1. Accessibility & Legislation
  2. Common Issues
  3. Testing & Tools
  4. Analysing Your Site

2.04 Common issues: Frames

From the Becta document

Before starting on the Level A WAI requirements for using frames, it is generally recognised that their implementation can have severe problems and you may be best to avoid them altogether.

Frames have numerous issues: they can be difficult to bookmark, it can be difficult for the browser to know which frame is the active frame and they can be difficult for search engines to index correctly

When people using non-graphical browsers visit a frameset page, they have to choose which frame to open from a list. If Web authors provide meaningful frame titles, users can easily identify the frame they wish to open. Frames should be properly named with content-oriented descriptive names (e.g. navigation, content, links) - not with positional frame identifiers (e.g. top, right, main).

How should they be coded?


<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Frameset//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-frameset.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en">
  <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
  <title>Page Checker</title>
<frameset rows="80,*,*,*">
  <frame src="url_frame.html" name="url_frame" title="URL to check" id="topFrame" />
  <frame src="html_frame.html" name="html_frame" title="HTML validation result" id="html_frame" />
  <frame src="css_frame.html" name="css_frame" title="CSS validation result" id="css_frame" />
  <frame src="link_frame.html" name="link_frame" title="Link checker result" id="link_frame" />
    <p>This page's function requires the use of frames. It checks a single URL against the W3C's HTML & CSS validators and also checks the links in the page.</p>
    <p>Each of these functions may be acomplished without frames though one at a time. Please visit:</p>
      <li><a href="http://validator.w3.org/">HTML validator</a>.</li>
      <li><a href="http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/">CSS validator</a>.</li>
      <li><a href="http://validator.w3.org/checklink">Link checker</a>.</li>

The example shown is for the page validator and link checker.

Who does this affect?

WAI guidelines on frames

Further information.

Common issues