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Framing the Web / Appendix

Appendix: The _parent Magic Target

Framing the Web

The key to understanding how the _parent magic target works is understanding the relationship between parent and child. Although these concepts have to do with frame windows, it is easier to think of them in terms of files.

A parent is a file which calls another file.

Consider myframes1.html:

	<html>
	<head>
	<title>My Frames 1</title>
	</head>
	
	<frameset rows="*,2*>
		<frame src="white.html">
		<frame src="red.html">
	</frameset>
	
	</html>

In this case, myframes.html is the parent of white.html and red.html.

Any link within these child files targetted to _parent will replace myframes1.html in the window.

Suppose a link in red.html calls green.html targetted to _parent. The file green.html will load into the window of red.html's parent:

Even with more complex frame layouts, the behavior still follows this pattern:

	<html>
	<head>
	<title>My Frames 1</title>
	</head>
	
	<frameset rows="*,2*>
		<frame src="white.html">
		<frameset cols="3*,*">
			<frame src="blue.html">
			<frame src="red.html">
		</frameset>
	</frameset>
	
	</html>

Links in the child files white.html, blue.html, and red.html targetted to _parent still fill up the whole window.

In many ways, this resembles target="_top". The magic target _parent, however, can be made to act differently from _top.

Consider the following files, myframes2.html:

	<html>
	<head>
	<title>My Frames 2</title>
	</head>
	
	<frameset rows="*,2*>
		<frame src="white.html">
		<frame src="myframes3.html">
	</frameset>
	
	</html>

and myframes3.html:

	
	<frameset cols="3*,*">
		<frame src="blue.html">
		<frame src="red.html">
	</frameset>

Notice that myframes3.html is a file with nothing but a frameset in it.

In this case, myframes2.html is the parent of white.html and myframes3.html, whereas myframes3.html is the parent of blue.html and red.html.

Now, any link in red.html or blue.html targetted to _parent will replace the entire lower frame:

* * * *

Dan Brown (brown@greenonions.com) is an Online Developer for Ventana Communications Group. Besides writing and designing Web sites for Ventana and Netscape Press, Dan produces some of the multi-media CD-ROMs that come with Ventana books. Outside Web and technology development, Dan spends his time exploring online culture, information design, dogs, drumming and jazz. Dan graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in Philosophy. His home page is (and don't say we didn't warn you): http://www.vmedia.com/dan.

This tutorial originally appeared in the March 1996 issue of Navigate!.

Comments are welcome

Copyright © 1996 Dan Brown and
Created: May 14, 1996
Revised: Mar. 23, 1998
Links revised: Oct. 27, 1999

URL: http://webreference.com/dev/frames/appendix.html