W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > January to March 2004

Re: New window inform user, before or after link?

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 11:22:45 -0500
Message-ID: <008b01c40204$edff6900$6401a8c0@handsontech>
To: "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Removing the argument that people should change browsers, systems or other
technology for a moment, I want to explain a bit about harm.  Harm to the
user and this is what we are talking about here is something that causes
something not to be known.  The author does not have to code links that open
in a new window.  That is a choice.  If there are no links that open in new
windows, there is no extra burden on the author.  While I do understand that
this decision may not have been made by the author but by someone directing
the development, the fact is that it is an authoring responsibility.  Now,
what harm does it do to anyone who uses the site?  It is useless information
to some granted, but that is not harm.  It is miss information to some but
that can be corrected if you want to expand the phrase or you can rely on
the user's understanding of their windowless environment to compensate for
this mit of misstrivia.  If it is duplicative, it only serves to doubly
emphasize the point and may be a bit annoying but does not result in the
lack of information that not using it would result in for some who need it.
As for bandwidth, Alt tags in and of them selves consume some bandwidth so
we need to take that into account when making this argument if we make it at

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Dorward" <david@us-lot.org>
To: "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2004 10:53 AM
Subject: Re: New window inform user, before or after link?

On 4 Mar 2004, at 15:38, David Poehlman wrote:
> This implies that old is bad and though
> that may be a way to think, it is not necessarily true.

It shouldn't imply that. All that should be implied is that software
which fails to provide a warning is (in that respect) inferior to
software which does.

> The benefit you achieve is that it does not actual harm to let people
> know.

It might not cause harm from a point of view which strictly considers
accessibility, however it does:

* Increase work required from the developer
* Increase (very slightly) bandwidth and data storage requirements
* Provide false information to some users
* Provide duplicate information to some users

I would consider all of the above 'harm', although perhaps not to

As Phil Jenkins said - the information that a new window will open is
already available to the user agent. It has been that way since it was
possible for an author to prompt the browser to open a new window, and
user agents which take advantage of this information already exist.

David Dorward
Received on Thursday, 4 March 2004 11:23:14 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 13 October 2015 16:21:27 UTC