W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > January 2000

Re: Frames and People With Napoleanic Issues >>

From: Eric Eldred <eldred@eldritchpress.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 11:56:37 -0500 (EST)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20000118115833.A6509@eldritchpress.org>
> >> As for frames, you can deprecate them, hide them under your bed, put them
> away in
> >> the closet, or bury them in the end zone with Jimmy Hoffa, and I'll tell
> you what
> >> -- people are still going to use them. Maybe not everyone, but there is
> still a
> >> use for them.

I don't like frames and don't use them. However,
I do use the "target" attribute.  

HTML originally was supposed to have a "banner" 
element that stayed fixed at the top of the page 
for nav bars.  Was not implemented in browsers.
No problem using "banner" in code--it was ignored.

Likewise, using "target" in HTML with browsers is
quite backward compatible--the page is brought
up in the same window in Lynx and a new window
with browsers that understand frames.  Who can
tell me code that will do the same with CSS on
so many HTML browsers?  Nielsen's complaint is not
valid--the BACK command does work in Lynx, so if
a user agent wishes to respond that way it can--
it is not a problem in the HTML DTD itself. His
statements are like Steve Jobs proclaiming that
the San Francisco font should not be in a Mac
because somebody might use it to write a business

But now XHTML wants to have us validate pages
according to a DTD.  And the proposed standard
setters don't like frames, so they left out 
"target."  (The ISO HTML standard leaves out
image "width" and "height" saying that can be
coding in a style sheet--just as silly--what's
the point of breaking old code to be purist?)

If we have to use the XML prolog "<? xml..."
to start pages we won't be able to serve them
to Macintosh IE4.5 users as HTML. (Yes, the
prolog is still optional in XHTML, but will
namespaces work without it?)  And the few users
with IE3 will find many CSS functions broken.

So our pages need to be rewritten to
be validated.  And since there might not be a
good way to provide valid functions with XHTML
itself, coders will turn to using Javascript or
other techniques.  This will destroy the objective
of providing an avenue for HTML pages to be 
validated under XHTML.  XHTML will not be
backward compatible.  It will not be used, and
tag soup will prevail.  Serious HTML coders will
invent some lowest common denominator HTML that 
works across the browsers they need to support.

The question then needs to be answered, what is
the state of XHTML 1.0 Transitional?  Can we use
that DTD yet or not?  If we use "target" will
we never be able to move forward?
Received on Tuesday, 18 January 2000 11:58:03 UTC

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