2 frames with 1 link or a non-scrolling table??

  JoJoJo 15:23 29 May 2003

I have designed a web page. Originally it had a frame at the left hand side with a menu in, and a main frame which the menu controlled. The menu in the left frame was “context sensitive”, i.e. the main menu items had several sub items which only became visible when the main menu item was clicked (in effect what happened was that the main-menu links changed both the contents of the main frame and the menu frame and there were several html files containing possible menus which could be displayed). Insofar as the menu was concerned this worked OK. However, it presented a problem with the forward and back buttons in the browser because when these were clicked only the main frame changed and the menu bar stayed the same so that it was possible to get the wrong menu displayed with the wrong main page.

To try and avoid this problem I recreated the pages and did not use a frameset but instead used a two column table for each page and enclosed the appropriate menu in the first column of each web page.

This seems to be the perfect solution. However, I have now found a new problem with such a design. Some of the information which goes into the right-hand “main” column fills more than one screen and thus scrollbars are displayed. This then means that the pages scroll the menu in the left column disappears off the top of the screen.

What I need to do, and would be grateful if somebody could help me to do, is either of the following
1) Get the frameset method working correctly so that the forward and back buttons ion the browser function such to keep the menu and a page “in sync”;

2) Make the menu in the left cell of the table be always visible i.e. make it move down the screen as the page scrolls so that it is always in line with the top of the window.

Can anyone tell me how I can achieve either of these or pot me to a location at which I can find more information on how to do it?

  Taran 18:36 29 May 2003

I've rattled together a possible solution for you but it's not simple and will probably fall apart horribly if you're using JavaScript or DHTML submenus for your main menu navigation links.

You can take a look at this link click here and if you right click the Source code hyperlink and save the text file you'll see how it all goes together.

There are one or two other ways of getting a page element to move as the page scrolls, but doing so is tricky at best and much depends on how your navigation menus have been set up.

Without further information from you, it's the best I can come up with on short notice, but you can keep in mind that there are alternatives to the issue.

Post again with more detail if you can and one of us will walk you though something.

I'm offline a lot at the moment so I don't get into the Helproom or WebDesign forums as much as usual, but if you need to you can email me (click the envelope icon next to my name) and I'll get back to you when I can.



  JoJoJo 22:18 29 May 2003

I've just had a look at your page and I think something like that may well do the trick. I'll have a play around with it again tomorrow and let you know how I get on.

Thanks very much


  Taran 17:32 30 May 2003

Email received.

I'm glad that my first stab at the problem seems to be along the right lines and may be useful for your project.

I'm pushed for time this evening so I'll reply over the weekend, but at first glance the solution to your current issue is either so simple it defies belief or the exact opposite !

I've a couple of theories and ideas (scary I know) but I won't get the chance to play until tomorrow or Sunday and what you want to do on your page(s) is something I've never tried before. If my luck holds though, my theories normally pan out so...

When I get it sorted out I'll post a link to the code, details of the complete problem as you described it to me and its solution in case anyone else wants to use it in future.

Watch this space.



  Taran 20:12 30 May 2003

You piqued my curiosity so I took a look at the problem.

For anyone else who may be interested, this was the additional question asked by JoJoJo

"I also want some text at the bottom of the browser window in the menu column."

One possible issue came to mind;

The whole point to the sliding menu is to allow it to slip down the page as you scroll it. Dumping text at the very bottom of the page in line with the menu would prevent it from scrolling properly, since it would have nowhere to scroll to if it reached to bottom of the page.

The easiest solution I came up with is to go to the bottom cell of the menu table where the horizontal line is, click to the right of the line and put however many hard returns in as are necessary to create a suitable gap between the menu and you text. Type in your text and off you go.

The obvious problem here is that you are limited to the size of the menu table for your text (150 pixels as I coded it) which could be a real issue if you want more than two or three words, although you can reduce the size of the font you use for this portion of the page.

