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'target' attr (was Re: kelvSYC's Thoughts on the new XHTML Draft)

From: Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
Date: Sat, 10 May 2003 17:35:15 -0700
To: <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BAE2E8BE.27AF5%tantek@cs.stanford.edu>

On 5/10/03 3:50 PM, "Jelks Cabaniss" <jelks@jelks.nu> wrote:

> 
> Tantek wrote:
> 
>> In some cases, it turned out HTML4 "Strict" made a few removal errors
>> ('target','start','value' attributes), and the only W3C valid way of
>> using these removed features is to use the HTML4/XHTML1 Transitional
>> DTDs. 
> 
> Indeed.
> 
> As to 'target', the prime objections are:
> 
> 
> 1) It's mostly for frames, and should thus go.

The simple counterargument is, there are non-frame uses, and thus that is
sufficient reason for it to stay.

In addition, there is the use of targeting an object type="text/html" which
has nothing to do with <frame>s or windows.

> 2) Opening new windows ("_blank") is a UA thing, not a part of the domain of
> documents.

Authors of web-based applications would disagree with empirical examples.

> 3) "*I* will decide when to open a new window. I don't want some rude author
> deciding for me."

I do agree that there needs to be some mechanism that properly balances
user/author (un)desires to open new windows.

> I'm not completely unsympathetic to any of those arguments, especially #1,
> as I've never much cared for frames.
> 
> Argument #3, though, has always struck me as a bit silly.  This should be a
> UA preference, not a religious one.

That too.

> With #2, I think the objectors do have a point.  Wouldn't it be neater if
> instead of
> 
> <a target="_blank" href="someurl">click here</a>
> 
> we could define it as ...
> 
> <a class="external" href="someurl">click here</a>
> 
> and the author defines what "external" means somewhere else (and which can
> always be ignored by UAs configured properly)?

I agree.  It would be *much* better if the author could define how
"external" behaves/presents somewhere else, which could be mediated by a
user preference or perhaps even a user ... ....

However, until such a solution exists, we need to keep the "target"
attribute.  When such a solution exists, we can then deprecate the "target"
attribute.

Tantek
Received on Saturday, 10 May 2003 20:33:16 GMT

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