W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > July to September 2002

RE: New Window inform

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 07:51:26 -0400 (EDT)
To: Jon Hanna <jon@spin.ie>, <ij@w3.org>
cc: WAI IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0207260736460.14653-100000@tux.w3.org>

I agree with what Jon says, but thought I would explore the issue further. If
you only want to know what to do today, this email isn't worth reading

there is another potentially interesting approach.

The requirement in WCAG says

  "Until user agents allow users to turn off spawned windows, do not cause
   pop-ups or other windows to appear and do not change the current window
   without informing the user."

  -- http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/wai-pageauth.html#tech-avoid-pop-ups

There are now user agents that allow this in various ways. There are also
user agents which take the alternative approach, of informing the user. For
example iCab does this visually.

This WCAG checkpoint is matched by a checkpoint for User Agent Accessibility
Guidelines (the Candidate Recommendation draft):

  "Manual viewport open only. (P2)
    1.	Allow configuration so that viewports only open on explicit user
    2.	In this configuration, instead of opening a viewport automatically,
        alert the user and allow the user to open it on demand (e.g., by
        following a link or confirming a prompt).
    3.	Allow the user to close viewports.
    4.	If a viewport (e.g., a frame set) contains other viewports, these
        requirements only apply to the outermost container viewport.
    5.	Configuration is preferred, but is not required if viewports can only
        ever open on explicit user request.
    6.	User creation of a new viewport (e.g., empty or with a new resource
        loaded) through the user agent's user interface constitutes an
        explicit user request."

  -- http://www.w3.org/TR/UAAG10/guidelines.html#tech-limit-viewports

According to the implementation report -
http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/implementation/report-cr2.html#sum-impl - there is
at least one User Agent that implements this completely, although I couldn't
figure out which one.

So we can expect that at some time in the future this problem will be passed
off from the author to the User Agent, and so long as the author uses
appropriate methods for indicating that a new window should open (for example
the target attribute on a link) it will be possible for the user to decide if
they want new windows open or not. Of course, at that point, it will be
helpful if people can get a configuration file that makes their browser
behave more or less appropriately without having to set everything manually,
but like selecting a browser itself that seems to be the responsibility of
the user (or whoever sets up their system - for example in a school or

On Fri, 26 Jul 2002, Jon Hanna wrote:

>> Other than providing highly visible "Link will open new window." text
>> to a web page, are there any less visually intrusive ways to inform
>> the visitor who needs to know that the link will open a new window?
>If you don't want to be intrusive then you will only be opening a window if
>you have a very good reason to do so. Presumably this is more of a web-based
>application than a website, and as such at least some introduction and
>how-to will be necessary. Explain that the windows are opened (and why) in
>this introduction.

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI  fax: +33 4 92 38 78 22
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Friday, 26 July 2002 07:51:35 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 20:36:10 UTC