One of the “completed” debates on the web was won a few years ago, when framesets in HTML were pretty much universally acknowledged to be evil. As with many bad practices, Jakob Nielsen summed things up by declaring that frames suck for reasons like:
- Frames not printing correctly;
- Search Engines being unable to index the content; and
- Users being unable to bookmark frames effectively.
For the most part, these arguments against frames are 100% correct, and they are a technique that belongs in the dark, distant past.
But there is the odd exception … believe it or not, Microsoft’s MSDN Library (a developer resource) has used frames since it’s inception, as did the Apple developer library until recently. The reason for this – the navigation file is so large, it slows site performance substantially to have it loading on every page.