Popup windows: problems and some solutions

Heikki Vesalainen (wes@clinet.fi)
Wed, 20 Mar 1996 22:59:50 -0800

Message-Id: <3150FE66.3A6E@clinet.fi>
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 1996 22:59:50 -0800
From: Heikki Vesalainen <wes@clinet.fi>
To: The W3 HTML group <www-html@w3.org>
Cc: cbeeth@jacbee.be, CTaylor@wposmtp.nps.navy.mil, mwm@contessa.phone.net,
Subject: Popup windows: problems and some solutions

The original version of this text can be found at

  Memo of the problems with popup windows

 Date: 20 mar 1996
 By: Heikki Vesalainen wes@clinet.fi 

 Problems and solutions:


      Problem 1: The "target = _popup" cannot be used 
           Netscape remark 
      Problem 2: The limits of the anchor tag 

 Problem 1:

 Using the "_popup" target to address the popup window will open
 a new browser copy in the current Netscape browsers (version


 This could be solved by using only the style sheet to indicate
 popup windows! 

 (the "[" and "]" mark optional values) 

 A.name  {render=popup
         popup [=yes/no]
          (mentioning the word popup would be adequate)

 And then the <A HREF> for a popup window would be: 

 <A HREF="..." CLASS=name [target=windowname]>...</A> 


 A.dict  {popup


 I have a <A HREF="#teddy" CLASS=dict>teddy</A> 

 Netscape remark:

 All target names beginning with "_" should be targetted to the
 current windows, unless they were "magic" targets, ie.
 target="_mywindow" should be targetted to the current window,
 whereas target="mywindow" should be targetted to a new window
 called "mywindow". Target="_parent" should be targetted to the
 parent window. 

                                     [Back up to index]

 Problem 2:

 If we use <A name="..."></A> to mark the popup window
 contents, we run in to the problem that <A NAME="...">....</A>
 doesn't permit <A> in it, thus hyperlinks inside popup windows
 would be impossible. 


 Leaving the <A NAME="..."> away and using the <FN> tag
 would lead to problems with older browsers that don't understand
 the <FN> tag (as they would be looking for <A NAME="...">). 

 For example the current Netscape 2.01 for windows 3.1 goes to
 the end of the page, if it doesn't find the requested anchor name. 

 One solution would be to put a note in the end of the page, in the
 following manner (with or without the <NOPOPUP> tags): 

 Your browser doesn't support popups, get a new one!


 Altho the official declaration of <A NAME="..."> prohibits the use
 of <A> inside it, it works on the majority of the brosers in use
 (namely Netscape). 

 I tryed using <A HREF> inside an <A NAME> and it worked on
 all the browsers I tryed. 

 Thus we could change the <A NAME="..."> so that all BODY
 element's were allowed in it. This should not causing harm to the
 older browsers. 

                                     [Back up to index]


 If the popup texts were located in the end of the file refering to
 them, they would be printed normally without any extra functions
 in the browser. 

 If the popup window texts were in a separate file (dictionary.html),
 the users would have to print them on their own. 

 Intelligent HTML 3.0 brosers would print each popup note on the
 footer of the page it was mentioned in. This would be achieved
 only on some browsers. 

 The rest of the HTML 3.0 browsers could look up all the popup
 notes mentioned in the text and gather them to a separate page(s). 

                                     [Back up to index]

                   Heikki Vesalainen

ps. forgive my bad english... I didn't have time to think of it!

Heikki Vesalainen