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Why authors are using Transitional (and target="_blank")

From: Simon Pieters <simonp@opera.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008 19:00:18 +0100
To: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.t6g5mspcidj3kv@zcorpandell.palace.opera.no>

I made a straw poll about why people are using Transitional:


Judging from that poll, common reasons are:

    * Desire to use target="_blank".
    * Other people's software emit stuff that only validates as
      Transitional (target="_blank" in particular).

Researching into what popular CMSs, blogs, and forum software use in their  
output might be useful.

I would expect that not being able to use target="_blank" is going to be a  
showstopper for many authors moving to HTML5.

Authors are not going to stop making links open in new windows. Either  
they continue to use HTML4 Transitional, or they stop to care about  
conformance, or they use scripts to insert the target attribute or use  

Using a script that window.open()s links sacrifises discoverability for  
users that the link is going to open in a new window. Referer headers  
aren't sent with window.open(). Users might want target=_blank and  
window.open() do different things since the former is mostly used for  
external links and the latter is used for help popups and the like.

For these reasons, I'd suggest to make target="_blank" conforming.

Simon Pieters
Opera Software
Received on Wednesday, 13 February 2008 18:00:41 UTC

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