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Controversial Web "Framing" Makes a Comeback

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the we-know-exactly-how-much-you'd-enjoy-a-slashbar dept.

The Internet 210

theodp writes "The WSJ reports that the controversial practice of framing seems to be making a comeback on the Web. Big sites like Digg, Facebook, Ask.com and StumbleUpon have all begun framing links recently, joining the likes of Google, which employs the technique for Image Search. Long ago, Jakob Nielsen argued that 'frames break the fundamental user model of the web page,' but, today's practitioners contend, 'it's a feature, not a bug,' and say it provides publishers with massive distribution they wouldn't otherwise have."

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How to stop it (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27798723)

stick this in the head of your page

<script type="text/javascript"><!--
var _tl=top.location,_sl=self.location;if(_tl!=_sl)window.top.location=_sl;
//-->
</script>

Re:How to stop it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27798865)

NYTimes.com style...

Re:How to stop it (5, Interesting)

Sephr (1356341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798961)

Wow, good idea! Let's just introduce two more global variables in some messy code! actually, how about we don't and we use something anonymous like this (also don't use as they fuck up E4X:

<script type="text/javascript">
if (top.location != location) {
top.location = location;
}
</script>

Re:How to stop it (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27799217)

I have this variation in my HTML.
Ages ago I tested a bunch of them, and chose this.
Probably because it was the shortest one that worked with all browsers I could lay my hands on, or some other reason.

<script type="text/javascript">
if(top!=self)top.location.replace(self.location);
</script>

Re:How to stop it (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799515)

I'm no javascript guru but I'd be careful around those top and self and child objects. Aren't there security issues with accessing session cookies and SIDs in URLs from parent/child frames? Or does it restrict by domain?

Re:How to stop it (2, Funny)

ieatcookies (1490517) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799389)

Do you not get enough attention at work?

Re:How to stop it (1)

Sephr (1356341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799611)

The HTML comment got removed, at "(also don't use as they fuck up E4X:" it was supposed to say:

"(also don't use <--comments--> as they fuck up E4X):"

Re:How to stop it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27799771)

If you think the whole frame thing is annoying, take a look at http://www.skittles.com/

They take it to a whole new level overlaying content on a page which in itself is basically a giant iframe.

Don't just spout phrases for the sake of it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27798725)

"It's a feature, not a bug" would make sense if we were talking about something that actually arose as a bug. People don't think about what they write these days, they just let out torrent upon torrent of brainfarts.

Re:Don't just spout phrases for the sake of it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27799243)

People don't think about what they write these days, they just let out torrent upon torrent of brainfarts.

lol, i know just what you mean people are such morans these days!!! my friend does that all the time but shes a slut she went to see the new Batman movie with me and it was so funny, oh that reminds me no i forgot sorry

Re:Don't just spout phrases for the sake of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27799825)

lol, i know just what you mean people are such morans these days!!!

Someone who spells moron "moran" should not be criticizing anyone else's intelligence.

Can I close the frame? (5, Insightful)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798729)

If the frame has a button or such to close it, I don't have a problem with the frame.

Re:Can I close the frame? (0, Redundant)

gollito (980620) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798751)

Agreed. As long as I can close it I could care less that it's there.

Re:Can I close the frame? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27798905)

Agreed. As long as I can close it I could care less that it's there.

How much less could you care? This information is the only thing that stands between us and the knowledge of how much you do care!

Re:Can I close the frame? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27798937)

You have no idea how little some people can care. I wouldn't trudge through those depths of apathy lightly.

Plagiarism Detection (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798825)

If this weren't slashdot, I'd say you were plagiarizing TFA.

"I like how Google images does their framing when you go to the landing page of the image in question.... so, sometimes frames are ok, but most times not."

IMO there should ALWAYS be an option to turn this kind of thing OFF. Then, what's the problem? Bonus points for a prefs link by the escape-button. What, no escape button? GET THEM.

Re:Can I close the frame? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27798847)

What do you mean by "close the frame"? Sure, there's the "back" button you can always press if you don't like something.

Re:Can I close the frame? (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799703)

Take a look at the frame Digg is using. It has a close box on it. If you click that, the frame goes away, leaving you on the (formerly) framed page. That's the kind of thing he means by "close the frame".

