Frames are bad - really?

Discussion in 'HTML' started by grakat, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. grakat

    grakat Guest

    I don't use frames myself - nasty, horrible things - but for a smallish
    site (half a dozen pages or so) are they really that bad?

    I know that search engines only see the main page, and that you can't
    bookmark an internal page, but is that really so bad? Are there
    accessability issues, for example? (yes, if by enlarging the text size
    you can no longer see all the navigation)

    Tear me to shreds, please! I'm looking for ammo, here.
    I've read a few sites (Google is my friend) but they all seem to be a
    few years old.

    --

    Email addy ROT13'd
     
    grakat, Jul 3, 2005
    #1
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  2. grakat

    Adrienne Guest

    Gazing into my crystal ball I observed grakat <> writing
    in news::

    > I don't use frames myself - nasty, horrible things - but for a smallish
    > site (half a dozen pages or so) are they really that bad?
    >
    > I know that search engines only see the main page, and that you can't
    > bookmark an internal page, but is that really so bad? Are there
    > accessability issues, for example? (yes, if by enlarging the text size
    > you can no longer see all the navigation)
    >
    > Tear me to shreds, please! I'm looking for ammo, here.
    > I've read a few sites (Google is my friend) but they all seem to be a
    > few years old.
    >


    The only thing that frames are good for, IMHO, is that they can be
    resized by the user with a mouse (correct me if I am wrong if this can be
    done with a keyboard). But how many times is that going to be an issue?
    Almost never. I can hear the peanut gallery shouting "image gallery!",
    and I refer you to Brucie's Sexy Butterflies
    <http://butterflies.usenetshit.info/>.

    Of course, one of the main problems is orphan SERPs[1]. The author can
    add javascript to have the page call the frameset, but then, 1) it's
    usually the index page and not the SERP, 2) users without javascript
    still get the orphan. This can all be aleviated server side, but if you
    have access to server side, why use frames in the first place?

    Then there's bookmarking, very similar to the SERP problem, but the
    browser will bookmark the frameset, not the document. So, you go back
    and you get the index page again, and have to dig around until you find
    the page you originally bookmarked.

    There are other problems as well, so, as Nancy says, Just Say No. Use a
    server side include, or use a preprocessor, but don't use frames.

    [1] - Search Engine Result Page

    --
    Adrienne Boswell
    http://www.cavalcade-of-coding.info
    Please respond to the group so others can share
     
    Adrienne, Jul 3, 2005
    #2
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  3. grakat

    dorayme Guest

    > From: grakat <>

    > I don't use frames myself - nasty, horrible things - but for a smallish
    > site (half a dozen pages or so) are they really that bad?
    >
    > I know that search engines only see the main page, and that you can't
    > bookmark an internal page, but is that really so bad? Are there
    > accessability issues, for example? (yes, if by enlarging the text size
    > you can no longer see all the navigation)
    >
    > Tear me to shreds, please! I'm looking for ammo, here.
    > I've read a few sites (Google is my friend) but they all seem to be a
    > few years old.
    >

    Frames are great for fixing a navigation bar. They are well supported from
    my observations. And from what I see folk saying here, the alternatives
    (fixed nav wise) are not any better supported. I would be unlikely to use
    them for a new site, (better to design otherwise altogether), but it would
    be a lot of work to change the one site I did years back with frames - I
    don't think it is justified to spend money on this feature at the moment.

    Toby Inkster has just about said all of how best to guard against the bad
    things. Ask him. In my case I make sure there is a link to a home page which
    *is* frame-free.

    Search is not everything on the internet, Google is not everything,
    Bookmarks are not everything. There are other priorities in many cases. In
    my case, it is a manufacturer who is aiming at the distributors, a fixed lot
    by and large, and it serves as a reference to potential retail customers who
    phone in and are told to see things on the website, thus saving having to
    post out an expensive paper catalogue (the manufacturer does not trade with
    the public directly).

    By the home page being frame-free it is easy to bookmark. The frames are a
    great convenience elsewhere despite potential and other technical drawbacks.
    They are not nasty and horrible things at all. They are big friendly cuddly
    things, think whales, they mean real well, they may be a bit clumsy and have
    drawbacks but ... just writing this is making me yearn to go and be among
    some...

    dorayme
     
    dorayme, Jul 3, 2005
    #3
  4. grakat

    jake Guest

    In message <>, grakat
    <> writes
    >I don't use frames myself - nasty, horrible things


    .... warm, cute, cuddly things ... like a big teddy-bear?

