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  1. #1
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    I don't know for sure if this is the place to post this, but..

    I've been looking around this site, and I've found many references against the use of frames. I've been designing webpages for off and on for about 4-5 years, and I've found them to be invaluable for easy navigation.

    I test out every page I've ever made on atleast two computers, one that is top-of-the-market speed, and one that is rather slow. And, although on the new computer, sites like these are very easy to navigate, on the slower computer they tend to get bogged down every time I click a link
    and have to wait for the navigation images to load all over again.

    I understand the need for the new navigation images, as the navigation bar changes it's options depending on where you are. But on a smaller site, where all your main options can be presented at one time (example: the top navigation bar on the main sitepoint.com page), what is your opinion on using a stationary frame for the navigation?

    (Please discount your bad experiences with frames on some sites. You know, scroll bars that don't need to be there, or even worse, having the scroll bar set to "never" and you can only get to half the page!)


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    ~Raj

  2. #2
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Frames are not suitable for all sites. If you reuse the same graphics in your navigation then they won't be re-downloaded but loaded from the users online cache instead.

    Many users hate frames because they are done incorrectly on most sites. This leads to complaints to designers who start to hate them. If you do them correctly then you can build a seamless interface that will enhance your user's experience.

    I have used frames before and some of the things you have to keep in mind are:
    <UL TYPE=SQUARE>
    <LI>Only have one scrolling region on the screen.
    <LI>Make sure external links open into a new window. Sites don't like it when you frame them.
    <LI>Use no more than 3 or 4 frames per interface.
    <LI>Offer a frames free version for lower resolutions like 640 X 480.
    </UL>

    I designed a site located at www.bloodquest2.com that fills the above recommendations. Look at it with javascript off or at 640X480 to see the other version. I haven't touched it since November '99. After a quick glance it appears no one else has either.

    Other sites that use frames well are A List Apart and Bratta's Scriptorium.

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    Wayne Luke - Sitepoint Moderator/Internet Media Developer
    Digital Magician Studios - Making Magic with Web Applications
    wluke@digitalmagician.com

    [This message has been edited by wluke (edited May 07, 2000).]

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast Elan's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Originally posted by wluke:
    Other sites that use frames well are A List Apart and Bratta's Scriptorium.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    A List Apart doesn't appear to use frames. Am I right, or are the frames done that well?

    Here's a site I did a couple years ago using a seamless frames interface: Elan Vital



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    - Elan!
    - ElanCity.com

  4. #4
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    Thank you for your replies. I was curious what other people would think. I've always been careful to follow all the rules, although nothing is more annoying to me is the misuse of them.

    Another benifit of frames, however outdated this is now since the addition of CSSP, is it allows more control for positioning than most other methods do. Of course, CSS is preferable now, if other alternatives are provided for browsers that wont recognize most the commands, or recognize CSS at all.



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    ~Raj

  5. #5
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Well up until about a week ago,A List Apart did use frames. Chalk it up to the ever flowing motion of Internet development.

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    Wayne Luke - Sitepoint Moderator/Internet Media Developer
    Digital Magician Studios - Making Magic with Web Applications
    wluke@digitalmagician.com


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