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Differences between Responsive and Frameless: TOC reloads each time

Explorer ,
Jan 14, 2021 Jan 14, 2021

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I am using RH 2020.3.32 (still newbie) and trying to understand some of the differences between the Responsive and Frameless outputs. I used the About RoboHelp sample project and found that when I used the Frameless output preset and viewed the results in a browser, each time I clicked on an item in the TOC, the TOC would reload. This seems like it would be annoying to our users. Is there any way to fix this? I don't see the same thing when using the Responsive preset.

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Adobe Community Professional , Jan 14, 2021 Jan 14, 2021
The main relevant difference is that Responsive uses an iframe to contain the topic content, whereas Frameless does not use frames. What this means is that for Responsive, the toc and header are separate files from the topic. Clicking on an entry in the toc only changes the content inside the frame, rather than the whole web page. For Frameless, the toc, header and topic are a single file, so when you click on a link you are loading a whole new page. (It's not quite that simple, because java...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 14, 2021 Jan 14, 2021

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The main relevant difference is that Responsive uses an iframe to contain the topic content, whereas Frameless does not use frames.

 

What this means is that for Responsive, the toc and header are separate files from the topic. Clicking on an entry in the toc only changes the content inside the frame, rather than the whole web page.

 

For Frameless, the toc, header and topic are a single file, so when you click on a link you are loading a whole new page. (It's not quite that simple, because javascript is involved, but it's close enough for our purposes.)

 

While this would suggest that Responsive is better because the toc doesn't have to reload, there are other benefits to using Frameless, including:

  • better search engine optimisation (SEO) because frames aren't used.
  • each topic has a unique URL, without requiring complicated coding additional coding
    compare:
    responsive: C:/temp/outputs/test-multiscreen-variables/Responsive_HTML/index.htm#t=First_Topic.htm
    frameless: C:/temp/outputs/test-multiscreen-variables/Frameless/First_Topic.htm
  • it's likely future development will concentrate on Frameless output
  • more comprehensive built-in skin customisation options

There are probably other benefits but that's what I can think of off the top of my head.

 

Hope that helps explain things. Post back with any other questions you have.

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Explorer ,
Jan 15, 2021 Jan 15, 2021

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Thank you! This actually helps a lot.

Do you by any chance know of a reference or web page where I could read more information about why frameless is better for SEO? For context, we deliver documentation with our software (using contect sensitive help) and put a copy of the our documentation on the web in the form of a knowledge base. So we could use different output formats for each, if there were a benefit to doing so.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 16, 2021 Jan 16, 2021

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Quite simply search engines don't work well with frames making frameless a better option.

 

I read your comments as you are thinking of installing responsive help for the CSH and uploading frameless to the web. Users will then see two different layouts with different functionality.

 

As Amber has pointed out, future development of skins will be focussed on frameless so you will see improvements and additional functionality over time. Also Adobe are aware of the lag and are working on it.

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Explorer ,
Jan 19, 2021 Jan 19, 2021

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Thank you to both of you. Knowing where Adobe is headed also helps.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 22, 2021 Jan 22, 2021

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Just to add to this thread. Frameless output has been enhanced in 2020 and if it is hosted on the server then full page doesn't reload every time. What i mean is that if you click to open any topic from TOC or from hyperlink in the topic, only the topic area reloads same as Responsive output. Latest browser technologies allows this capability and we have made the required changes in the Frameless code.

However if Frameless output is opened from the local machine then this feature is not available. You will see the flicker and whole page, including TOC, reloads everytime.

Hope this information helps.

 

Thanks,

Vivek

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New Here ,
Jul 17, 2021 Jul 17, 2021

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Hi Vivek, Amber and Peter

 

Just picking up on this thread...

 

I have some output that will sit as a standalone output on the users local machine. In this instance am I right in thinking there is currently no way around the refresh with flicker, including TOC, every time it is reloaded?

 

I am after the extra customisation of frameless but the flicker is a definite issue.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 18, 2021 Jul 18, 2021

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I think if there was a way around the "flicker" @Vivek Kumar would have deployed it.

 

All I see with a fair size project when viewed locally is a slight jump as the page changes.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 18, 2021 Jul 18, 2021

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The only thing I can think of is super technical and requires developer (and probably security team) assistance. Assuming the help is installed as part of an application, see if a lightweight local http server could be installed with the application and have the help installed on this local server. 

 

I think this is a good reference for why some things don't work when run locally rather than on a web server:

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Learn/Common_questions/set_up_a_local_testing_server

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New Here ,
Jul 19, 2021 Jul 19, 2021

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Thanks for your reply, Amebr, I think the simplest thing for now will be to stick with Responsive HTML5 and perhaps look again at Frameless for another iteration down the line.

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