Re:Can I close the frame? (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798863)

Personally, I'd prefer there be a setting to turn off the framing. Clicking the box to close it every time gets a little old. I'm not going to get angry about it, there's enough crap that takes screen space that I start thinking of alternatives.

Re:Can I close the frame? (1)

kokojie (915449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799125)

There is a setting to disable it

Re:Can I close the frame? (1)

descil (119554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799293)

Where? No there isn't.

Re:Can I close the frame? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799741)

There is a setting to disable it

That depends, for which sites? Several sites do it, and I haven't found any such setting on the site that I use.

Re:Can I close the frame? (2, Interesting)

patro (104336) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798975)

Can I close the frame permanently if I don't want it at all on any site? That is the right question.

Re:Can I close the frame? (2, Insightful)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799147)

If the frame has a button or such to close it, I don't have a problem with the frame.

I think this "It is eeeeeeevil!!!!" crowd got its panties in a bunch. Sure, there are lots of bad ways to use frames, but in and of itself frames are not a bad thing. In fact most, if not all of the examples mentioned are specifically examples of how to use frames RIGHT. They identify themselves, give you a way to break out of it, and allow you to continue to get the "Web 2.0"/AJAXy (or whatever buzzword you want to use) services from their site while letting you to see the pages you want to see. The old way of opening popups or new browsers have been rendered annoying by a combination of advertising and tabbed browsers - so I can see why frames are making a come back.

That said, I think people should always be given a choice. If someone wants to suffer, let them. Just add a setting in the web app that says "Open links: a - inline(frame), b - this window, c - new window"

-Em

Re:Can I close the frame? (3, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799297)

That's like saying "in and of itself, using a cell phone or radio while driving is not bad". There are a very few exceptions where it's helpful. Communications for long-haul trucking is very helpful, and for delivery personnel to get directions at the delivery point in slow traffic. But it's so overused and so destructive in its normal use.

Re:Can I close the frame? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27799705)

No... those are 2 very different concepts. Please don't compare apples and oranges.

...

That's like saying "in and of itself, half-baked slashdot analogies are not bad". There are a very few exceptions where they're accurate or helpful.

Re:Can I close the frame? (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799723)

Sure, there are lots of bad ways to use frames, but in and of itself frames are not a bad thing. In fact most, if not all of the examples mentioned are specifically examples of how to use frames RIGHT. They identify themselves, give you a way to break out of it, and allow you to continue to get the "Web 2.0"/AJAXy (or whatever buzzword you want to use) services from their site while letting you to see the pages you want to see

Nope. None of them are examples of using frames right, since they break navigation and bookmarking. Go RTFA, and in the RTFA, follow the link to Jakob Nielsen's article to learn about the problem of frames that you've overlooked.

Re:Can I close the frame? (4, Informative)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799151)

Not that this affects you point, but for sites that don't offer that (I haven't come across any),
In firefox: right click -> this frame -> show only this frame, will sort you out, other browsers probably perform similarly.

Re:Can I close the frame? (2, Insightful)

pcgabe (712924) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799209)

Sure, until you browse away from the original framed page (by following links on it), and then decide that the frame is no longer relevant, so you close it and OH HAI You're back to the original page.

There are no buttons to "close the frame". There are only buttons that take you to the original page, sans frame, from whatever page you are currently on.

Re:Can I close the frame? (2, Interesting)

porl (932021) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799263)

just curious, but couldn't this be solved by changing the button's static link to a javascript function that runs something like top.location = contentframe.location ?

Re:Can I close the frame? (1)

cortesoft (1150075) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799309)

It is a pretty big problem with links to videos however... I click the link on facebook, it opens in the frame... and starts downloading and playing the video... when I go to close the frame, it has to reload the page, and so it restarts the video download and the video playback.. very annoying, wastes time and bandwidth

Re:Can I close the frame? (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799817)

You can't close frames, you can only provide a link which will redirect so if the user navigates though pages from within a frame they'll be redirect to where ever your close link points (presumably the first page which was framed).