Keep in mind that this solution will push EVERYTHING on your page 150 pixels to the right, so if you want a table cell going across the bottom of your page with your copyright details in it (to name one possible example) it will still be shoved 150 pixels over.

This may not be the solution you are/were hoping for, but without a good deal of input from you (your intended page layout and the software you are using to design it) there isn't much more that I can do at this point. Possible solutions depend entirely on these details.

The link is the same as my first response click here but to look at and/or save the code, you need to right click on the page and select View Source then save the resulting text file.

I hope it helps.



  JoJoJo 23:05 30 May 2003

Thank you very much for your help Taran. I have seen the latest web page that you made with the "&Nbsp"s in the cells to pad out the middle section. The first problem is that the site is designed to be used at any screen resolution so if the browser window is smaller the text at the bottom disappears (which is why I mentioned aligning the text at the bottom to the bottom because obviously it will be aligned to the bottom regardless of the user's screen resolution).

I have had a look at this click here and the script that you made and this work with each other to achieve the effect that I require. However, the two scripts produce two different scrolling styles so one arrives at the top slightly before the one at the bottom.

Can anyone find away of addapting either script to make both sliding table styles the same?

  tbh72 01:43 03 Jun 2003

I am kinda getting twitchy feet here waiting to find out if you've settled on a solution......

I have been playing with tables & it produces fantastic results eg menu's & sub menus. If you are able to split your pages up into smaller pages you could do away with scroll bars altogether.

What's going on with it then???

  Taran 03:07 03 Jun 2003

The trouble is, I'm still not 100% certain that I'm on the right track in solving the problem because I'm not convinced I have the entire picture here. Without a crystal clear picture of what is required I'm a little stumped.

In terms of blending the two scripts, no, I'm afraid I can't justify the time at the moment to rewrite both of them, although it can be done. You can't simply resize one of them since you say you want it/them to not only autoscroll but also autosize based on screen resolution. that autosize bit is where it all goes wrong, since if it fills the page height it has, by default, lost its ability to scroll.

From a design point of view, although the menus may look all well and good, there is one issue I should really have highlighted from the outset and I'm surprised nobody has picked me up on it so far. Your site will be completely goosed to any visitors that do not have a Java enabled browser. This is the danger of using JavaScripts or full blown Java in web pages or sites. At best your links will just be static in a non-Java browser. At worst they will not even appear, since they are buried within the script itself.

I spent ages earlier this year manually coding a DHTML drop down menu at a clients insistence. They absolutely had to have just such a look and it took quite some time to complete even though I advised against it. Once it was finished it looked great and worked beautifully - just as long as you were using the very latest version of Internet Explorer with all patches applied. The then most up to date version of Opera couldn't cope with the menu at all, Mozilla managed most of it and NetScape managed the best part of it but lost some of the detail while older versions of IE folded completely.

I tried a similar menu with two third party programs for generating navigation structures and the results were pretty much the same. Comparing my code with that generated by the programs showed similar syntax with similar problems.

Browser compatibility is a major issue, especially where your site hyperlinks are concerned. You might want to consider that before chasing any further down this road of going for just such a look.

If I get the time later this week I might try and take a look at it again, but I'm very, very busy at the moment so...

  JoJoJo 16:54 03 Jun 2003

I looked through the script that Taran gave me (thank you for that) and combined this with another script that I found at dynamicdrive.com. I have solved the problem now so thank you to everyone who has posted in this discussion for your help (and no doubt patience!)


Best regards


  Taran 00:59 04 Jun 2003

Since you say you've solved the issue, perhaps you'd be good enough to offer the solution to others by either detailing it in here or posting the address of your URL once the site goes live.

That way, if anyone else has a similar problem in the future there will be a record to point them to and we get to see the results of your handiwork to boot.


  JoJoJo 08:40 04 Jun 2003

I don't currently have a domain that I can upload it to but as soon as I do upload the page I will post I the forum and let you know.

Thanks again for all your help.

Best regards


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