10.0679 Web style and courtesy: frames &c.

WILLARD MCCARTY (willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Sun, 9 Feb 1997 09:13:50 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 679.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Joel Elliott <elliott@email.unc.edu> (43)
Subject: Re: how to read the Web?

[2] From: "Kathy E. Gill" <kegill@halcyon.com> (20)
Subject: Re: 10.0665 how to read the Web? (fwd)

[3] From: Richard Bear <RBEAR@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU> (8)
Subject: Re: 10.0676 capturing text? frames?

[4] From: "Dr. David Harrison" <prospero@pncl.co.uk> (31)
Subject: Frames.

[5] From: Francois Lachance <lachance@chass.utoronto.ca> (13)
Subject: frames versus tables

[6] From: "Gary W. Shawver" <gshawver@chass.utoronto.ca> (7)
Subject: Re: 10.0676 capturing text? frames?

Date: Sun, 9 Feb 1997 00:06:25 -0500 (EST)
From: Joel Elliott <elliott@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: how to read the Web?

hello all:

i've thrown together some links of potentially useful sites related to
this issue of evaluating web resources. kathy's right -- there's a lot of
interesting material "out (t)here"!

i set up a page of links at:


it's not pretty, but it'll give those interested a start.

thanks to Chad Kearsley, Kathy Gill and others who contributed.



Joel Elliott
Dept of Religious Studies / 101 Saunders Hall, CB #3225
University of North Carolina / Chapel Hill, NC 27599
EMAIL: elliott@email.unc.edu
URL: http://www.unc.edu/~elliott

Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997 17:43:32 -0800
From: "Kathy E. Gill" <kegill@halcyon.com>
Subject: Re: 10.0665 how to read the Web? (fwd)

Joel Elliott <elliott@email.unc.edu> wrote:

>given the escalating popularity of the web -- and the notoriously *uneven*
>quality of information available in cyberspace, wouldn't it be helpful to
>articulate some explicit suggestions or principles for critically
>evaluating and using web-based information?

There are many resources 'out there' for critiquing web sites --- my
philosophy of design and ease-of-use can be found at
http://www.enetdigest.com/design/design.html -- I publish a weekly
guide/critique to web sites. I have links to other resources as well --
more at http://www.dotparagon.com/design.html


Kathy E. Gill, publisher
eNetDigest - http://www.enetdigest.com/
MacFacts - http://www.halcyon.com/kegill/mac/

"All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.
All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life,
lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading
the individual towards freedom." - Albert Einstein

Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 15:32:29 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: 10.0676 capturing text? frames?

Frames (and *tables*) represent problems for those who, regardless of
computing power, purchasing power, and modem speed are stuck with a browser
(generally LYNX) that can read to them aloud. In this country, pages produced
by public intstitutions that do not provide descriptive text-only versions,
let alone non-frames versions, are probably in violation of the
American with Disabilities Act. My own pages are not yet up to the standards
that they should meet in this regard.

Richard Bear

Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 22:58:25 GMT
From: "Dr. David Harrison" <prospero@pncl.co.uk>
Subject: Frames.


Re: Frames.

Frames can be useful, and "state of the art, never-mind-the-bandwidth, I've
got a Power PC and all of Kai's graphics software" web sites are using them,
but...and it's a big but, get it right. If frames are not 100% properly
implemented we are talking dog's dinner.

I'd regard it as netiquette to *always* offer an alternative text only (or
text with small and not-important logo) version of any page. And that means
no huge gifs, image maps, real audio, frames, javascript, nor Active-X on an
alternate site.

This is kind to people with slower modems, dodgy phone lines, local call
charges etc. Logging on to CompuServe in some countries (for example) can
cost over a pound a minute for the phone line and time charges together.
Many people still access the net via Telnet, which can cope with straight
text OK but may well choke on Javascript. The latest browsers for Acorn RISC
PCs may not deal with the latest tech. either, as they are not supported by
Netscape or that other company whose name I forget. :-)

There are browser options to block image downloads, but if those images are
required to make sense of the page, with no 'text' alternative in the image
description, you are holding Joe Punter to ransom and making BT very happy.

In most UK net mag. discussion, and in my own personal experience, frames
are currently regarded as a pain in the parts one ought not mention for fear
of castigation from the nether regions of the academic world. They also
reduce the working screen size for those of us with 14" monitors.

It is always nice to have a choice.

Just having a frames version may leave someone who is interested in what you
are saying with a blank screen and an error message that may be
deconstructed as 'I'm not interested in you, you are poor and have out of
date kit; go spend some money or go to hell' which I'm sure you wouldn't
intend. :-)


Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 16:15:40 -0500 (EST)
From: Francois Lachance <lachance@chass.utoronto.ca>
Subject: frames versus tables


What are the design elements that you can gain using frames that you
cannot with tables? What advantage is there to frames versus a
use of multiple copies of a browswer in a windows environment?

My last question targets the assumption that interactivity is
"built-in". On certain projects I do not specify a background colour
so as to allow users to set their own preferences. On other projects I
attempt to control the appearance more. Frames in my opinion is a
freedom limiting aspect of browser applications. Furthermore, consider
scale. A frames intensive site tends require totally screen space to
look acceptable.

Why frames?


--[6]---------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 16:09:37 -0500 From: "Gary W. Shawver" <gshawver@chass.utoronto.ca> Subject: Re: 10.0676 capturing text? frames?

Dear Willard,

The frames issue can be a really hot one. Many people find them as annoying as the <blink> tag and some e-zines have had to redesign their site without frames because so many people found them objectionable (probably because they were used as billboards). Check out Hotwireds' Webmonkey <http://www.webmonkey.com/webmonkey/html/96/53/index3a.html> for a discussion of "degradable html." Do you really want to exclude people surfing with frames-impaired browsers from using a site?