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I Hate Frames
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Miembro Del Club las Odio Frames

Message From The I Hate Frames Club President:

Point, Counterpoint
About once a month here at the I Hate Frames Club we get a letter from some crazed frame lover. Mostly they're polite and it usually goes something like this: (tan are my responses)

Subject: Frames
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997
From: "Silmaris Dragonbane"

Ack! I though the web was a friendly place. God help us the day you hostile people get e-mail bombs, maybe I should pack up and get out while I'm still alive.

Hostile? We're not hostile, we're honest. Frames are bad bad baaaaaad. We don't hate people who like frames, we just hate the frames.

First off, I have never seen a frame that crashes browsers. I run windows 3.11 on a 486 with 8 megs of ram, and never have I had a frame related crash. You know what crashes browsers? Tons of Java! I have had my entire computer crashed by having 15 java apps trying to open on one page.

I agree, tons-o-Java is now the most likely cause of a crash and burn. However, the club was started when Netscape 2.0 was all the rage and if you ever used it, in conjunction with Windows 95, you'd have seen a whole mess of error messages like the rest of us. There you would be just innocently surfing along and suddenly you'd click on a link and see a frame begin to emerge in your browser, WHACK! crash city every stinking time. It was, to say the least, a fiasco. I guess we should have all dumped Windows 95 and loaded 3.11 so the frames would work better. I think you just missed out on all the fun buster.

Second, what do you mean pages load slower? It's the information super-highway, and graphics are what makes pages load slower. A 11kb frame will take about a whole 3 seconds more to load unless you run a 2400 baud modem.

That's slower, isn't it? I don't claim any time frame about how much slower, just slower. On some sites with poor servers it can take quite a bit longer. This isn't the main reason for hating frames anyway. It's just a bonus annoyance.

Third, if the person making the frames pages knows about the target="_top" code, his frames will not ruin other peoples pages.

True, but it's not our major complaint at the club. It's a minor concern that's badly abused by only a few sites.

Fourth, if the person browsing the pages had any knowledge of how the browser actually works, they will know how to bookmark whatever page they click on.

I see, and then if you take that bookmark and say, put it on a links page you'll get the whole site too, right? No, you'll be missing the frame that contains all the links and maybe some other portions too. Of course this is a moot point because I never bookmark a framed site anyway.

After all, we don't want everyone on the internet to be ignorant of how to use the software they own.

Say, aren't you the one still using windows 3.11? So, your reasoning here is that we don't fully understand the complexities involved with using our software. How about if car manufacturers tell you that if you want to stop you'll need to push the cigarette lighter in, blow the horn twice and *then* lightly depress the brakes. Would that be better? If a lot more accidents happen we can simply say "Well, he didn't fully understand his vehicle." That's how easy linking to a single, non-index framed page is and even if you do manage it, you're still missing at least a portion of the site.

Fifth, frames motivate people. Yes, and this one is un-deniable. If there were no frames, people would not be motivated to explore the functionality of their browsers and webmasters would not have as large a knowledge base to work from.

Finally, I do agree with you on this point. This is what frames are really for, innovation. Jamming all your links or a bunch of banner ads in one frame and then slapping your text in another is not an innovation. It's moronic. These are sites that are making some truly innovative use of frames:
I've seen hundreds of framed sites, these are about the only ones that actually need frames. They all create some special effect that can't be done any other way. The basic message of the club is, if you don't need frames (and as you can see above, very very few sites do) don't use them.

So if people who make web pages act considerately, that will eliminate 3/4 of your argument right there, by not advertising with large graphics (which, by the way, take just as long to load when not in a frame) and by using simple code to break linked sights out of their frames. And about the large graphics, is it not better that people are now putting advertisements in frames and not on main pages so that we, with experience at using browsers, have the option to right-click and open the page without crappy animated adverts in a totally new window?

Naw, it's too annoying to go around right clicking, copy and pasting, or opening new browsers. When I encounter a framed page I simply go the other way. It's sad that so many webmasters actually believe that frames improve a page. Does TV have frames? Do magazines have frames? The Internet is more or less a mix of the two.

Now I'm not saying that my site is being used to win over any people to the cause of frames, because I use java which will slow it down, I have frames with graphics in them, and I also use large graphics which do surely slow down my page, but I do try and consider the people who hate frames by offering non-frames versions and making sure that other peoples pages do not get stuck in my frames. So, tell me what you think about my side of the story, and please check out my site (Update: 10-29-97 The frames were removed the day Colin recieved this letter) and tell me any suggestions you have, because from the layout of your site, I can tell that you are experienced in the ways of website building.

Thank you very much for noticing. Okay, I went to your site and I can't for the life of me figure out why you need frames. If you put all the graphical links at the top on your main page, what would happen? The only thing I can figure is that because your buttons need to be on a white background, and you want to have a black page, you need frames. You can achieve almost the same effect with tables. Or, if updating you page is a problem you can use "win.document.writeln" and a little JavaScript, and create a single page with all your links so when you update that page, all the others update too. Or, if you have more experience and access, you can use a cgi script to do it and then be compatible with every browser out there. It's a common argument; "I need frames so all my pages update at once." There are other and safer ways.
Of course we never got around to the main reason we hate frames here. We hate frames because they needlessly section off portions of our browser and contort and generally confuse a website beyond recognition, and that, in itself is more than enough.

Sincerely and with no hostility directed to you,
-Colin Poole

No hostility towards you either,
Best regards,
-Erich V
President, I.H.F.C.

Here's Colin's reply to the above letter:

Subject: Re: Frames
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997
From: "Silmaris Dragonbane"
You know, you might have just converted me. I hate losing arguments, but I have to admit, you are right on a lot more points than I was. I would love to find a way to make Xenthenia a non-framed site. I'll think about how after I write you. Anyways, there are two reasons why I use frames. First, your right, I needed the white background, but second, the frame needs to be extended past the browser window to fit all the buttons, which, if it was on the main page, would mess up the (center) command because the banner would be cut off and you would have to scroll to the right just to see it. That is, unless I spent some time trying to figure out how to stop that from happening, which is exactly what the frames save me from doing, spending more time than I need to. But I'm using your site as a guideline for my page, and I'll be experimenting with tables, I have a great vision that would be 20 times better than my framed page, so keep your fingers crossed! I will never be in the I hate frames club, I'm sorry to say, mainly because it's not really that important to me, but I will and have gained a whole new respect for your views, and I will try to make my site according to them, and you can quote me on that!

With many thanks,
Colin Poole

Friends Don't Let Friends Use Frames.

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