[ACML] Frames on web sites
megazone at megazone.org
Wed Apr 30 01:26:58 EDT 2008
Once upon a time Colin Keigher shaped the electrons to say...
> Nothing pains me more than a website that is coded horribly using
> nothing but <TABLE> and other silly tags. <TABLE> should be reserved
> for creating pseudo-spreadsheets whereas you should be using class
> attributes and <DIV> for alignment.
Yeah - I've been working with HTML since 1991. I was a member of the
W3C working groups that created HTML 4, CSS 4, and the WAI
recommendations. (I 'invented' the OPTGROUP element - damn shame it
got watered down in committee by MS & NS...)
Anyway, I agree. These days (X)HTML is for structure, CSS is for
presentation. I try to keep all layout out of my XHTML these days.
The biggest issue has been IE6, but I'm increasingly to the point of
saying "frack it" when it comes to IE6. With IE7 having been out a
while now, and IE8 already in beta, not to mention Firefox, Safari,
Opera, and others, I have decreasing sympathy for anyone still using
IE6. Not only can't it handle MOST modern web markup, but it is a
walking security breach. Death to IE6! IE7 is vastly better than
IE6, though still deeply flawed. I almost hate to say it, but MS has
really done a good job on IE8. I can almost believe they finally *GET
IT* with respect to web standards and interoperability. I can only
hope they continue to stick to their present course, it is a
refreshing change. I'll stick with Firefox though. :-)
There are really no good reasons to use frames these days. *I*frames
on the other hand, are quite commonly used for web advertising -
Amazon, Google, etc, all use iframes for their ad serving. But that's
not a big deal.
(For the record I also STRONGLY argued against including iframes in
HTML 4. I argued that they should be deprecated at best, and instead
OBJECT should be used with a type of "text/html". Make HTML just like
any other object type. Iframe was really just a specialized object
after all. Obviously I lost that argument - ironically in the latest
specs OBJECT handles text/html.)
Server Side Includes (SSI) are fantastic for simple websies. During
my time at Cyphermint I created the markup templates for their
websites. I didn't handle the design, but I was given the design and
turned it into standards compliant XHTML+CSS. For a more complex or
dynamic site I'd use something like PHP or a CMS (Content Management
System). But the Cyphermint pages were simple enough that PHP would
be overkill, so I used SSI to make my life easier. If you look at
http://www.cyphermint.com/ there are a number of SSI elements on the
page - the top navigation block, the left side navigation, the bottom
navigation, the latest news block - those are all HTML fragment files
that are included via SSI. If you View Source you'll see 'CVS Header
Information' blocks throughout the source - CVS was the source code
control system, and each fragment has a header. That one page is one
main file and five fragment files pulled in via SSI.
Using SSI that way made it a piece of cake to modify common elements
like the navigation. Just about anything that was reused on multiple
pages, I turned into fragment files. When I took over the site the
old way was to reproduce the HTML in every damn page. So one simple
change to the navigation meant editing every last page on the site.
If you're running a larger site or have dynamic content, there are a
number of frameworks out there you can use, as well as content
management systems. You can even use something like WordPress as a
CMS. While it is most commonly thought of as a blog package, it works
fairly well as a CMS for small to medium sites.
I use WordPress on my blog site - http://www.gizmolovers.com/ I
created the custom PHP templates and the CSS. At first I used WP just
for the blog posts, and I had static pages (for the reviews, photos,
etc) outside of WP. But once I got some experience using WP I
migrated all of the content - now the entire site lives inside of WP.
It makes it easy to update the look, etc. I just tweak the templates
or update one stylesheet, and everything is updated. I recently
whipped up a way for people to change the style of the site since some
people don't like the colors I like. And since the layout is all
controlled via CSS, I could fairly easily completely change the layout
of the site without touching the PHP/XHTML.
The nice thing about systems like WordPress is you only need a geek to
set it up, once it is running just about anyone can create the
content. It includes a basic editor (TinyMCE) so non-geeks can create
content without knowing a lick of HTML. While those who do know HTML
can turn off the visual editor and do it for themselves.
megazone-at-megazone.org http://www.MegaZone.org/ Gweep, Geek, Human, me.
http://www.GizmoLovers.com/ http://www.Eyrie-Productions.com/ -><- Hail Eris
"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men" 508-852-2171
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