I use framing on a toolbar style search site I created (a free too for music, it's not nearly a irritating as it sounds) and originally I'd hoped I could add a real close button because I don't think locking someone into frames is cool, I was a bit disappointed when I found you really cant.

I swear I didn't do it! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27798755)

Don't listen to the web of lies. Whatever it says about me, I didn't do it. I've been framed!

Re:I swear I didn't do it! (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799083)

It was the single core Mac!

Evils of Redmond (0)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798761)

I blame Bill Gates and Microsoft -- they're framed for everything else! :D

Feature? (5, Insightful)

WillKemp (1338605) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798769)

It's a bug not a feature. It's pointless, stupid and annoying.

Facebook does it (with some links but not others) - and there's just no point to it. The link opens in a new tab and the old tab is still there. It might make sense if you were going to open the link in the same tab, but you're not.

What possible advantage is there in opening a link in a frame in a new tab - apart from annoying users?

Re:Feature? (4, Interesting)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798835)

The main reasons: Ad Revenue. Search Engine Optimisation. And, as you say, annoying website builders. The average site visitor doesn't much care either way.

Re:Feature? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27798951)

It's the web equivalent of crappy programs throwing themselves in your system tray needlessly: gaining mindshare and visibility so they are more attractive to marketers.

Do they need to be there? Of course not. But they want to be, and most users put up with it. The blame lies equally with users who just say, "well, ok, I guess that's fine." They allow it to happen.

Re:Feature? (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799115)

If the target of the link is one point in a larger process potentially involving many such pages. Google Image Search is a perfect example of this.

Note, though, that Google Image search gives you a link that allows you to exit the process. That's more guts than most site developers have. They want your eyeballs on their page as long as possible. Letting the user escape the task demonstrates confidence that what you are doing for them is valuable.

Re:Feature? (1)

Trails (629752) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799133)

Do you know what "bug" and "feature" mean? A bug is an unintended and undesireable behaviour. Just because you don't like it doesn't make it a bug. Get over yourself (this applies to the summary too).

Re:Feature? (1)

WillKemp (1338605) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799227)

Do you know what "tongue in cheek" and "get over it" mean?

Re:Feature? (1)

descil (119554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799313)

The unintended and undesireable behavior:

My security is compromised.

Admittedly with facebook et all they probably aren't stealing my passwords or form values.

But another side effect is that framing becomes "ok" for even less-well-known and less-accountable sites, even though it's clearly a very serious security issue.

Re:Feature? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27799767)

Fucking Faggot Font

Re:Beature Fug (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799729)

So what is an unintended desirable behavior?

Programmer & ContentGuy: "This Bug Sux!"
Marketing PHB: "That's great for me!"

Sue them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27798787)

Anyone who frames my content is in for a world of pain. I'll put a lien on their house and kill their dog.

Re:Sue them (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799311)

I'll do worse than that: I'll add malicious code that makes their site look bad whenever they try to view my site in it, but is completely harmless to anyone visiting or linking to my site in the normal way. I suspect replacing parts of the enclosing frame with either a prominent and embarrassing explanatory message or perhaps some NSFW or politically offensive content would be sufficient.

Re:Sue them (1)

Ritchie70 (860516) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799413)

Except if your site looks nasty when linked from Google with their little frame, the visitor is going to assume your site is nasty, not that it has anything to do w/ Google.

Re:Sue them (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799369)

You jest and/or troll, but some people [firedoglake.com] seriously suggest that. Oh noes people are stealing your users, except they still go to your site, still count as pagehits and some still click your ads/comment on your threads/subscribe to your mailinglist!

Finally the backlash hits (4, Insightful)

Night Goat (18437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798799)

I first started seeing this in Facebook. It was getting pretty annoying to have to close out a frame in order to see the web page at the full size of my browser window. Hopefully, these companies that do this realize that it just irritates people and doesn't improve the visitors' experience.

Re:Finally the backlash hits (5, Funny)

cizoozic (1196001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799067)

It seems like another case of that annoying "You are now leaving our site. It's a big scary internet world out there where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs! Are you sure you want to do that? We take no responsibility for the rest of the internet, but you seem like the kind of idiot that would sue us for a link one of our users provided. Here, we'll give you a life line back to our site, and since you have 15 toolbars installed, you probably don't have any screen space left to see the other site anyway."

