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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 11:32:43 +0200
Message-ID: <480C5F3B.5010805@lachy.id.au>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Mon, 21 Apr 2008, Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>> 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.
> This isn't what the spec is suggesting. The text I added to the spec which 
> is what Henri is referring to would, if implemented, block _all_ new 
> author-requested windows, including those from window.open(). All the ways 
> of opening new windows go through this same algorithm, it's the only part 
> of the spec that creates a new window.

I know from experience that forcing window.open() to reuse the same 
browsing context can actually create a far worse user experience in some 
cases.  Although I have manually configured my browser to do so, and 
generally avoid sites that don't work for me, I'm more capable of 
working around the problems it creates when it occurs than a typical user.

Such problems occur, for example, when a popup is used to offer some 
preference to a user, and altering that preference changes something in 
the parent window.  If the new page had reused the same browsing 
context, the parent would no longer be there and it results in 
javascript errors.

There is a slim chance that if all browsers stopped supporting popups by 
default, then it would force authors to consider other alternatives to 
popups, which would be great.  But there's also a chance it would 
encourage users to switch to another browser that doesn't block the popups.

However, there are many legacy pages that unfortunately depend on 
opening popups, so any solution would need to handle it in a way that 
doesn't break the web.

Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software
Received on Monday, 21 April 2008 09:33:21 UTC

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