    >- but for a smallish
    >site (half a dozen pages or so) are they really that bad?


    Frames are just fine -- providing they're used properly.
    >
    >I know that search engines only see the main page,


    But that's OK. You just need to ensure:
    (a) You use the <noframes></noframes> to supply either a menu or a link
    to a menu page.
    (b) The content frames contain a link back to the menu (frameset or menu
    page).

    >and that you can't
    >bookmark an internal page, but is that really so bad?


    Not really -- even if it was true. But it's not.

    IE users have been able to bookmark a framed page 'in context' for years
    (and that's 85-90% of your audience); other browser manufacturers
    haven't thought it a big enough deal to warrant providing the facility.

    >Are there
    >accessability issues, for example? (yes, if by enlarging the text size
    >you can no longer see all the navigation)


    Most modern AT (assistive technology) UAs (screen readers, talking
    browsers, etc.) handle a well-written framed site without any
    difficulty.
    >
    >Tear me to shreds, please! I'm looking for ammo, here.


    Hmmm. Can't think of anything significant to provide you with.

    >I've read a few sites (Google is my friend) but they all seem to be a
    >few years old.


    Aren't they, just.

    Still, just sit back and wait for the frames-are-evil people to provide
    you with a lot of references. Just remember to take the batteries out of
    your bogosity meter while your reading them to prevent being constantly
    distracted;-)
    >

    regards.
    --
    Jake
    ( .... just a spam trap.)
     
    jake, Jul 3, 2005
    #4
  5. On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 15:58:10 +1000, dorayme <> wrote:

    > By the home page being frame-free it is easy to bookmark.


    The entire argument being that pages somewhere deep down inside the site should
    be the ones a visitor should be able to bookmark, this seems fully beside the
    point.



    --
    ,-- --<--@ -- PretLetters: 'woest wyf', met vele interesses: ----------.
    | weblog | http://home.wanadoo.nl/b.de.zoete/_private/weblog.html |
    | webontwerp | http://home.wanadoo.nl/b.de.zoete/html/webontwerp.html |
    |zweefvliegen | http://home.wanadoo.nl/b.de.zoete/html/vliegen.html |
    `-------------------------------------------------- --<--@ ------------'
     
    Barbara de Zoete, Jul 3, 2005
    #5
  6. grakat

    Toby Inkster Guest

    dorayme wrote:

    > Toby Inkster has just about said all of how best to guard against the bad
    > things. Ask him. In my case I make sure there is a link to a home page which
    > *is* frame-free.


    I am part way through writing a frames tutorial, that explains how to
    circumvent most of the problems with frames:

    http://examples.tobyinkster.co.uk/frames/frameset.php

    However, these are just a few ideas, and (perhaps with a little more
    effort) you'll generally achieve better results by dropping frames
    altogether.

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact
    Now Playing ~ ./keane/hopes_and_fears/09_this_is_the_last_time.ogg
     
    Toby Inkster, Jul 3, 2005
    #6
  7. grakat wrote:
    > I don't use frames myself - nasty, horrible things - but for a smallish
    > site (half a dozen pages or so) are they really that bad?


    Frames like everything else have their place. I use them on a daily
    bases for client slide shows. Could I use brucies method? Sure I
    could. But Photoshop doesn't know it. And All I have to do to make a
    slide show to show clients their picutres is pick a menu item in
    potoshop.

    Would I use them in a comercial site? Most likely not. Do I use then
    for clients? Absolutely. Have I ever had a customer complain? Never.
    Have I ever had a customer who could not see them? Never. Have I ever
    had a customer that could not see them and I don't know? Nope, because
    there is a 1 to 1 relationship between the slide shows and the
    customers and we are on the phone with theme very single time the look
    at them.

    So there is a place for them.

    --
    -=tn=-
     
    Travis Newbury, Jul 3, 2005
    #7
  8. grakat

    rf Guest

    Toby Inkster wrote:

    > I am part way through writing a frames tutorial, that explains how to
    > circumvent most of the problems with frames:


    Re:
    http://examples.tobyinkster.co.uk/frames/frameset.php?page=keep


    I always like to explain that the separate frames (or in your terminology,
    "layers", the blue bits in your graphic) are in fact separate <insert
    operating system> GUI windows that are child windows of the browsers client
    window (the red bit, the one that contains the "frameset" page).

    This makes it very easy to explain why the nice pretty dropdown menu system
    you have created in your top "menu" frame (if you would rotate your image 90
    degrees clockwise) do not work, that is the dropdowns seem to disappear
    "underneath" the content frame below the menu frame.