Re:Finally the backlash hits (1)

VisceralLogic (911294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799539)

Well, at least in Facebook's case, it's there so you can make comments and other Facebooky stuff from the site. Nevertheless, I would rather go to the site, then come back and make my comments.

The i's have it (2, Informative)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798807)

I assume we are talking about i-frames here, not setting out an entire page using the old-fashioned Frameset method. Frameset layouts were a nightmare in many ways and their passing is a good thing, but using an i-frame to show some or all of a separate webpage on the page you are viewing can be very useful, and is perfectly kosher in terms of valid HTML and CSS as far as I know.

Re:The i's have it (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798909)

I assume we are talking about i-frames here, not setting out an entire page using the old-fashioned Frameset method.

You're wrong, though. They're talking about loading a frameset with a top page provided by them and the bottom page provided by someone else, just like google does with cached pages except for more or less all external links posted by users.

An IFRAME would be even more offensive, for reasons which should be obvious.

Re:The i's have it (2, Informative)

rednip (186217) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798983)

Actually, you're wrong, at least in digg's case, this code is stuck at the end of page digg sent me when I just clicked on a link from their site:

<iframe id="diggiFrame" name="diggiFrame" noresize="noresize" src="http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/internet-censorship-us-or-just-law-enforcement" frameborder="0"></iframe>

It does seem to be easy to 'permanently' remove, but I'm not a 'fan' of wrapped content of any form.

Wow! (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798817)

Next they'll be telling us they're using HTML tables to do layout...

It's good if the frame adds value (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27798821)

It all depends on what the outer frame does. If it adds value to the link - e.g. as Google Image search does, which shows you the picture/allows you to magnify it - then I think that framing is a good idea.

If, on the other hand, it is just there to try to 'keep the users on your site', then it is plain annoying. If this comes back, so will the frame breakout scripts.

In any case, a 'close' button should always be provided.

In my opinion, the way Google Images frames external sites is exemplary, and should be the way others do it too.

Re:It's good if the frame adds value (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799009)

As usual, things are not black and white. The new Digg "bar" frame deal is just like having another menu bar in the top of your browser window, so at least in that respect it isn't all that intrusive... and personally, I got a kick out of using the "random" link feature on it.

I'm a 'new wave' web user who doesn't care if there's content from several different sites on one screen. Hell, a mashup like that is something I PREFER instead of having to load up multiple URLs just to see tidbits of information I want.

This is the future of the web. People will have customized content. They won't be forced to go look at the whole webpage if they don't want to -- they'll get the content they want, from multiple web pages, all in one screen... if they want. That's the ticket, the "if they want" part.

If that means bad things for advertising revenue, well... tough shit, eh?

Re:It's good if the frame adds value (4, Insightful)

descil (119554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799327)

It's not advertising revenue I'm concerned with, but all the data I enter on those various sites that they should not be sharing with each other. Or with facebook. Or with Google. I guess at some point you have to give in, but not before making your security a top priority.

Maybe it was bad back in 1996 (5, Interesting)

SashaMan (263632) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798879)

Jakob Nielsen argued that frames "broke the fundamental user model of the web page" ... back in 1996. Sorry, the user model of the web has fundamentally changed since then.

For example, in the google image case, I really like the frame because it serves an important purpose. Often times it takes much longer to load the target page than the top frame. If that loading takes too long, I can just click the "See full size image" to go directly to the image without having to load the whole page.

In any case, I always was amazed how Nielsen was heralded as this guru of web usability. He may have been early to the game, but I always thought most of his recommendations were bad. Just take a look at his website, http://www.useit.com./ [www.useit.com] Besides being god-awfully ugly, the lack of any real borders or section boundaries makes it really hard to find information quickly.

Re:Maybe it was bad back in 1996 (2, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798927)

It DOES break the fundamental user model of a web page. Even now. If your content is related as such that one page can't work without another page loaded, then they should all belong to the same page (even if that means using server side includes). If they aren't so twisted up that the pages can work independently, then throwing frames around can cause such headaches as function/class name collisions... that is unless your pages are "aware" of one another. Then you are killing the MVC model.

Either way, don't do it.

