Frames or NO frames.


sorry probably a topic discussed at lengths somewhere but I was wondering. If I have a ASP.NET c# web application that contains the traditional header, left navigation bit and content to the right, is there any compelling reason for me not to use frames?
I realise one issue may be browser compatability but how many browsers these days don't support frames.
If it helps, I am writing an intranet application rather than a full internet app so I don't see browser type too much of an issue.
Thanks for your comments.
Graham Allwood
10/16/2003 2:14:34 PM 93655 articles. 6 followers. Follow

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Browser compatibility hasn't been the issue for a LONG time.  The issue is more about usability.  The idea is that it's preferable NOT to use frames unless you have a compelling reason, as some / many users find them confusing.

I wonder what the scenario is where you would prefer using them? Is it just a matter of comfort in coding? Is it content that *must* remain on the screen at all times, as opposed to scrolling out of view? Is it content that takes a while to render?
10/16/2003 2:51:35 PM
I never recomend IFRAMES for the web based application. 

Application without IFRAME/FRAME increases usuability of the application.
~ Firoz Ansari
Pune, India
Why product testing is important?
10/16/2003 3:01:11 PM

at present my pages all contain a table, the left cell is for a navigation control, the right cell is for the content (more user controls). The navigation control is a hybrid of the gotdotnet menu control they posted on their site, so there is quite a lot of html even when some section are collapsed.
I also notice a flicker when going from one page to the next. My pages are quite graphical (but subtle at the same time :-) ).
I thought that I could use frames to prevent the rendering of the nav menus on every page. The idea was that the frame borders would be zero width and not visible, the background of the laft and the right would be the same so essentially the user does not know we are using frames (appart from the menus not scrolling off the top of the page when the content is scrolled).
I see what you mean about it is preferable to NOT use frames, there are a lot of sites that don't bother where to me it would seem a possability. Like this site for example.
10/16/2003 3:10:08 PM
Why does it increase usability if the frames are essentially hidden from the user, i.e. background color the same, no border and no resizing?

10/16/2003 3:11:31 PM
frames = headaches with

you'll be writing javascript to cause frames to be reloaded when another frame changes
i suggest using usercontrols on pages - its logically the same as frames, but easy to program against
10/16/2003 3:13:33 PM
10/16/2003 3:22:44 PM
Thanks for the links.

It appears to me that the use of frames in these article is quite accepted. Is it really that much of a nightmare in ASP.NET?
10/17/2003 8:33:17 AM
I am using them in for a corporate web site app.  I have 2 frames (Content and Main).  Content is used to select report options and Main is used to display a DataGrid, Form, or Chart.

I like frames. It allows my users to be able to resize the window (especially if you're using any type of tree view). Also, the Contents frame does not reload every postback, while allowing users to instantaniously change an option without running through the entire report option page again.
At the same time, user controls are great if:
-you are the only developer
-everyone in your group programs in the same language
User Controls cannot be used cross language platforms where as Custom Controls can be.
Use a Custom Control if you need it to work across multpile language platforms (ie. c# + vb)
good luck
10/17/2003 8:52:12 PM

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