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

Re: target attribute of anchor tags

From: Thanasis Kinias <tkinias@optimalco.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 07:12:48 -0700
To: Lloyd Wood <l.wood@eim.surrey.ac.uk>
Cc: Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com>, Daniel Terry <rrowv@usa.net>, www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <20020808141248.GA14694@optimalco.com>

This is drifting off topic.  I'm happy to continue the discussion
off-list if anyone's interested, though.

scripsit Lloyd Wood:
> 
> On Thu, 8 Aug 2002, Thanasis Kinias wrote:
> 
> > Many users (myself and, apparently, Liam included) find such behaviour
> > to be obnoxious.  Don't force me to endlessly proliferate browser
> > windows -- I'm quite capable of right-clicking if that's what I want.
> 
> Mozilla preferences: advanced: scripts and windows.
>   uncheck 'Allow webpages to open a link in a new window'
> technology providing solutions for problems technology creates.

When I can choose my platform, I use Galeon with tabs, so the problem is
reduced.  However, there are plenty of situations where I must use a
public or shared Windows box with nothing but MSIE (or maybe an ancient
NS4).  With these, there's nothing you can do.

> > If you are in the United States, you also have Federal civil rights
> > legislation (the Americans with Disabilities Act) to consider.  Forcing
> > the opening of new browser windows is disorienting and confusing to
> > blind users relying on screen readers, Braille displays, and similar
> > adaptive technology.  Using such a technique unecessarily is illegally
> > discriminatory against people with disabilities.
> 
> arguably free markets in action: small userbase, few providers, not
> much competition in adaptive technology.

I'm not sure "free" is the term for the software market here -- at least
one major screen reader (JAWS) will _only_ work correctly with MSIE.

Also, the problem is pretty much inherent to the medium.  You don't get
any visual cues to indicate what's being read at you.  When the context
abruptly changes, it's disorienting, and it can be tricky to get back to
where you started.  Your back button won't work, and you may not realize
that you've got ten browser windows open because each link spawned a new
one.  Try alt-tabbing through ten windows, trying to find the right page
by _ear_ as it reads through the page contents.

-- 
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 Thursday, 8 August 2002 10:13:00 GMT

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