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Re: link opening a new window - techniques to advise the user

From: David Dorward <david@dorward.me.uk>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 12:08:02 +0100
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <20060622110802.GD25659@us-lot.org>

On Thu, Jun 22, 2006 at 09:09:27AM +0000, Antony Tennant wrote:
>    Considering browser and assistive technologies behaviour, what is best?

* Many browsers that support author triggered new windows have systems
  in place which can cause a link to open in the same window (or a new
  tab) despite the author's intention. (And these systems might be
  user editable, so no amount of user agent sniffing could tell which
  were in place).

* Some browsers do not support new windows in the first place.

So any message informing the user that a link will open in a new
window might be wrong.

* Any browser that supports author triggered new windows also supports
  user triggered new windows.

So if a link looks like it might be useful to have in a new window,
the user can choose to open one.

If a user doesn't know how to cause their browser to open a new window

(a) There is a higher probability that they would have problems
managing multiple windows 


(b) They still have the back button, browser history and bookmarks to
help them find their way back. 

So, in my book, this places Option 3 firmly in the lead. Let users
decide when they want a new window, don't try to make the choice for
them. Then you don't need to worry about how to inform the user that
they they might (or might not) get a new window.

David Dorward                                      http://dorward.me.uk
Received on Thursday, 22 June 2006 11:08:12 UTC

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