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

From: Jeff Schiller <codedread@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2008 17:43:52 -0600
Message-ID: <da131fde0802201543x20cfa0dewb04e87d328a4c66a@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Philip TAYLOR" <Philip-and-LeKhanh@royal-tunbridge-wells.org>
Cc: "Sam Kuper" <sam.kuper@uclmail.net>, public-html@w3.org

On 2/20/08, Philip TAYLOR <Philip-and-LeKhanh@royal-tunbridge-wells.org> wrote:
> The decision as to whether to open in the same
>  window, the same window but a new tab, or in
>  a new window, should be the user's and the user's
>  alone.  The document can offer guidance (such as
>  "best opened in a new window"), but should not
>  enforce that behaviour.

Why?  Why should the web app author have no choice?  It has already
been illustrated that certain web apps (GMail, Google Reader, banks)
have perfectly valid reasons to open new tabs (for help screens, to
maintain session state, or whatever).  Removing that (or making it
difficult) means workarounds (JS) for the author, but most importantly
it offers a potentially painful experience to the user if the authors
do not work around it.

Furthermore, taking away _blank means more authors will move to the
very JavaScript, inaccessible links that you so despise (which is why
I brought them up).

When you use a desktop application, you are completely at the whim of
the application UI designers (with constraints from the OS).  If you
don't like the UI, you can use another application.  In my mind, a
very similar thing applies to web applications (with constraints from
user agents).

User's Perspective:
- left-clicking a link is the user's way of saying "let the web app
decide how to open this document"
- middle-clicking is the user's way of saying "I want to open the
document in a new tab"

Author's Perspective:
- leaving out the target attribute is the author's way of saying "let
the user open this document how they want"
- target="_blank" is the author's way of saying "this document should
open in a new tab"

The only choices that are not here is for the user OR the author to
ensure that the linked-to document loads up in the current frame.
This option could be enforced by the user agent, but I really don't
see this as necessary... can't the author just middle-click the old
tab if they don't want it anymore?

In essence I'm saying:  As a user, I'll put up with a little annoyance
of occasionally having to close an old tab if it means that Google
Reader can open up a new tab every time I accidentally left-click an
Received on Wednesday, 20 February 2008 23:44:01 UTC

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