W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > December 1999

Re: <NOFRAMES> in HTML 4.01 Strict

From: G. James Berigan <www-html@war-of-the-worlds.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 13:48:00 -0600
Message-Id: <v04220800b486d84aaaac@[]>
To: www-html@w3.org
>[This is a discussion on www-validator@w3.org that doesn't really have
>to do with the W3C Validator.  I'm CC'ing www-html@w3.org where it's
>on-topic.  Please send follow-ups there.]

You got it.

Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com> wrote:
>Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>>Christopher Atkinson wrote:

>>> I am afraid that I may have caused some confusion due to lack of
>>> clarity in my prior message: the pages I am trying to validate do
>>> not contain a <FRAMESET>.
>>> I am using frames-based navigation. I want to use <NOFRAMES> element
>>> on non-frameset pages in the belief that this would make navigation
>>> available for non-frames user agents. (Is this belief founded?)

>> NOFRAMES goes -within- your FRAMESET document; putting it within an
>> html document that does not contain a FRAMESET has no meaning and
>> is not used by any user agents.

> Then one wonders why NOFRAMES is allowed in HTML 4.0(1) Transitional
> documents.

Kynn is in error.  NOFRAMES is allowed in other documents than Frameset
documents and its behavior depends on the presentational context of the
page containing NOFRAMES.

However, frames in general is transitional markup.  Note that the NOFRAMES
content provided in a Frameset document is validated against the
Transitional, not the Strict, DTD.  Therefore, there is no frames support
in the Strict DTD.  (There isn't even a target attribute defined under

> It's poorly specified in HTML 4.0 and HTML 4.01; the text
> [*] allows both the implementations of MSIE and Netscape.  MSIE displays
> the content of a NOFRAMES element if no frames are being shown while
> Netscape never displays the content of NOFRAMES.
> [*] http://www.w3.org/TR/html40/present/frames.html#edef-NOFRAMES

That note is in error in saying, "The NOFRAMES element can be used with all
DTDs defined for HTML 4.01."  In fact it can only be used with DTDs which
employ Transitional markup.

> As a side note, I don't think that NOFRAMES belongs in HTML 4.01 Strict
> (as the text of the HTML 4.01 PR implies is possible, but the DTD
> forbids).  The Strict DTD should be free of the poorly thought out
> frames stuff.

It is not that it is poorly thought out but rather that frames are
presentational and better implemented in stylesheets.  One can construct
pages that simulate frames behavior with complete CSS support and
Javascript.  Possibly without Javascript.  I haven't tried.
Received on Wednesday, 22 December 1999 14:49:01 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 15:05:52 UTC