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Re: kelvSYC's Thoughts on the new XHTML Draft

From: Mikko Rantalainen <mira@cc.jyu.fi>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 16:28:49 +0300
Message-ID: <3EBFA191.2030706@cc.jyu.fi>
To: "Philip TAYLOR [PC87S/O-XP]" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
CC: www-html@w3.org

Philip TAYLOR [PC87S/O-XP] / 2003-05-12 13:58:

> David Woolley wrote:
>>>Authors make use of target without frames all the time.  Target can be used
>>>with frames but neither is dependent on the other.
>>Generally they use them for popups, which is a presentational/behavioural
>>feature, having many of the undesirable features of frames and being
>>heavily abused (but probably by the scripting route) to force advertising
>>on users of pages on free hosting services.  Their use is discouraged
>>by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, because they cause
>>unexpected changes in focus.
> I can't agree that target is "generally" used for popups.  Yes, popups
> almost always use target, but there are many valid reasons why one
> might want to start a new window which should not be overlooked.  The WCAG
> guidelines may well deprecate the use of target, but so many other
> activities can cause a change of focus that singling out the use
> of target seems to me to be way o.t.t.  I /hate/ it when I'm busy
> typing away, and some asynchronous task changes focus (sometimes
> causing my keystrokes to be interpreted in totally unexpected ways,
> leading to accidental deletion of e-mails and so forth) but clicking
> on a link is /not/ asynchronous, and if focus changes as a result,
> it is not unreasonable (IMHO).

Not all user interfaces default to focusing newly created windows 
(or whatever the user interface uses to display new 2d rendering 
surfaces). In such environments clicking (let's assume for the 
argument that we have something to "click" with and traditional 2d 
display with an user interface that pops new non-modal windows under 
the active window) something that looks like a link should behave 
like clicking a link. If it opens a new window in the background 
when user expects it to load the link in the current window we have 
a problem.

Also, the user agent may provide many other "non-standard" features 
like loading a normal link in a new window in the background when I 
click the link with my secondary mouse button (my copy of Mozilla 
does this). Defining that "target" attribute should do something 
special could interfere with this.

In short, I believe links opening in the same window or in some 
other window should be left to the user agent to decide. Page author 
could give a *hint* but it's strictly prensentational and doesn't 
belong to xHTML markup.

Received on Monday, 12 May 2003 09:28:26 UTC

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