[thelist] Creating Divs on the fly

Eric Costello eric at schwa.com
Thu Aug 10 11:41:45 CDT 2000

>It's interesting that you see this as a hack. When this technique of hidden
>frames was first explained to me it was explained with an apology that it
>was an awkward and inelegant way around a problem. I didn't see it this way
>at all. To me it was the key to designing Web pages with an object oriented
>strategy. I was quite excited because this is exactly what you do with

I agree it is exciting, useful, powerful, even fun. But it is a hack because
it is relying on technologies that were never intended to relay application
information. HTTP is a document transfer protocol, and browsers are document
viewers; hidden frame techniques subvert those intended uses in very cool
way, but it's still a subversion. However, it seems that with the rise of
XML as the chosen format for data transfer between objects and applications,
document transfer has become the new paradigm for passing application data.
Things are changing, but still: browsers were not designed to be used this
way. And I don't mean that in a stodgy way, like browsers are meant for one
thing and one thing only, and damn you if you try to change things. What I'm
saying is that because they weren't designed as application platforms, you
run into a ton of problems when you try to use them as such.

My intellectual satisfaction with the hidden frame technique takes a second
seat to the broad range of implementation problems that crop up in
applications built around such trickery. But that's not to say I don't like
to build them!

Also: let's hope that Mozilla changes all this, since they are building it
primarily as an application platform, secondarily as a browser.


Eric Costello
eric at schwa.com

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