transitonal DTD. Is this an error, or was this done on purpose?
> >
> >This is not an error. Frames aren't considered as the way to go. CSS2
> >and its positioning capabilities is the preferred way.
> 
> Excuse me? CSS positioning does not have the same functionality as 
> frames. How on earth would you create a replacement for resizeable 
> frames with off-site content using CSS?

Not with "off-site content", which I assume means other documents. But
frames with documents other than those intended by the writer of the
original document are rarely used. Most people use frames for non-scrolling
regions in their documents, and CSS2 fixed positioning does this a lot
better.

Even if you do have a legitimate reason for two or more different documents
residing on the user's window, there are way too many problems with this.
One is that there is no way of linking to a specific "frame state", i.e. a
frameset which contains documents other than those specified in the frameset
document in its frames. Since most browser archive "bookmarks" using URLs,
it's also the case that a user can't bookmark such a state. And since search
engines can't link to it, it means that any such site will be unaccessible
to search engines except for the front page. And linking to "off-site"
documents using frames always carries the risk of a stray hyperlink TARGET
attribute somwhere in those documents which can cause wierd things to
happen. Not to mention that using framesets means you need at least 3 trips
to the server to fetch the document, and using a frameset for each page,
which is what most people do, means that is done every time a user navigates
to a new page on a site. Oh did I mention they're confusing for speech-based
browsers?

There's more, but need I go on? Frames are a Bad Thing. At least, their
current implementation is a Bad Thing. And things like "Web Chat" and
linking to "off-site" documents represent less than 1% (to an accuracy of -3
decimal places) of their current uses.

Pray, let them die.

-- Stephanos Piperoglou -- sp249@cam.ac.uk -------------------
All tribal myths are true, for a given value of `true'.
                         - Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent
------------------------- http://www.thor.cam.ac.uk/~sp249/ --
Received on Tuesday, 5 May 1998 18:09:08 GMT

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