In a Frameset Kind of Mind

I’m modifying our intraweb pages to reflect a new design
that all of the offices are using. When these kinds of
changes occur, it is always a pull between having a similar
look and feel among all of the web pages (so users don’t have
to learn a new interface for every office) versus designing
pages specifically for a particular function (which makes it
easier for a user to access a particular function but having
to learn a new interface).

Right now, the “let’s make all the pages look the same”
option is winning. But I’m thinking about trying something
in-between. I know frames (and tables) are kind of looked
down upon by the CSS fashionistas
but I think I am justified in using this tool.

I say this because, in this instance, it provides for a
consistent user interface and allows me to add my own
customizations while being an efficient way of maintaining
menus.

Below is the first draft of the HTML I’m
thinking of using. As you can see, it uses three frameset
tags. The first frameset splits the screen horizontally by
creating two rows (see the light blue section for the top
half in the screen shot below). The second frameset splits
the bottom half of the screen into two columns (see the green
section for the left column). And the last frameset splits
the right column into two rows (see the yellow and red
sections).

The light blue frame will be used for the department-wide
banner and navigation code. This will be the same across all
offices so that users will have a consistent interface to
work with. In addition, the green section will have a
department-wide status indicator that lets users know which
computer systems are operating normally.

In the yellow frame, I’ll have our own office’s navigation
links. These will help the user to get to the various pages
that we maintain. The red frame will be where the pages that
we maintain will be displayed.

As noted earlier, using frames is a very efficient way of
maintaining menus across multiple pages. Rather than having
to change the menu on each and every page in our sub-web
(about 30 pages) when something changes, all I have to do is
change one page in one of the framesets and it will be
reflected on all the other pages.

So, I hope, our page will have the same navigation links
across the top and left side that all other offices will have
but, at the same time, have space for our own navigation
menus so people can move around our own part of
cyberspace.

<?xml
version="1.0"
encoding="utf-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0
Frameset//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-frameset.dtd">

<html
xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<title>Planning Test Frameset</title>
</head>

<frameset
rows="15%,*">
<frame
src="./planning2004/hbanner.html" />

<frameset
cols="15%,*">
<frame
src="./planning2004/status.html" />

<frameset
rows="10%,*">
<frame
src="./planning2004/navigation.html" />

<noframes> <body>
<p>This document can be viewed only with a
frames-capable browser.</p>
</body>
</noframes>
</frameset>
</frameset>
</frameset>
</html>

Have a Great Weekend Everyone –
Aloha!

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One response to “In a Frameset Kind of Mind

  1. All this frame stuff is not nessesay to do all that. But frames are one of the best/easiest ways to integrate pages made by different people/departments into a consistent layout.