    They of course disappear because they drop down *outside* the GUI window in
    which they live, just as if you ran that menu frame by itself in a browser
    window 100 or whatever pixels high.

    <aside>
    The blue bits don't exactly cover the red bit. The screen real estate in the
    vertical gap between the blue bits (in your graphic) is owned by the red
    bit. It is the so called frame "border" you can mouse drag. It is not
    actualy the frame border, it is maintained and event handled by the window
    that contains the frameset, the browsers client window. Much like an MFC
    splitter window, if you do MFC that is :)

    I feel this is important because just about everybody talks about "dragging
    the frame borders". You aren't. You are actualy dragging the gap between the
    frames.
    </aside>




    Your PHP solution for having a seperate "URL" for each "page" is neat, I
    surmise you are using that page parameter to choose the appropriate content
    page for the generated frameset.

    There is another solution available if server side stuff is not available to
    the masses.

    Have a seperate frameset for each "page". The menu frame links, and all
    other links for that matter, target _top.

    True, almost twice as many files but each frameset will refer to the same
    menu frame so we get the "one menu page" benefit and we get the unique URL
    bit. The frameset pages would naturally be generated by a suitable
    pre-processor.

    You might have thought of this, AFAICT you stopped typing part way through
    this page :)

    Cheers
    Richard.
     
    rf, Jul 3, 2005
    #8
  9. grakat

    Dennis Guest

    On 02 Jul 2005 Adrienne wrote in alt.html

    > I can hear the peanut gallery shouting "image gallery!",
    > and I refer you to Brucie's Sexy Butterflies
    > <http://butterflies.usenetshit.info/>.


    I keep waiting for brucie to do one that works that nice with 500 images. I
    know the old fart could do it in a weekend if he didn't keep getting all
    tangled up in his pink gaffers tape.

    --
    Dennis
     
    Dennis, Jul 3, 2005
    #9
  10. grakat

    Dennis Guest

    On 03 Jul 2005 rf wrote in alt.html

    > You are actualy dragging the gap


    sounds sexy.

    --
    Dennis
     
    Dennis, Jul 3, 2005
    #10
  11. grakat

    Toby Inkster Guest

    rf wrote:

    > Your PHP solution for having a seperate "URL" for each "page" is neat, I
    > surmise you are using that page parameter to choose the appropriate
    > content page for the generated frameset.


    Yep -- all the PHP source is available:

    http://examples.tobyinkster.co.uk/frames/

    The NOFRAMES feature is far more fun than the unique URLs. :)

    Opera > Tools > Preferences > Advanced > Content > Enable Frames > disable.

    And yes, it is possible to do this without any server-side scripting, but
    it's a whole lot easier if you script.

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact
     
    Toby Inkster, Jul 3, 2005
    #11
  12. grakat

    dorayme Guest

    > From: "Barbara de Zoete" <>
    >
    > On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 15:58:10 +1000, dorayme <> wrote:
    >
    >> By the home page being frame-free it is easy to bookmark.

    >
    > The entire argument being that pages somewhere deep down inside the site
    > should
    > be the ones a visitor should be able to bookmark, this seems fully beside the
    > point.
    >

    It depends on what the point is. The *entire* argument is not over this. You
    seem over confident to me on this...

    dorayme
     
    dorayme, Jul 4, 2005
    #12
  13. grakat

    dorayme Guest

    > From: Toby Inkster <>
    >
    > dorayme wrote:
    >
    >> Toby Inkster has just about said all of how best to guard against the bad
    >> things. Ask him. In my case I make sure there is a link to a home page which
    >> *is* frame-free.

    >
    > I am part way through writing a frames tutorial, that explains how to
    > circumvent most of the problems with frames:
    >
    > http://examples.tobyinkster.co.uk/frames/frameset.php
    >
    > However, these are just a few ideas, and (perhaps with a little more
    > effort) you'll generally achieve better results by dropping frames
    > altogether.
    >


    I think this is good advice ...

    dorayme
     
    dorayme, Jul 4, 2005
    #13
  14. grakat

    grakat Guest

    In article <>,
    says...
    > I don't use frames myself - are they really that bad?
    >

    Thanks everybody. I guess frames aren't really evil after all; maybe
    just a little misunderstood.
    I still won't use them on a new site, but I'll stop obsessing over old
    ones.