Re:Maybe it was bad back in 1996 (0, Redundant)

descil (119554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799359)

The fundamental user model of a web page only provides reliable caching. Other than that, it's worse than worthless in that it inhibits the kind of things you can do with your internets.

Server side includes? Wow dude, just throw my security and privacy out the window along with all reason and common sense why don't you. Server side includes? You're using some microsoft bs then...

and MVC? No wonder. Next you'll be using a web 2.0 toolkit that lets you make websites in visual basic. Get a clue!

Why Would Anyone Hire Nielsen (1)

tony1343 (910042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799013)

Wow, www.useit.com is a terrible looking website and difficult to use. Why in God's name would anyone hire this man? A useability review from him is something like $38,000. That would be the biggest waste of money ever. Definitely wouldn't trust his services after seeing this website. Also, why after making a comment and hitting the preview button does it take 40 seconds before I can submit the comment. Slashdot has become the most annoying site to submit comments at (yet that is one of the main points of the site).

Re:Why Would Anyone Hire Nielsen (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799347)

Wow, www.useit.com is a terrible looking website and difficult to use.

Agreed; an explanation is that in the days his presupposition was that every page should load in less than y sec (I think it was 4) for e_v_e_r_y user.

CC.

Re:Why Would Anyone Hire Nielsen (1)

descil (119554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799371)

Heh, the same goes for that "other" Neilsen, but nobody cares.

It's a lucky sperm club thing.

As for why you have to wait to post, it's so that you will think a little bit before you go and say something like, oh, say, "the lucky sperm club runs the world" and get yourself in trouble. (*fortunately I'm already in trouble)

Re:Why Would Anyone Hire Nielsen (1)

Mr. Picklesworth (931427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799639)

Hah, it doesn't even begin to validate [w3.org] properly, either.

Re:Maybe it was bad back in 1996 (4, Insightful)

interiot (50685) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799017)

No, the reason that Google Images uses frames is that the designers were faced with three alternatives:
  1. Display only the full-size image. This hotlinking, and is considered worse than framing.
  2. Display only to HTML page. At best, it makes the user play hide-and-go-seek. At worst, the image is hidden, and the user has to figure out how to make some random Javascript happy before the image can be displayed. Either way, the user often ends up being very frustrated.
  3. Use a frame.

Framing was the best of three bad alternatives.

Re:Maybe it was bad back in 1996 (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799105)

How is framing a bad alternative? It does the job perfectly, its a great option, in that situation.

Re:Maybe it was bad back in 1996 (2, Insightful)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799291)

Because it is essentially stealing from the website. As other posters have mentioned, many users don't bother to wait for the page to load and just go directly for the full size image. This is basically hotlinking with an extra click in there for the user, and considered bad practice. Frames may be the best solution in this case, but it still has flaws.

Re:Maybe it was bad back in 1996 (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799533)

Google isn't putting ads in the frame and does a good job of making sure that their branding is shown in the frame, and that there is a clear way to get to the original page. That is not "essentially stealing".

Back in the day, hotlinking meant that someone was using the image on a page without permission (i.e., as the src for an img element), not that a link to the image was posted (the idea that people shouldn't post direct links to content on the internet is preposterous).

Re:Maybe it was bad back in 1996 (1)

descil (119554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799383)

It makes users think framing is okay and secure when a company like google does it. When in reality, framing lets you steal user information, session information, cookies, ad revenue, ...

btw if you're going from "it is" to "its" you have to use an apostrophe. "it's spelled with an apostrophe."

Re:Maybe it was bad back in 1996 (0, Offtopic)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799755)

BTW is capitalised, it should be a comma instead of a full stop before the "when", "it's" should be capitalised and the quote should be following a colon or be in a new paragraph.

Golden rule : don't pick on other people's grammar unless yours is spotless. Liek mine is/

Re:Maybe it was bad back in 1996 (3, Interesting)

tenco (773732) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799101)

In any case, I always was amazed how Nielsen was heralded as this guru of web usability. He may have been early to the game, but I always thought most of his recommendations were bad. Just take a look at his website, http://www.useit.com./ [www.useit.com] Besides being god-awfully ugly, the lack of any real borders or section boundaries makes it really hard to find information quickly.

