A couple of NOF8 questions...

  ade.h 22:16 13 Oct 2005

Hi everyone,

I have two questions regarding frames and banners in NOF8, neither of which have been fully answered by the User Guide.

click here for an example of the style that I am using for a new project.

It's not absolutely essential but I would like to use frames so that the text can be scrolled and the links will stay visible on the navbar. I also want the sidebar to extend to the bottom of the browser screen and behave as a frame.

Thing is, I can't make this work without getting an extra vertical scroll bar. I think it's something to do with percentage rather than pixels. If I make it too small, I get a gap between the two frames where the scroll bar was and the grey table cell doesn't meet the bottom of the window.

Either way, the neatly arranged style all goes pear-shaped.

The other question relates to the banner; I would like it to extend to the edge of the browser, but without getting a horizontal scroll bar. I think this may be done by preventing the scroll bar being applied or doing some kind of percentage thing with the banner images. I have the narrow images which I think are needed to achieve this but don't know how to arrange it all.

Basically, I don't want any blank bits at each end of the banner and sidebar if I can avoid it.

Thanks for reading this far. I hope you can throw more light on my queries than the User Guide did.

  PurplePenny 13:37 14 Oct 2005

I don't know whether this has anything to do with your problem but it is worth a try -- you have heights for some of the tables and trs but there is no height attribute for either of those. You need to give the height attribute to the tds instead.

You also seem to have some odd h1 start tags without end tags (you should only have one h1 on a page anyway). I don't know whether that might be mucking things up.

I don't know anything about NOF so I'm hoping that someone who does can tell you how you can make it put things right :-)

  ade.h 14:45 14 Oct 2005

The page to which I have linked is simply an example of the site style. I haven't made any modifications to it, except in the site project itself, and that page is seperate from that. So any problems with the blank page must be inherent in the site style.

Should I be worried about that? Avoid that style perhaps?

What do trs and tds mean? I'm not very familiar with the finer points of coding jargon.

Thanks for your input so far.

  PurplePenny 19:19 14 Oct 2005

Sorry - I was referring to HTML tags; <table> can't have a height, <tr> tags are the rows of the table and they can't have a height attribute either, <td> tags are the individual table cells which can have a height attribute.

I think I'd better leave it to someone who knows about NOF, I might just be confusing the issue.

  ade.h 22:09 14 Oct 2005

I appreciate your help, PP, but dealing directly with HTML code is a bit beyond me, at least for now. I'd rather stick to the wizzywig approach as much as possible.

I am going to experiment over the weekend with changing the master border to top only, moving the layout area to the left and splitting the two images that make up the left pane between the two. Although the sidebar will move with the text, at least the banner will stay put. Maybe! I'll give it a go as a plan B if all else fails.

  Forum Editor 23:58 14 Oct 2005

but I'm going to ask it anyway - why are you using frames? To be honest, you be far better off without them.

Frames have been a controversial issue ever since they were first introduced (around 1994 or 1995), and nowadays there are no good reasons for using them. There are disadvantages however:

1. Visitors can't bookmark your page - only a frameset. This can be very irritating. If you are running an e-commerce site there can be advantages related to what's called 'deep linking' but unless you ask, I'm not going to take up space with a detailed explanation about that.

2. There'll be search engine problems, because search engines can't index framesets - only content; unless you put keywords in the framset header. There are ways around this, but again I'm not writing reams unless you ask.

3. There can be problems for people with visual impairments. Modern screen-readers can cope with frames, but older versions can't, and those visitors will be unable to access your site.

4. Appearance. A visitor's browser will see your frames as scrollable, and if it's unable to display the content on the screen in one go it will insert scrollbars (vertical or horizontal, or both) in the frame borders. I think this looks awful, and it can certainly deter visitors, who have to drag the bars up and down.

You can prevent these bars appearing by inserting attributes in the frame tag, like this:-

<frame name="navbar" src="navbar.html" marginwidth="10" marginheight="10" scrolling="no" frameborder="0">

But beware! If your visitor is running a browser window in a reduced size - as sometimes happens when people have several windows open at the same time - he/she may not see the entire frame content.

This sounds as if it's developing into an anti-frame campaign, and I don't mean to dampen your enthusiasm - it's just that I would hate for you to get this project well under way and then realise the problems.

Frames? I wouldn't use them.

  ade.h 17:27 15 Oct 2005

Hmm, well thanks for your advice, FE. I value your opinion highly on these matters.

I wanted to use frames primarily to keep the navigation bar (which will be part of the banner) visible at all times. Most of the pages will have quite a lot of text, so I wanted to make it easy to navigate. From a personal point of view, I really like web pages that are layed out in this way. The site will have only five pages, so a navbar at the top looks better than a very short vertical navbar on the left. I wanted to reserve that area for some external links and images. Also, the chosen style seems to be structured for the easy implementation of frames.

I don't think that the bookmark issue would be significant in this case. It's not going to warrant repeat visits really.

Search engines - oh god, don't get me started! I have enough trouble trying to pander to Google's wants as it is. How come frames are such a no-no for search engines? I mean, aren't they just part of a page?

Maybe I won't bother, I don't know.

  PurplePenny 18:03 15 Oct 2005

You could use CSS position: fixed to keep the menu on screen but until IE7 comes out it would only work in Opera and Firefox.

I've seen it done with JavaScript.

  ade.h 20:19 15 Oct 2005

Thanks, Penny. I'll bear that in mind for the near future. Right now, I'd be concerned about compatibility; although everyone should really be using IE6 SP2 (or IE7 when available), Firefox or Opera 8.5, so many people fail to keep upto date.

I'll call that issue closed on focus on my second question, regarding full-length banners.

Is it possible? I'm sure I've seen sites that use it and avoid cut-off or scroll bars. I was guessing that it may have something to do with the narrow images that are in the sitestyle folders in NOF.

Any ideas folks?

  ade.h 23:37 17 Oct 2005

Well, my experiment (described earlier) with changing the master border to top only didn't have the desired effect. I only succeeded in making it look worse and it didn't provide a successful workaround.

I have since managed to extend the left pane all the way down to the bottom of the page by adding a picture that looks identical to the table and stretching it.

However, getting the various parts that make up the banner to stretch across the screen to the right-hand edge without inducing scrollbars has so far proven impossible. I'm still sure that there must be a way of doing it though. I've played with changing the table width to 100%, but that made it too big and the position was fixed, with scrollbars in use, when I tested it in IE6.

Any ideas folks?

  ade.h 13:35 18 Oct 2005

Here is an example of an alternative solution click here but I don't know how it has been achieved. I happened to find this page while browsing another unrelated thread.

The page in question has a full length banner, but it does not extend right to the edge of the browser window, but just to the edge of the page. That's easy to do of course, but I would expect that to prompt the horizontal scroll bar in many people's browser windows. Which I don't want, because it inconveniences my site visitors.

However the above site has used some method of dynamically resizing the page elements as you resize the browser window. As a result, it has only a minimal horizontal scroll bar.

Is this a reasonably reliable and consistent solution, and is it fairly easy to achieve?

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