Tutorial 15: You've been Framed, Part II - HTML with Style | 3 | WebReference

Tutorial 15: You've been Framed, Part II - HTML with Style | 3

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Tutorial 15: You've been Framed, Part II

Frames and robots don't mix

Many of you frames fans out there will probably have thought "So what, I only want to link to my pages from inside my site, and all the pages in my site use the same frameset. This is not really a problem." Let's put aside the actual problems of having a large site of say, several hundreds of documents which all appear in one frameset. Imagine the following scenario:

You've just put your brand new framed site on the Web and promptly ordered a few of your favourite search engines to index it so people can actually find it. The search engine robot crawls through your site. Presumably, it undesrands frame syntax (most search engines do these days) and indexes all the pages linked to from the frameset document. It promptly indexes the contents of the "Home" page. A user comes along, inputs the appropriate search terms and, hey presto!, your home page is the first result returned. Good news. But how will the search engine link to your page? Oops. It can't.

Frames and bookmarks don't mix

There are many more problems associated with this situation. Most browsers allow users to "bookmark" URLs for easy access. What URL will the browser bookmark? The frameset, or the current frame? If it's the frameset, then they only get the home page. If it's the current frame, they lose the sidebar (or could accidentally bookmark the sidebar alone). Granted, Internet Explorer 5.0 works around this problem by storing frame state information in its "Favorites," but that's just one version of one browser, and you still have all the other problems mentioned above.

Frames and fragments don't mix

And if you thought linking to documents was the only problem with frames, think again. What happens to using document fragments as hyperlink targets? Let's say you have a document called products.html that is meant to go into the main frame, and somewhere inside it you have something like the following:

<H1><A NAME="moronsserver">M.O.R.O.N.S. Server</A></H1>

You obviously want to be able to link to this part of the document with a URL like http://www.acme.com/products.html#moronsserver. But you can't, because once again, you lose the sidebar.

Frames and titles don't mix

Another minor gripe with frames has to do with the way most browsers work. Usually, you get to see the title of a document in the title bar of the browser window. We've already explained why titles are important in order to identify documents. When you're browsing through a framed site, however, you only get the title of the frameset, not the individual frame you're looking at.

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URL: http://www.webreference.com/html/tutorial15/2.html

Produced by Stephanos Piperoglou
Created: May 28, 1998
Revised: February 25, 1999