Seriously? I hadn't any trouble navigating that page. News is nicely separated from permanent content without using a menu. IMHO menus on webpages severely impact their usability in a bad way. Websites with menus on it are usually the ones where I get lost easily and don't find what I'm looking for. In most cases the search function is broken, too.

And about the page being ugly: it may be styled minimalistic, but that's exactly the way I like it. I don't like sites with much bling-bling like http://www.space.com/ [space.com] and especially game/movie sites because it distracts me from the actual content. But as both seem to correlate reciprocally, that's not a big problem to me...

Re:Maybe it was bad back in 1996 (5, Insightful)

RJFerret (1279530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799111)

Wowzers! I clicked the link and bang, there was the page. It's nice to have a page load in less time on AT&T U-Verse now than back in dialup days. Isn't it weird how we have these amazingly fast connections now but it takes pages longer to load?

I'm a web user rather than designer, and have never heard of this guy, but I'm glad you define him as a "guru"...I wish more adopted his example.

I immediate found the search without scrolling (I often just bail on websites without a search).

There was an obvious separation between categories of info, both by physical and graphic methods.

There was actual provided content with section titles, so I was able to very quickly find info without trying to discern it through various distractions.

I bet it would work great on my phone too.

Speaking of which, sadly it didn't take off, but one trick to a far better web experience was using the mobile version of websites! Much more usable: faster, content without spurious distractions... I wish every website had an m.- alternative to www.-

Isn't it horrifying that often I will reach for my phone to access the web when I'm sitting in front of my computer with an open web browser?

Re:Maybe it was bad back in 1996 (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799701)

Wowzers! I clicked the link and bang, there was the page.

If browsers rendered the text before anything else (or at least rendered the top bit, without having to download *everything* first), then this would be less of an issue.

Web zombie says... (0)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798923)

I want FRAMEZZzzzzz...

Vote using your clicks. (1)

mpn14tech (716482) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798985)

I primarily use rss feeds to find new articles. I was tracking digg by rss until they started framing.
I immediately dropped all news feeds from them and avoided using their site. Once I read
that digg made frames an opt-in feature, I added Digg back into my news reader.

If I find some other site(like Slashdot) were to do the same thing, they would have one
less set of eyeballs looking at their site.

Re:Vote using your clicks. (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799427)

OK, but at the risk of asking the obvious, if you're only tracking their RSS feeds then you're not really giving their site your eyeballs anyway, are you? Or do you mean you used the RSS feed to spot articles of interest, but you did actually visit the site to discuss those articles?

Re:Vote using your clicks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27799617)

I'm sure you would be missed. Sponge.

google images only (2, Interesting)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27798997)

Aside from Google Images, no frame has ever been useful. It's just some lame site's way of keepin gme tied to their shitty site.

Google Images, on the other hand, has increased porn hunting efficiency by at least 200%, imo.

Re:google images only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27799089)

Honestly, on the web, do you really need to hunt for porn. It usually finds you.

Re:google images only (2, Interesting)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799331)

stumbleupon's frame means you don't need to install the extension, which is a great move:
1)It gives the site more screen realestate
2)It's one less addon
3)It works with all (modern) browsers not just those they have an extension for.

Re:google images only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27799809)

I find Google Images's frame very annoying and I rarely use Google Images specifically because it uses this frame.

greasemonkey (1)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799025)

Someone write a greasemonkey script to remove these irritating frames please

One client area/one purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27799047)

I've always liked the idea that one client area (the inside of a window or frame) should have one purpose. So using a frame for a side menu is fine, I think, because that function is separate. Admittedly, we've not managed to replace frames and iframes with embedded components just yet. User controls were not recursively composible like frames are, and java or flash applets are created in a separate language. Having an iframe for an interactive control like an image upload control works really well.

What I dislike is when one client area has many functions, like a bar below the title that allows one to log in. The modularity that frames provide is great and serves to keep things separate.

Frames are useful for web UI, but cross-domain frames are a bad idea.

