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Re: facelift, frames, navigation & accessibility

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  • Marti
    Kris, Frames do indeed make some kinds of updates easier - but there are also tools to aid in making edits of the same type to many pages. (I use HTML Power
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 22, 1999
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      Kris,
      Frames do indeed make some kinds of updates easier - but there are also
      tools to aid in making edits of the same type to many pages. (I use HTML
      Power tools) Frames continue to be a problem both for accessibility via text
      browsers and for the many people still using older versions of the 'popular'
      browsers. They also present a problem if you wish to achieve high ratings in
      the various search engines (some of them simply will not index a 'framed'
      site. While frames are not inherently 'bad', I highly recommend you look for
      a better way to do things. Feel free to contact me directly for any help I
      might provide.
      Marti
      marti@...


      > From: k.walmsley@...
      >
      > Despite my title of webmaster (I actually just write html), I have
      > questions which, hopefully, are elementary for true masters of web
      > design.
      >
      > The site I work on is undergoing a facelift. Currently we use frames
      > and are unsure whether we should continue this. The advantages are
      > obvious: twice in the past year we made changes in the navigation menu,
      > which meant simply adjusting one document. If we were to include the
      > navigation links on each and every page, it would take weeks to make
      > changes to the thousands of pages in our site. I know this from
      > experience.
      >
      > On some pages I've included a "no frames" link, by simply using the
      > TARGET="_top" link. But how could I create a "navigation frame" link to
      > each page, without having to create a copy of each page with a frame
      > extension in the title (ie.
      > http://www.independentliving.org/ILDef.html
      > and
      > http://www.independentliving.org/ILDefframe.html)?
      >
      > Is there a JavaScript that could handle this?
      >
      > And how does web accessibility affect all this? Is it now safe to use
      > frames for browsers such as Lynx, or Palmtop computers?
      >
      > Looking forward to any advice, examples of good practice, suggestions,
      > etc.
      >
      > Sincerely,
      >
      > Kris Walmsley, Webmaster
      > k.walmsley@...
      > Institute on Independent Living
      > http://www.independentliving.org
      > ________________________________
      > Our latest Newsletter examines Personal Assistance
      > http://www.independentliving.org/newsletter/4_99.html
      >
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    • k.walmsley@xxxxxxx.xx
      Despite my title of webmaster (I actually just write html), I have questions which, hopefully, are elementary for true masters of web design. The site I work
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 22, 1999
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        Despite my title of webmaster (I actually just write html), I have
        questions which, hopefully, are elementary for true masters of web
        design.

        The site I work on is undergoing a facelift. Currently we use frames
        and are unsure whether we should continue this. The advantages are
        obvious: twice in the past year we made changes in the navigation menu,
        which meant simply adjusting one document. If we were to include the
        navigation links on each and every page, it would take weeks to make
        changes to the thousands of pages in our site. I know this from
        experience.

        On some pages I've included a "no frames" link, by simply using the
        TARGET="_top" link. But how could I create a "navigation frame" link to
        each page, without having to create a copy of each page with a frame
        extension in the title (ie.
        http://www.independentliving.org/ILDef.html
        and
        http://www.independentliving.org/ILDefframe.html)?

        Is there a JavaScript that could handle this?

        And how does web accessibility affect all this? Is it now safe to use
        frames for browsers such as Lynx, or Palmtop computers?

        Looking forward to any advice, examples of good practice, suggestions,
        etc.

        Sincerely,

        Kris Walmsley, Webmaster
        k.walmsley@...
        Institute on Independent Living
        http://www.independentliving.org
        ________________________________
        Our latest Newsletter examines Personal Assistance
        http://www.independentliving.org/newsletter/4_99.html
      • Kynn Bartlett
        ... Hi, in my opinion, frames should be avoided unless absolutely necessary, and the problem that you describe above is one of poor content management -- and
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 22, 1999
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          At 03:07 AM 11/22/1999 , k.walmsley@... wrote:
          >The site I work on is undergoing a facelift. Currently we use frames
          >and are unsure whether we should continue this. The advantages are
          >obvious: twice in the past year we made changes in the navigation menu,
          >which meant simply adjusting one document. If we were to include the
          >navigation links on each and every page, it would take weeks to make
          >changes to the thousands of pages in our site. I know this from
          >experience.

          Hi, in my opinion, frames should be avoided unless absolutely
          necessary, and the problem that you describe above is one of
          poor content management -- and thus not one that mandates
          the use of frames.

          You can get the same results by either:

          (a) Using Server-Side Includes to put the same navigation menu on
          each page, or...
          (b) Using a more sophisticated content management system that
          will generate static pages as necessary.

          These approaches avoid the problems of frames:

          (a) Difficulty for older browsers, assistive technology browsers,
          and newer access devices, and...
          (b) Problems bookmarking a specific frame, and...
          (c) Lack of indexing due to web search engines, and...
          (d) In your current setup, it sounds as if you don't have a navigation
          bar on every page. This is a bad idea, because it's possible that
          people will end up on those pages -without- the frames, and then
          be unable to navigate anywhere else on your site.

          --Kynn

          --
          Kynn Bartlett <kynn@...> http://www.kynn.com/
          Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet http://www.idyllmtn.com/
          Next Speaking Stop: New Orleans, 9 Dec 99 http://www.builder.com/live/
          CC/PP Builds the Future of the Web --> learn more at http://www.ccpp.org/
        • Bob Kaucher
          ... I agree with Marti here. One way that you could get arround the constant need for updating all the pages would be to add Server Side Includes. Making one
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 23, 1999
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            Marti gravada:
            >
            > From: "Marti"
            >While frames are not inherently 'bad', I highly recommend you look for
            > a better way to do things.

            I agree with Marti here. One way that you could get arround the constant
            need for updating all the pages would be to add Server Side Includes.
            Making one meneu with absolute links (not relative links) and then
            having it included via an SSI tag is so easy. The problem would be the
            need to change all your document extensions to .shtml and not
            .html/.htm. However, if you can talk the Server Operator into allowing
            all .htm type extensions you won't have to worry about that.

            In my opinion, any body who is woriking with a site that has copyright
            or legal notices, menu bars or search boxes on various pages should be
            using SSIs. It allows for easy update to one file rather than 25+ files.

            And, the biggest benifit is that it all happens on the Server's side. No
            one will or could ever know you are using SSIs. Thus they are very
            practicle for escaping the accesibility issues.

            Why should you make your job so much harder by using frames and then
            worrying about making another page that is "No Frames"? This will only
            cause you greef!

            If you are interested I'll find some links for online tutorials.

            Bob
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