Frames - Part 2 from Chapter 11 of HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide (2/4) | WebReference

Frames - Part 2 from Chapter 11 of HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide (2/4)

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HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, Chapter 11: Frames

The src attribute

The value of the src attribute for the <frame> tag is the URL of the document that is to be displayed in the frame. There is no other way to provide content for a frame. You shouldn't, for instance, include any <body> content within the frame document; the browser ignores the frame tags and displays just the contents of a <body> tag if it comes first, or vice versa.

The document referenced by the src attribute may be any valid document or any displayable object, including images and multimedia. In particular, the referenced document may itself be composed of one or more frames. The frames are displayed within the referencing frame, providing yet another way of achieving complex layouts using nested frames.

Since the source may be a complete document, all the features of HTML/XHTML apply within a frame, including backgrounds and colors, tables, fonts, and the like. Unfortunately, this also means that multiple frames in a single browser window may conflict with each other. Specifically, if each nested frame document (not a regular HTML or XHTML document) has a different <title> tag, the title of the overall browser window is the title of the most recently loaded frame document. The easiest way to avoid this problem is to ensure that all related frame documents use the same title.

The name and id attributes

The optional name attribute for the <frame> tag labels that frame for later reference by a target attribute for the hypertext link anchor (<a>) tag and the <form> tag. This way, you can alter the contents of a frame using a link in another frame. Otherwise, like normal browser windows, hypertext-linked documents replace the contents of the source frame. We discuss names and targets at greater length later in this chapter.

Similarly, the id attribute uniquely identifies a frame, but the browsers do not support its use for target redirection, even though they do support id's use as a hyperlink target in many other HTML and XHTML tags.

The value of the name or id attribute is a text string enclosed in quotation marks.

The noresize attribute

Even though you may explicitly set frame dimensions with attributes in the <frameset> tag, users can manually alter the size of a column or row of frames. To suppress this behavior, add the noresize attribute to the frame tags in the row or column whose relative dimensions you do not want users fiddling with. For example, for a two-by-two frame document, a noresize attribute in any one of the four associated frame tags effectively freezes the relative proportions of all the frames.

The noresize attribute is especially useful for frames that contain fixed images serving as advertisements, a button bar, or a logo. By fixing the size of the frame to contain just the image and setting the noresize attribute, you guarantee that the image is displayed in the intended manner and that the remainder of the browser window is always given over to the other frames in the document.

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Created: November 18, 2002
Revised: November 18, 2002