HierMenus CENTRAL: HierMenus In Progress. HierMenus 5.0 Release Notes (1/7)
HierMenus 5.0: Release Notes
D.M Ragle, April 22, 2003
Welcome to a new, major release of our popular DHTML Hierarchical menus script, HierMenus.
HM5 is now available, and provides two of our most oft-requested features: cross-frames compatibility (where you can create HTML links in one frame that, when clicked or rolled over, popup your navigation menus in a second frame), and support for the latest Opera browser, Opera 7. We covered most of the Opera 7 requirements in an earlier bulletin, however a few items pertaining specifically to cross-frames use in Opera (as well as other browser-specific cross-frames issues) will be examined in this release article.
As a reminder, though our release articles can be appreciated and may be useful to all DHTML developers and HierMenus fans, the HierMenus script itself is a licensed product and its use on your site(s) requires a paid license agreement. Contact John Maher at email@example.com or call him at (203) 662-2889 for further information (be sure to let him know how you plan to use HierMenus and tell him a bit about your organization, as well).
HierMenus v5 supports the following browsers:
In addition, we are pleased to announce preliminary support for Safari on Macintosh OS X. We'll discuss this support in detail later in this article.
HM 5 provides full functionality to all supported browsers, with the following exceptions:
IE5 on the Macintosh does not support cross-frames functionality. Though we tried, we've been unable to implement a cross-frames solution for IE5 Mac that is consistently stable across differing menu configurations and options. We'll talk a little more about this later in this article.
Early versions of Opera 7 (specifically, v7.0 - 7.03) do not support scrolling menus. Our earlier bulletin details the reason for this. Beginning with Opera 7.10, scrolling menus are supported.
The Case for Frames
Frames-based Web sites can be controversial; many usability experts advocate against their use due to their "containing" nature. There are, however, advantages to using a frame-based layout.
Chief among those advantages is that similar portions of each page, i.e., navigation, advertisements, etc., can be placed in a single frame of the site and thus only downloaded once into the user's browser for the entire site (as opposed to redownloading those elements over and over again with each new page). HierMenus 5 has been developed with this advantage in mind, and allows site developers to configure their framesets and navigation pages to include all the necessary parameters and HM scripts needed to display menus in the actual content frames. With HM5, you can include HTML links in a navigation page that trigger popup menus in the content frame, without requiring any changes to the content pages themselves (so long as all the pages in the content frame come from the exact same domain as the navigation frame--more on this later).
Our sample pages demonstrate both frames and non-frames HierMenus displays. Each sample page opens in a new window.
On the next page, we examine the new parameters used in HM 5 to enable cross-frame capabilities.
Created: April 22, 2003
Revised: April 30, 2003