W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > April 2007

[whatwg] Target Attribute Values

From: Smylers <Smylers@stripey.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2007 12:37:41 +0100
Message-ID: <20070428113740.GC20468@stripey.com>
Spartanicus writes:

> As a user I detest new windows opening without having chosen to do
> that myself.
> Would perhaps a spec conformance requirement that browsers should
> offer users a config option to opt out of windows being opened via
> target values be an alternative?
> It could avoid the seemingly unwin'able argument with authors who
> insist on doing this, and give users the final say

Surely users always have the final say anyway?  For example browsers can
let users prover CSS that overrides websites, or GreaseMonkey extensions
-- or even users middle-clicking on links to open them in a new window.
As long as a user agent can follow the spec, it offering features for
users to override webpages surely isn't a spec violation?

But _requiring_ user agents to offer opt-outs seems excessive, and
possibly beyond the jurisdiction of the spec.  It seems likely that user
demand will lead mainstream web-browsers to offer options like this
anyway, but if somebody wanted to produce a web browser that, say, was
so minimalist it didn't offer any user preferences at all, surely that's
up to the browser manufacturer?

It might be a bad UI, but this spec isn't about browser UI.  If a
manufacturer comes up with a browser in which the the Up key scrolls
down the page (and vice versa) and where clicking on any link requires
solving a mini sudoku puzzle before the target page renders, the browser
should attract criticism for many reasons; but not necessarily for HTML
spec violation.

Surely whether target="_blank" or even target="help" is treated
different from target="top" can at best be a hint?  Surely it isn't a
requirement of HTML that user-agents implement multiple content windows?
That may not be appropriate for some environments, perhaps:

* terminal-based browsers, such as Lynx
* One Laptop Per Child UI, where everyting runs full-screen
* mobile phone browsers
* televisions with web access

Received on Saturday, 28 April 2007 04:37:41 UTC

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