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using Citydesk with frames

Hi all...

A while ago I asked if anyone had used Citydesk to publish a site with frames, and didn't get much help (I did get flamed for using frames :)  Anyway, I got it to work, not too difficult, and if anyone is interested there's more info at http://w-uh.com/articles/030101-frames .

Ole

Ole Eichhorn
Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Sigh.  The URL is http://w-uh.com/index.cgi/articles/030101-frames.html .

Ole Eichhorn
Tuesday, January 07, 2003

On your site you write about your use of frames:
" ... This site uses frames.  Why?  Because pages load faster.  Really.  Plus, the header stays at the top, and the navigation stays at the right, even if you have a long article which scrolls.  It is simply cooler. ..."
Well, your page looks nice – but as a guest I don't think it is cool to have the pretty, but also very large, header take up one quarter of the screen all the time. Your frame sends me, the user, back to the time of 600x450 screens and I don't particularly like that. The 'no frames' site is far better from a users piont of view - mine at least.

Jorgen Brenting
Tuesday, January 07, 2003

And I'm in the habit of Shift-clicking on article links to load them all in separate windows, where I can read them when I get a chance. After doing that, I have no navigation links to get back to the main site.

I also can't send links to interesting articles to my friends, as the URL in the browser bar doesn't change as I navigate your site.

These are fairly serious usability problems for any web site. There are ways to fix them and still use frames, but a lot of people still hate using a frames-based site.

Note that I'm criticising frames, and not you personally! To show you that I like you, I've added your site to the CityDesk FAQ:
http://www.pool-room.com/CDFAQ/help/index.html#made

:-)

Darren Collins
Tuesday, January 07, 2003

I agree with the frame-haters.

I like the idea of having a cgi-based non-frame version. However, I think that this is a rather (processor)expensive solution. Also, since the frame set contains the entire text, I think the 'loads faster' is not true. 

Your navigation frame is scrolling (on my 1024x768 laptop display). So I have 2 scroll bars!

My suggestions:
- use citydesk to create framed/nonframed versions using templates (if you really like them).

Anyway: I think it is good that people are exploring alternative ways. It may lead to things we haven't yet thought of. (although I think that frames are a dead end street). I think that CSS is a more promising technology.

Adriaan van den Brand
Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Adrian wrote:
I think it is good that people are exploring alternative ways. It may lead to things we haven't yet thought of.

I agree. But the CD "feature" I like the most is that you are forced – almost tricked – into a kind of simplicity, that is very, very healthy from the users point of view. As a programmer you are forced to rethink many old habits and not default to "artistic" solutions which only you yourself (and a few nerd friends) enjoy.

I have been around for a while and I think of myself as a fairly good programmer, but CD has made me create clean, logic sites that I would not otherwise have made. That, to me, is the real strength of CD.

(Two examples in Danish: http://www.baskerville.dk/Dino/index.html and http://www.artshop.dk/index.html .)

Thanks to Joel and the Fog Creak people – even if CD2 is still far away.

Jorgen Brenting
Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Jorgen - you make a good point, I have a 1600x1200 monitor so I'm a little spoiled when it comes to screen real estate.  I guess this is another reason why having a "no frames" option make sense.

Darren - I like to shift-click, too.  That is a drawback there is no question.  I wish there was a way to give you the "no frames" version on a shift-click, but I don't of any...  As far as emailing articles, the date/time of each post is supposed to be a "permalink", something which could be emailed.  But this isn't as obvious as the Address in the browser bar.  Good point.

Adriaan - You're right about this being more processor intensive.  If I had a busy site it might matter :)  For now my little site is on an old 233MHz P2 running RedHat 7.1 and it doesn't seem to mind.  You're right that the frameset contains all the "no frames" HTML, but it doesn't load the images, which is the time-consuming part. 

Thanks for the feedback...

Ole Eichhorn
Thursday, January 09, 2003

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