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Re: Browser defaults should please the mass of authors

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2008 11:08:29 +0200
Message-ID: <480C598D.1060606@lachy.id.au>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>

L. David Baron wrote:
> On Monday 2008-04-21 11:13 +0300, Henri Sivonen wrote:
>> I think this is a bad recommendation. Browser defaults should please the 
>> mass of *authors*. If this is in conflict with pleasing users, users should 
>> have to opt in by flipping a pref.
> 
> But users shouldn't have to become experts on which preferences to
> modify in order to get the best experience on the Web.  We should
> provide the best experience to new users as much as to experienced
> ones; this helps keep the Web usable to the masses rather than just
> experts.

The problem is that we have many years of experience telling us that 
authors will do whatever they can to force new windows upon users, using 
a variety of techniques ranging from target="_blank", to window.open() 
to Flash based hacks that bypass popup blockers in browsers.

In many cases, authors have resorted to these measures just to get 
around the validity of target="" in HTML 4.01 Strict (see the many 
scripts that either insert target="" into the DOM, or attach event 
listeners and use window.open()).  The reason for making _blank 
conforming was to help reverse this situation.

By making target="_blank" non-functional by default, you're taking away 
the least-user-hostile approach from authors and forcing them to use the 
other alternatives, which just makes a bad situation worse.

-- 
Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software
http://lachy.id.au/
http://www.opera.com/
Received on Monday, 21 April 2008 09:09:13 UTC

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