W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2007

Re: meta refresh (3.7.5.3. Pragma directives)

From: Simon Pieters <simonp@opera.com>
Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2007 17:21:58 +0200
To: "Edward O'Connor" <hober0@gmail.com>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.two3mw1iidj3kv@hp-a0a83fcd39d2.oslo.opera.com>

On Tue, 07 Aug 2007 17:05:30 +0200, Edward O'Connor <hober0@gmail.com>  
wrote:

>
>> It concerns me that W3C is drafting two documents, WCAG 2 saying
>> "don't use refresh" whilst HTML5 says "here's how to use refresh".
>> It's a contradiction and it causes problems, particularly when working
>
> This doesn't strike me as a contradiction. If I may make an analogy
> that might be in poor taste, it's like parents saying "don't have
> pre-marital sex, but if you do, here's how to use a condom."
>
> People will use meta refresh. It's in use all over the web. Browsers
> will have to support it forever. HTML5 should define how it works,
> regardless of its best-practice status.

In particular, if meta refresh is not conforming HTML5, then authors who  
care about conformance will instead use JavaScript to do the same job,  
which is less nice for UAs, because then they can't really let the user  
delay/confirm the redirect, and it probably breaks the back button (which  
meta refresh doesn't if implemented correctly).

So meta refresh is the less bad of the two from a usability standpoint.

(The same analogy can be applied to taget=_blank and window.open() -- the  
former lets the UA tell the user that the window will open in a new  
window, and lets the user to override it, etc.)

-- 
Simon Pieters
Opera Software
Received on Tuesday, 7 August 2007 15:22:08 GMT

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