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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot jazz's Avatar
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    Are frames good or bad?

    Hi,

    I've always read that using frames in HTML/DHTML/XHTML and web design in general is bad practice and should be avoided. I've usually used the PHP template method to keep a menu bar and footer (i.e. include('header.inc')). But I've noticed that more and more sites are using frames for their layouts. These aren't small sites either but big sites with Flash and DHTML effects.

    I was wondering what others had to say about this topic. Are frames a good thing? I admit that although I've made some pretty complex web sites using either Flash ActionScript, DHTML, PHP/MySQL or any combination of the three, I've never used frames .

    The only appeal of frames, for me, is the use of the < iframe > for using JavaScript to communicate with the server without having to reload the page.

    Opinions wanted
    The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.

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  2. #2
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    generally they are frowned upn but thats only cause no one uses them right. When used right, they aren't that bad.

    Aaron
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    The iframe is becoming more and more popular. I personally wouldn't use one unless there was no other way at all, and even then it would only be with explicit agreement from the client having presented them with the issues that would arise from its use.
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  4. #4
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
    Patrick's Avatar
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    Yeah, I wouldn't call them bad. Used properly they are fine.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member Public2's Avatar
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    Exclamation To do frames or not!

    My humble meaning is that Frames is a old method there is badly out of fashion.

    They are not as flexible as Tables are and one of the things I miss most with frames is the full URL in the adresse bar...

    I can't stand when it's just show the same adress all the time - but that's just me...

    Iframes is another topic... They can be quite smart - sometimes - but i'm trying to avoid them as good as i can - because I don't like that scrollbar ther is in the middle of the side...

    But I most say: Some websites can be quite nice to look at if you can master frames accurately... but I like Tables most
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot jazz's Avatar
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    I guess the consensus is:
    Frames are fine if used correctly.

    I tend to agree with TheOriginalH, that you should use Frames only when all else fails.

    Public2:
    one of the things I miss most with frames is the full URL in the adresse bar...
    Yeah, I can't stand that either especially when you are dealing with large sites and you want to bookmark/link a specific section.

    Thanks for your opinions
    The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.

    -- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

  7. #7
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    I remain fundamentally opposed to frames - they break the web. I don't like iframes either :P

  8. #8
    Currently Occupied; Till Sunda Andrew-J2000's Avatar
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    Re: To do frames or not!

    Originally posted by Public2
    My humble meaning is that Frames is a old method there is badly out of fashion.

    They are not as flexible as Tables are and one of the things I miss most with frames is the full URL in the adresse bar...

    I can't stand when it's just show the same adress all the time - but that's just me...

    Iframes is another topic... They can be quite smart - sometimes - but i'm trying to avoid them as good as i can - because I don't like that scrollbar ther is in the middle of the side...

    But I most say: Some websites can be quite nice to look at if you can master frames accurately... but I like Tables most
    They have their uses. I used to be the same as Skunk, as i would never consider the option of using frames at all. That has now changed due to one project i am/will be working on in the future, as this will not only increase usability by using frames, it also allows us to over come other issues, which would make things extremely long winded to do other than using frames. Now I am still against using frames at the moment as i have never come across any other need to use them like i have now. So keep them as an option, and maybe you will find a need for them eventually.

  9. #9
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    um..

    ok.

    * i want a header, 795 wide and 25 high, with just flash in in it..

    * i want a menu, 195 wide and 400 high, on the left side of the page with a flash menu in it - and i NEED it to remain on the screen at all times...

    * finally i want a main section that is 600 wide and as high as the content needs it to be... it will contain all the content.. oh yeah, i also want only this section to scroll..

    * the whole page is to be 795 wide and centered on all browsers..

    how the hell do i do this without using frames? i make use of div and tables in all sections and and know css and div inside out.. my idea is that frames are the only way..
    Last edited by mattyg; Aug 23, 2002 at 23:10.

  10. #10
    . Ruchir's Avatar
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    FRAMES ?? well frames aren't bad at all, unless used in the right way. i mean if the frames make the site design look good. then its excellent. For eg - checkout sparkie.net ( i think its offff now ).. but a beatuiful use of frames makes the site look good. but i still try to refrtain myslef from using frames. without frames, u can come up with better prospects !
    Peace.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict ThomasAesir's Avatar
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    Frames are great for creating dynamic Web site because you can store variables in one frame and update another frame. For example say you wanted to create an adventure game using HTML and JavaScript. You could store variables like health and gold in one frame. The actual game areas would be in html and would get updated from the main frame.
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  12. #12
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Re: um..

    Originally posted by mattyg
    how the hell do i do this without using frames?
    Like this, baby. Like this:

    http://www.intellected.org/temp/frames_suck.htm
    Mattias Johansson
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  13. #13
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    hmm

    but what if i dont wanna have a set height?

  14. #14
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Re: hmm

    Originally posted by mattyg
    but what if i dont wanna have a set height?
    Eh, you said you wanted the main content area to scroll. It can not both be of dynamic height and scroll - that's a paradox.
    Mattias Johansson
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  15. #15
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    um.

    well what is the best sized width and height for such a "setup"? and can i align it to the top and horizontally centered on a page..

    basically my version is frames based and the main section's height is determined by the user's screen resolution.. yes, the width is fixed, but obviously a 1024x768 user will see more content as opposed to an 800x600 display.

    800x600


    1024x768
    Last edited by mattyg; Aug 27, 2002 at 01:59.

  16. #16
    Bananas contain Zinc fonzerelli_79's Avatar
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    Re: um..

    Originally posted by mattyg
    ok.

    * i want a header, 795 wide and 25 high, with just flash in in it..

    * i want a menu, 195 wide and 400 high, on the left side of the page with a flash menu in it - and i NEED it to remain on the screen at all times...

    * finally i want a main section that is 600 wide and as high as the content needs it to be... it will contain all the content.. oh yeah, i also want only this section to scroll..

    * the whole page is to be 795 wide and centered on all browsers..

    how the hell do i do this without using frames? i make use of div and tables in all sections and and know css and div inside out.. my idea is that frames are the only way..
    read up on server side includes

  17. #17
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Re: um.

    Originally posted by mattyg
    well what is the best sized width and height for such a "setup"? and can i align it to the top and horizontally centered on a page..

    basically my version is frames based and the main section's height is determined by the user's screen resolution.. yes, the width is fixed, but obviously a 1024x768 user will see more content as opposed to an 800x600 display.

    800x600


    1024x768
    So you want the height of the main section to be determined by the surfers resolution? That can all be done just as easily (and better) with CSS - just read up on it a little. There is absolutely no reason to do that using frames, besides your own laziness (which is the number 1 reason frames are used).

    I personally just fix these kinds of sites at 760x420, so that they fit in a maximized 800x600 window.
    Mattias Johansson
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  18. #18
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    one last question

    ok.. so if i switch to using css. Wont each time i wanna go to a new page via the left side menu options.. the header and menu will also have to reload? this would mean that my flash header will have to reload.. sure, its already cached, but still.. wouldnt it make sense to just make the content frame load and leave the header and menu sections as they were?

  19. #19
    SitePoint Member GoSURF's Avatar
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    IFrame is flexible.
    i like it
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  20. #20
    Bananas contain Zinc fonzerelli_79's Avatar
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    Re: one last question

    Originally posted by mattyg
    ok.. so if i switch to using css. Wont each time i wanna go to a new page via the left side menu options.. the header and menu will also have to reload? this would mean that my flash header will have to reload.. sure, its already cached, but still.. wouldnt it make sense to just make the content frame load and leave the header and menu sections as they were?
    good point actually

    this is a common problem that seems to be cropping up - flash menus loading up etc

    i will be designing a site in a month or so which will have a flash header and ill be in the same boat as you - hopefully frames arent the only soloution


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