XML News from Friday, October 14, 2005

The W3C HTML Working Group has posted the second working draft of XFrames. Accopprding to the introduction,

Frames were introduced into HTML at version 4.0 [HTML4]. They introduced a manner of composing several HTML documents into a single view to create an application-like interface.

However, Frames introduced several usability problem that caused several commentators to advise Web site builders to avoid them at all costs. Examples of such usability problems are:

This document defines a separate XML application, not a part of XHTML per se, that allows similar functionality to HTML Frames, with fewer usability problems, principally by making the content of the frameset visible in its URI.

In itself, this seems fine. However, it really feels like there's a lot of overlap with XLink, XInclude, XSL, and CSS. I think those technologies together could accomplish everything that's suggested here. If they can't, I'd really like to hear why they can't, and then ask whether it might be simpler to make a few small additions to those specs rather than inventing something completely new.