One Line Fix (0, Redundant)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799053)

If it bothers you as a site owner, just like you can add your robots file to ditch search engines, one line of JavaScript will break you out of it.

if (top.location != location) top.location.href = document.location.href;

Granted, the experience still sucks for users of sites that don't have that and have the framing breaking their user experience assumptions. But at least it's a fix for site owners who dislike it.

And.. (1)

palmerj3 (900866) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799057)

... and by "feature" we, of course, mean "it makes us money, so f*ck off"

Flashblock+frames on firefox3.5 (linux) (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799093)

Does anybody else have problems with flash/videos not playing in frames when flashblock is running on firefox3.5 on linux.
I have an entirely 64bit system here and don't have the time to be messing with 32bit stuff, so if somebody could tell me it work for them on linux with minefield(32)/minefield(64)+nspluginwrapper /minefield(64)+flash(64) , ill just shut up and eventually get round to fixing my mess or reopen the bug report i closed when it work for while the otherday

Follow the money (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799121)

Let's see why they want to do this. Is there some specific click behavior that frames enforce that forces additional clicks to ad pages? Or that significantly reduces bandwidth for the servers?

I admit that most frames are very, very badly designed, creating incompatibilities with browsers.

What's the underlying motivation? (2, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799221)

Back when frames last reared their ugly head, I noticed that many of the sites that were using them were doing so to wrap other people's content with their ads. Then came frame-killing code (the bit of JavaScript mentioned elsewhere being one example).

Did the content thieves just lay low until we got lazy and forgot about them?

Re:What's the underlying motivation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27799709)

no, they just made sites that use bots to scrape content off other sites and lace the page with adds.

You know... (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799241)

You do know that, at least for Digg, you can disable it. I did. I hated it. Of course, Digg is not at all what it used to be. Which is a shame....

Re:You know... (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799667)

I stopped reading Digg long ago. If I want to know what a clique of people think I should read I can go to any blog or online magazine site. At least there I can know who the author is.

Frames could be essential part for embedded system (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27799249)

Our software which is web configuration tool for a our routers, is totally based on frames. Our http server is very minimal, access to flash could be slow, Impossible to dynamically generate pages content on the server side. Thanks to frames we were able to resolve these and other issues.

Re:Frames could be essential part for embedded sys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27799799)

False choice. There are other alternatives -- CSS sheets and tables. If you need to update content without reloading the page, AJAX is more efficient than reloading an entire frame in many cases. And none of these things put more load of the HTTP server on the embedded system. In fact, they often put less load on it.

Unframing script? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27799453)

This practice is just wrong. It breaks meaningful URLs, no, it breaks the whole concept of URLs. If people want metaservices for random webpages, they should install an extension or toolbar or save a bookmarklet, period.

To fight it, there should be a public service that maps framed URLs to the original URLs. On the first query for a framed URL, it would scrape the framed page for the src of the iframe or whatever it is (using a public database with framing site specific selectors), and cache it for subsequent queries. With tinyurl &c it's even simpler, just follow the redirect. Such a service could be used by a browser extension or userscript to transparently convert all links on all pages on load. It could also be used to clean up submitted content in blog entries and comments, so people have a bigger chance to spot the goatse before they click. Of course it will never catch all redirecting techniques, but if it defeats the big players that would already be something.

Cross-Page-Presentations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27799481)

I think framing is okay for cross-referencing content from other pages. like facebook does, or google image search. let the main-part of your page be still your page (the top, the left, what ever), and show the content of the target-page in a frame.

But I agree it would be nice to have a close-button for frames always. firefox developers, put this on your list :)

Umm (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799653)

Didn't Digg stop this when they got a flurry of smack-down?

Frames suck! Period. It's bad enough that MySpace relishes their circa 1996 page styles now this?

innoculate yourself (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799727)

if (top.location != location) {
        top.location.href = document.location.href ;}

I don't think many people appreciate this. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27799757)

"... it provides publishers with massive distribution they wouldn't otherwise have."

I say, "It provides publishers with distribution that people don't want."

Seriously: it pisses me off to no end when someone gives me a link on Twitter, and it turns out to be a Digg frame with a site inside of it. I immediately get rid of the frame, because I do not want Digg to be following my movements on the site. And that must means that I have to load the page twice... once in the frame, and again out of it.

It is a major pain in the ass.
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