    --

    Email addy ROT13'd
     
    grakat, Jul 4, 2005
    #14
  15. In article <>,
    grakat <> wrote:

    > In article <>,
    > says...
    > > I don't use frames myself - are they really that bad?
    > >

    > Thanks everybody. I guess frames aren't really evil after all; maybe
    > just a little misunderstood.
    > I still won't use them on a new site, but I'll stop obsessing over old
    > ones.


    If your old sites are commercial, now would be a good time to get your
    thoughts together about how you used "cutting-edge" technology to
    provide clients with the "very best solution available" at the time. But
    alas, the web has moved on, and events have forced you to come to them
    now, as the web has matured, to offer to redo the sites without frames
    and incidentally for a fee, as they are now obsolete. You'll use a whole
    new and much better technology that utilizes any-size-design, CSS to
    unclutter the pages and make them faster, compliance to some spec, etc,
    etc... If you have your thoughts together and you're good at sales, you
    can do this. Otherwise someone else probably will.
    I wouldn't advertise old framed sites until I fixed them up. Nearly all
    commercial sites get upgraded periodically. It keeps developers alive.

    leo

    --
    <http://web0.greatbasin.net/~leo/
     
    Leonard Blaisdell, Jul 4, 2005
    #15
  16. grakat

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 02:29:13 GMT, grakat <> wrote:

    >I guess frames aren't really evil after all; maybe just a little misunderstood.


    I've never subscribed to that "frames are evil" view, but they're
    certainly broken as an implementation of the concept.

    For me, bookmarking (and its inability) is the killer. It's _possible_
    to do bookmarkable frames, but it requires server-side coding and lots
    of URL re-writing. On the whole it's easier to use SSI (or something)
    and duplicate the repeated content across multiple pages than it is to
    use frames just to get a menu, then have to sort out the frame's
    problems.

    --
    Cats have nine lives, which is why they rarely post to Usenet.
     
    Andy Dingley, Jul 4, 2005
    #16
  17. grakat

    jake Guest

    In message <>, Andy Dingley
    <> writes
    >On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 02:29:13 GMT, grakat <> wrote:
    >
    >>I guess frames aren't really evil after all; maybe just a little
    >>misunderstood.

    >
    >I've never subscribed to that "frames are evil" view, but they're
    >certainly broken as an implementation of the concept.
    >
    >For me, bookmarking (and its inability) is the killer. It's _possible_
    >to do bookmarkable frames, but it requires server-side coding and lots
    >of URL re-writing.


    Or you just need to use Internet Explorer (like 90% of the rest of the
    Web population).

    >On the whole it's easier to use SSI (or something)
    >and duplicate the repeated content across multiple pages than it is to
    >use frames just to get a menu, then have to sort out the frame's
    >problems.
    >


    --
    Jake
    ( .... just a spam trap.)
     
    jake, Jul 4, 2005
    #17
  18. On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 11:49:15 +1000, dorayme <> wrote:

    >> From: "Barbara de Zoete" <>
    >>
    >> On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 15:58:10 +1000, dorayme <> wrote:

    > You
    > seem over confident to me on this...


    I couldn't care less what you think about me since that has nothing to do with
    the content of the argument.



    --
    ,-- --<--@ -- PretLetters: 'woest wyf', met vele interesses: ----------.
    | weblog | http://home.wanadoo.nl/b.de.zoete/_private/weblog.html |
    | webontwerp | http://home.wanadoo.nl/b.de.zoete/html/webontwerp.html |
    |zweefvliegen | http://home.wanadoo.nl/b.de.zoete/html/vliegen.html |
    `-------------------------------------------------- --<--@ ------------'
     
    Barbara de Zoete, Jul 4, 2005
    #18
  19. grakat

    Toby Inkster Guest

    jake wrote:

    > Or you just need to use Internet Explorer (like 90% of the rest of the
    > Web population).


    And miss out on tabbed browsing, decent CSS support, decent security, etc
    just to be able to bookmark a handful of framed pages? No thanks.

    And even if frames were universally bookmarkable, it still doesn't solve
    the related problem of linking to a particular frame.

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact
     
    Toby Inkster, Jul 4, 2005
    #19
  20. grakat

    kchayka Guest

    jake wrote:
    >
    > Or you just need to use Internet Explorer (like 90% of the rest of the
    > Web population).


    Why should I use an inferior browser just because the masses do?

    --
    Reply email address is a bottomless spam bucket.
    Please reply to the group so everyone can share.
     
    kchayka, Jul 4, 2005
    #20
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