URL cloaking for all files in folder

Hi. I’m not sure if this is the correct category to post this but here goes.

I have a site at domain.com/folder and a subdomain that redirects to that folder. So sub.domain.com goes to domain.com/folder.

For my site, I have a splash page and once visitors click on the images, it opens a pop-up window with my site content. This pop-up IS my site, really. I use a pop-up because I need the page to be displayed at a specific size.

Here is where the problem lies.
I would think that most people would bookmark the pop-up page, which is index2.htm, instead of the splash page at domain.com/folder. If they bookmark index2.htm, the next time they visit my site, it won’t have that specific window size that is needed to view the site properly.

What I need is a way to cloak the URL of all files in domain.com/folder to display just that address without whatever.htm. Using DreamHost’s function in the control panel that lets you mirror another site’s content so that it cloaks the URL won’t work because people would open a pop-up page and then the URL won’t be cloaked anymore. Frames won’t work for the same reason.

Is there any way I can pull this off using .htaccess or something? All I want is all my files in my folder to be cloaked with the folder URL so instead of showing domain.com/folder/file.htm, it’ll always show domain.com/folder/ no matter what file in the folder is being viewed. Or at least I need index2.htm cloaked to be domain.com/folder/ since index2.htm is a frames page with all my site content, meaning none of the other individual site pages would be bookmarked.

Any help would be MUCH appreciated!

PS Either it be cloaked as domain.com/folder or sub.domain.com is fine. They’re essentially the same.

PPS I’ve emailed DreamHost support about this and they didn’t have a solution.

That is a really bad approach to web design, because it has huge accessibility problems. Users will be unable to access your content with certain browsers.

Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog

Would it be better for me to use a table to specify size and then an inline frame for the contents?

It depends what you are doing. Why do you need to set the size of the window? Are you trying to avoid have “right-click space” around a Flash object, for example?

Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog

No, I’m not using Flash. It’s just that my layout image is a certain size and I use frames to put the spliced image together, so if the window were the wrong size, it would look messed up.

If I can’t find a way to cloak the URL then I guess I will try using tables and an inline frame.

I still don’t understand why you need to use frames of any kind. Did you know that frames are evil? I suppose you could use tables, but your best bet is probably to put the components into a series of floated DIV elements.

Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog

I’ve got most of the issues in that site you gave me solved so using frames doesn’t really become disadvantageous to me.

I’ve never actually used div before but my FrontPage (it’s easier than typing up everything manually) does have that option so I’ll try to play around with that.


What you’re asking for is impossible, and fortunately so; the stuff you’re doing is annoying enough as it is without doing further efforts to screw around with browser functionality. It would be better to use a site design that adapts gracefully to different resolutions and other system characteristics, rather than make futile efforts to force one particular set of browser settings on everybody.

– Dan

Alright. Thanks.

Hey, Dan. It’s worth bearing in mind that 99.9% of the web still uses these old methods. CSS-driven, semantically-perfect, gracefully-degrading websites are rarer than hen’s teeth.

Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog

It’s worth bearing in mind that 99.9% of the web still uses these old methods.

That’s true, and it’s well past time that changed.

CSS-driven, semantically-perfect, gracefully-degrading websites are rarer than hen’s teeth.

Which is exactly why we[1] need to encourage better design whenever possible. We’ll never convert the web in its entirety, unfortunately, every little bit helps. The more people we can influence, the better. The network effect will take care of the rest.

[1] “We”, in this case, meaning those of us who are interested in, and concerned about, usability, accessibility, and interoperability.

If you want useful replies, ask smart questions.

That includes me. In fact, I came into web design only a few years ago. XHTML and CSS were already becoming established, so I never learned any of those old-school methods. I’m actually quite fanatical about the separation of content, presentation, and behavior.

Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog