Re: HTML documents with frames

Subject: Re: HTML documents with frames
From: "Huber, Mike" <mrhuber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 09:23:09 -0400

Yes, IE supports frames. But I do have some reasons why I avoid using

1) Search engines. A search engine will typically point to the content page,
not the frameset. So if your design for the content of a frame assumes the
existence of other frames, it's not going to work. For example, if you put
the title of the document and the company logo in a frame that goes at the
top of the frameset, and the content in a frame below, the search engine
will probably come up with two hits, one of which is a one-line page that
contains nothing but a title and a logo, and one that has no title and no
logo. If you include keywords in the frameset, the search engine may come up
with three hits, one of which is well-composed. Not good odds, even in the
best case.

2) Scrolling. If a frameset includes a scrolling frame, and that frame does
not have focus on the user's browser, the arrow keys won't do anything.
There is nothing on the screen to tell the user which frame has focus,
except for the arrow keys not working.

3) Deep linking. There are some lawsuits pending about deep linking and
framing, but it's better to lock your door than to prosecute a burglar. Deep
linking is where one site links to an individual frame (or other unintended
entry point) on another, rather than the frameset. By the clever use of
frames and deep linking, some companies have (as I and quite a few other see
it - "allegedly") stolen content from others. By using frames, the victims
made that theft easier. If you put your logo in a table, there isn't an easy
way for a competitor to make your material appear in someone else's browser
without your logo.

4) The multiple-frame update problem. Oddly enough, there is no easy way to
make a hotlink that updates more than one frame. You can use a link that
loads a whole new frameset, but that blows most of the advantages of frames.
Or you can use JavaScript, but you better make sure that the script checks
for the existence of the other frames (see #1) or you will get errors.

5) Bookmarks. Let's say there is a particular part of your site that you
want to point someone to, and it's not the front page. If you give them a
URL that is a frame and not a frameset, they won't see the whole page, just
the one frame. To get them to a particular spot, you have to give them the
URL for the frameset and "click here, then here, then..." directions.

mike -dot- huber -at- software -dot- rockwell -dot- com
nax -at- execpc -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Suzanne Pyle [SMTP:comline -at- greennet -dot- net]
> I'm doing an online user guide in HTML format. I'm using FrontPage 98 and
> wanted to use frames. The user or customer has IE 3.1 or higher. Is there
> any reason you can tell me why not to use frames? I'm assuming that IE
> supports frames.

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