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What to use instead of frames

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David WatkinsonWhat to use instead of frames
by on May 29, 2011 at 1:36:06 am

On the Adobe Dreamweaver forum, I was told to use CSS templates instead of frames, when I said I don't know enough to do programming myself (I previously learned enough Coldfusion to be dangerous) and I don't want to spend the money to hire a programmer because my needs at the moment are pretty simple. Since I don't know what I'm doing, before diving into CSS templates, I want to make sure they're a good way to go especially if I want to have the least amount of re-working when HTML 5 becomes what everybody is using.


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David WatkinsonRe: What to use instead of frames
by on May 29, 2011 at 2:21:43 am

Also, following the links I was given about using CSS templates, I see that they are recommending "ajax-based sites, commonly known as Spry... and Spry widgets." Is that a good way to go? I'm using Dreamweaver.


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Mike SmithRe: What to use instead of frames
by on May 29, 2011 at 11:44:19 am

CSS is a good way to go, and will survive eventual transition to HTML 5. Some links that might help you include :
http://www.csszengarden.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tableless_web_design
http://www.alistapart.com/


Spry and other javascript-based add-ons can add "features" to your site quickly and relatively easily, but you don't need them, they can sometimes cause problems, and by calling pre-made components to do fairly simple things. Some would argue that you lose a little control of your site, and might do better to work out what it is you want to do, and then learn the little bits of code you need to make that work.

http://www.cssplay.co.uk/menus/latest-flyout.html
http://www.cssmenus.co.uk/flyout.html

http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/css/rollover-buttons.s...
http://www.techairlines.com/2009/12/31/create-seo-friendly-css-rollover-but...
http://www.webvamp.co.uk/blog/coding/css-image-rollovers/



You won't need Ajax until your needs are more complex.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajax_%28programming%29


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David WatkinsonRe: What to use instead of frames
by on May 29, 2011 at 3:25:46 pm

Mike, thanks for your reply. My main concern is the functionality of frames, not the look of the design of my site. Everyone tells me to use CSS instead of frames but I have yet to see an example of how I would use CSS to do what frames allow me to do - swap content in and out of an area controlled by a menu. Can you point me to an explanation of how I would do that? Or am I missing something? Thanks for your time.


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Fernando MolRe: What to use instead of frames
by on May 29, 2011 at 5:00:13 pm

Frames are hardly used this days. They were useful in the low bandwith days, but today there's no problem reloading a full page, so no need in spliting it out just to avoid the fraction of a second that a menu image will take to be loaded.

I think you may have the wrong idea of what CSS do.

CSS are kind of old, but they were not popular because browsers didn't like them. That's different today.

You use a CSS rule to define the appearence of elements on your page. There's no way CSS can replace what Frames do, I think that's were you get confused.

If you give us a link to your site it will be easier to see what you are trying to accomplish.

I hope this helps


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Mike SmithRe: What to use instead of frames
by on May 29, 2011 at 5:28:08 pm

As Fernando says, for lots of good reasons frames are hardly used now (apart from iframes for ads, youtube links, and that usage is likely to go as sites modernise and move towards standards compliance, HTML5 ). Most people would advise you to keep away from them.

It seems you want to swap content in part of your page on a link.

You could do something like that with javascript
http://www.willmaster.com/library/web-development/replace-div-content.php

Or this example uses pure css and html anchors for a similar effect
http://www.visibilityinherit.com/code/css-content-swap.php


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David WatkinsonRe: What to use instead of frames
by on May 29, 2011 at 5:45:25 pm

Mike, I'm definately getting the message that I shouldn't use frames and I do want to move toward HTML5, but I don't want to use something that is too new for some browsers to understand. Should I use Dreamweaver HTML5 pages and user Dreamweaver's check command to tell me if I have a browser compatibilty problem?


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David WatkinsonRe: What to use instead of frames
by on May 29, 2011 at 5:34:47 pm

Fernando, thank you very much for providing the missing piece of information -- when people have been telling me to use CSS instead of frames it was in the context of reloading entire pages! So to update a menu bar that is on every page, you use a style that can be universally updated, right? But couldn't you just as easily have the menu bar in a separate frame and reload a new frameset each time? The site I'm developing right now isn't online, but the it would need the same kind of simple functionality that my personal site has: davidwatkinson@mac.com


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Fernando MolRe: What to use instead of frames
by on May 29, 2011 at 5:56:43 pm

If you use an external CSS to define the look of your page, it will be loaded only one time. So, each time you enter a new page on your site the only thing the browser will load is the content. The HTML content.

Images and styles will be stored in the cache, so it will be a fast load.

A typical menu is just a list. This is very little code in HTML so you should not be worried about loading an HTML list each time you enter a page.

This is what I think others were trying to say to you when recommending using CSS instead of Frames. And will probably use CSS to define the styles of each Frame anyway.


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Matthew WithersRe: What to use instead of frames
by on May 29, 2011 at 6:39:05 pm

David:

If you basically use a template with an external css, like Fernando had said, you can get the desired effect without the outdated use of frames. Similar to my site at sunrisewebsolns.com only the header and background appear to remain static while the content changes. Using a template is a great way to do this though.

Owner/Founder
Sunrise Web Solutions


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