W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > April 2002

Re: Opening a link in a new window...

From: Charles Walker <cewalker@kingston.net>
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002 19:07:28 -0400
To: Thanasis Kinias <tkinias@optimalco.com>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-Id: <D8SOMITQPPNBA583RL091X72ZA8ED.3cc34630@charlie>
Hi Thanasis,

Thanks for the information - I'd always heard that it was bad form to open a 
link to another Web site in the same window, as the viewer could be confused 
into thinking that they were still on your site. After reading your note, I 
checked out several sites dealing with accessibility and found that notices 
pop up informing the viewer when they are changing sites - as you say, 
a real help to the visually impaired.

Thanks again,

Charlie Walker

  21/04/2002 6:14:32 PM, Thanasis Kinias <tkinias@optimalco.com> wrote:

>scripsit Charles Walker:
>> One more question: Validator doesn't allow the "target" attribute of
>> an anchor tag in strict HTML 4.01; while not deprecated, it's
>> considered "loose DTD", and is therefore unacceptable.  
>> Therefore how, in Strict HTML 4.01, do you target a link to a new
>> window?
>The short answer is:  you don't.
>The long answer is that targeting a link to open in a new window
>violates the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines [1], and (if you're in
>the United States or other country with comparable antidiscrimination
>legislation) is quite possibly illegal under federal civil rights law.
>Radical changes of focus in a GUI environment are extremely disorienting
>to blind users who are navigating by screen reader, and thus can be
>considered discrimination against the visually impaired.  Opening a link
>in a new window also breaks the `back' button on the browser, preventing
>back-tracking in navigation.  (It also bypasses the tabbed navigation in
>Galeon and Mozilla, irritating users of that feature.)
>If your user wants to open the link in a new window, he or she can do so
>quite easily with most browsers; there is no need to force the issue.
>It's about leaving the user the freedom to navigate in the way that
>works best for him or her.
>It's not unusual for a designer never to have thought about such issues;
>that's why we have the WCAG to point out to us things we might otherwise
>1. <http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG1/>
>Thanasis Kinias
>Web Developer, Information Technology
>Graduate Student, Department of History
>Arizona State University
>Tempe, Arizona, U.S.A.
>Ash nazg durbatulūk, ash nazg gimbatul,
>Ash nazg thrakatulūk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul
Received on Sunday, 21 April 2002 19:07:33 UTC

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