RE: Frames and Compatibility (was: web admin duties)

Subject: RE: Frames and Compatibility (was: web admin duties)
From: "David Berg" <dberg -at- dmpnet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 12:49:34 -0600

> --- bryan -dot- westbrook -at- amd -dot- com wrote:
> > Here is an easy workaround (provided that your page uses a
> > navigation/text frame split).
> >
> > In the main frameset holder page include a link to the navigation bar
> > page between the <NOFRAMES> tags. Then the reader would be able to
> > open that navigation bar as the sole browser page and link to any of
> > the other pages from there.
> >
> > If you have a logo as part of your frameset, you could also include
> > that on individual pages inside <NOFRAMES> tags.

This could work if you use the second frame strictly as one more option for
navigation; one of the most common uses of frames. You could still include a
couple of navigation options in the main frame, thus allowing it to function
as a stand-alone page.

> > This might not be the best looking way to approach the problem, but I
> > would guess that appearance is not the top priority of anybody who is
> > using a non-frame browser.

I agree with Tom on this one. Don't assume that looks aren't important. I'm
not sure which browsers, aside from text browsers and sorely antiquated
graphical versions, don't offer frames, but other folks might simply link
from a search engine directly to the non-frames page.

I would only use frames, if at all, on pages that I'm fairly confident the
user will never want to print. Printing a frames page is just tricky enough
that some users will mess up, so simplify the process.

> Yes, the suggestion above is but one of many possible ways to handle
> some of the issues, but it still requires that I make the same changes
> in more than one place, so it still looks like double work to me.

There are still cases where you might have to maintain two copies of a page,
such as a version that more printer friendly or versions for atypical
browsers, like handheld computers.

It might be handy if someone offered some sort of web page software
(Dreamweaver for Tech Writers? <g>) that offered a conditional text or
conditional compile feature.

> I think you're missing the point about web accessibility. My reading
> indicates that some people have difficulty processing (reading or
> understanding) text displayed in a side-by-side fashion. (I'm gonna
> guess this is a form of dyslexia or other cognitive disability.) For
> them it is important to be able to access the information in a top-down
> fashion. There are browsers out there that allow that, I'm told.

I'd say this is more likely to simply be a difference in learning styles
more often than a dyslexic-style learning disability. Perhaps some folks
have an honest disability along this line, but for the most part when
someone learns of thinks differently than me, I just view as a difference in
learning styles. I suppose that my opinion on this subject is a mute point
though, because of course you should still accommodate the user in either

David Berg

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