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  1. #1
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    I know frames are pretty much outdated and loathed, but our site currently contains frames.

    We use it to keep a navigation bar on the screen at all times, so that users can click on the links in the navigation bar to get away from whatever it is they're viewing.

    Unfortuately, because of the fact the site is in frames, the main site administrator has it set such that every clicked link has a base target of "_parent" and clicking on a link takes you to another framed page that contains the same navigation bar and the new page.

    (Say, the link was a link to a comics section. Clicking on the link, loads a new frames page containing the navigation bar in one frame and the comics page in the other).

    The reason for this, or so he says, is so that people who enter the site from links they find on a search engine like Google, when clicking on a link will always regain the use of the navigation bar.

    In my opinion, this defeats the purpose of frames, which I see as a tool to keep the navigation bar permanently on screen without refreshing it.

    As you can imagine, the server is filled with HTML files that are nothing more than frames pages, holders for the contents, and it's starting to get on my nerves, especially now that I'm implementing CSS.

    (Maybe it's best if you see the site for yourself. It's at http://www.starwing.co.uk. See how the frames refresh with every click of the link? I'm assuming that's very annoying for dial-up users and the loading time for the updates page is also pretty long too).

    Now that the background's under way, let me ask the questions.

    I'm looking for a new way to set up the site. I want to ensure that a navigation bar will always be on screen, so that the visitor can use it, without using frames but also in such a way that if I want to add links to the navigation bar, all I have to do is add links to one file, instead of several files all containing copies of the navigation bar code.

    Is there a simple way to do this, preferably not using server-side script (since I work on the site offline and hence must have offline access to the navigation bar)?

    Next, if there is no viable method of doing this without using server-side script, is there a way of reloading the page for visitors that do not enter the site via the main page (and thus do not have the navigation bar loaded) such that the frames page with the navigation bar is loaded?

    I realise that this post may seem quite complicated and long-winded, so if you need clarifying, please don't hesitate to ask. Thank you for taking the time out to help me.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member seanmiller's Avatar
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    That's the problem with frames... you run the risk of your content being indexed by a search engine directly thus bypassing the outer frame page with the navigation...

    You talk about working on the site "offline" and hence having to have offline access to the pages... have you considered installing a webserver on your own machine?

    There's a very light webserver for Windows that supports SSI etc. called BRS Webweaver...

    http://www.brswebweaver.com/

    You would then split your HTML code into sections (the navigation being one) and include those sections into each of your pages.

    Sean

  4. #3
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanmiller
    That's the problem with frames... you run the risk of your content being indexed by a search engine directly thus bypassing the outer frame page with the navigation...

    You talk about working on the site "offline" and hence having to have offline access to the pages... have you considered installing a webserver on your own machine?

    There's a very light webserver for Windows that supports SSI etc. called BRS Webweaver...

    http://www.brswebweaver.com/

    You would then split your HTML code into sections (the navigation being one) and include those sections into each of your pages.

    Sean
    Well, when I said work offline, the main computer on which most of my files is not connected to the Internet. To upload files, I use a USB memory stick to transfer the files to a computer that does have Internet access.

    But yes, your solution does seem to make it possible for me to use server-side code now. (If only I knew some).

  5. #4
    Senior Member
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    Server-side includes like what seanmiller mentioned are just one-liners that let you include one page in another. They usually look like `<!--#include file="filename"-->' or something similar. PHP is also very easy to use as regards includes, since for PHP it's just `<?php include('filename'); ?>'. Using PHP will probably require a more heavyweight server like IIS or Apache, however.

    Really, if you just include one file from another, you don't actually need to run a webserver. You can edit the pages separately, and then put them on the server whenever you feel like it. Sure, you lose the ability to see what it'll look like when the pages are all thrown together, but it's usually fairly easy, especially when you just put a navbar with a main content area, to visualize it yourself.

    Plus, whenever you want to look at them together, you can always make a test page and replace the include directive with the code from the other page, and then look at it as plain HTML.


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