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Thread: Reason For Links Opening In New Window

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Number of posts in this thread: 30 (In chronological order)

From: Kallie Swanepoel
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 5:10AM
Subject: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
No previous message | Next message →

Hi All

Are there any special reason why one should want to have a link opening
in a new window, using the

Target="blank"

attribute?

That is:

Opening the new page, and minimizing the previous one.

Regards

Kallie Swanepoel
Piano Tuner/Klavierstemmer
Skype Name: KallieSwanepoel
Phone: +27 (0) 12 379 3762
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 261 6942
Voice Link: +27 (0) 88 129 8775
Fax: +27 (0) 86 633 2999
http://www.kallieswanepoel.co.za


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Alastair
Campbell
Sent: 04 January 2007 18:24
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] screen resolutions, was Serif vs sans-serif


Austin, Darrel wrote:
> it's about a 100% increase in PPI. Which
> seems like a lot, but not compared to the pace that nearly every other

> portion of computing has increased.

True, but the interface hasn't really changed resolution, so if there
were a 400 DPI screen, it would be unusable!

> There's been talk of this for years. Hopefully it will happen soon.

It's going to have to if they produce better screens, it's a minor
chicken & egg situation...

Kind regards,

-Alastair

--
Alastair Campbell | Director of User Experience

Nomensa Email Disclaimer: http://www.nomensa.com/email-disclaimer.html

From: ben morrison
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 5:20AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

On 1/5/07, Kallie Swanepoel < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Hi All
>
> Are there any special reason why one should want to have a link opening
> in a new window, using the
>
> Target="blank"
>
> attribute?
>
> That is:
>
> Opening the new page, and minimizing the previous one.

Hi Kallie,

Its good practice/polite to start a new conversation/email, anyway in
answer to your question there isn't a special reason to open a new
window and in fact is bad practice.

If a user wants to open the link in a new window they have the choice
to do so. It breaks the back button for users that aren't aware that a
new window has opened.

If you *must* use target="blank" then its best to advise the user.

<a href="newSite.html" target="_blank">go to this site (will open in a
new window)</a>

Generally i would avoid it unless the client specifically requests it,
then use a technique similar to the above.

regards, ben.

From: Gareth Dart
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 5:30AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

Hi Kallie,

Best practice for this area may not agree with me, but I make it a rule of thumb to never spawn a new window via a link unless there is a very - and I mean VERY - compelling reason to do so. It's obviously a temptation to have any external links open in a new window/tab so one's own website remains visible, but try to resist this - especially as most modern browsers allow users to choose whether they want a link to open in a new tab anyway.

The reason is very simple - the user's BACK button will not behave as expected from the new window. They will click the link, the new window will open, they'll read for a bit, then click BACK to get back to your site, and nothing will happen. As well as being an accessibility issue, this is just plain annoying.

There are very few valid reasons for using new windows in this way. If you absolutely cannot get out of it, advise the user, preferably via a textual explanation of what the link will do.

Cheers,

G

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]On Behalf Of Kallie
Swanepoel
Sent: Friday 5 January 2007 12:04
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: [WebAIM] Reason For Links Opening In New Window


Hi All

Are there any special reason why one should want to have a link opening
in a new window, using the

Target="blank"

attribute?

That is:

Opening the new page, and minimizing the previous one.

Regards

Kallie Swanepoel
Piano Tuner/Klavierstemmer
Skype Name: KallieSwanepoel
Phone: +27 (0) 12 379 3762
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 261 6942
Voice Link: +27 (0) 88 129 8775
Fax: +27 (0) 86 633 2999
http://www.kallieswanepoel.co.za


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Alastair
Campbell
Sent: 04 January 2007 18:24
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] screen resolutions, was Serif vs sans-serif


Austin, Darrel wrote:
> it's about a 100% increase in PPI. Which
> seems like a lot, but not compared to the pace that nearly every other

> portion of computing has increased.

True, but the interface hasn't really changed resolution, so if there
were a 400 DPI screen, it would be unusable!

> There's been talk of this for years. Hopefully it will happen soon.

It's going to have to if they produce better screens, it's a minor
chicken & egg situation...

Kind regards,

-Alastair

--
Alastair Campbell | Director of User Experience

Nomensa Email Disclaimer: http://www.nomensa.com/email-disclaimer.html

From: Kallie Swanepoel
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 5:40AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

Hi Ben

My apologies for not starting the conversation in the correct manor, I
was not sure how to do that.

Thank you for the advise on the linking, I've never really used that
attribute, but I've seen it a few times, and didn't think that it's
relevant for the reasons you've mentioned.

Regards
Kallie Swanepoel
Piano Tuner/Klavierstemmer
Skype Name: KallieSwanepoel
Phone: +27 (0) 12 379 3762
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 261 6942
Voice Link: +27 (0) 88 129 8775
Fax: +27 (0) 86 633 2999
http://www.kallieswanepoel.co.za


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of ben morrison
Sent: 05 January 2007 14:12
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Reason For Links Opening In New Window


On 1/5/07, Kallie Swanepoel < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Hi All
>
> Are there any special reason why one should want to have a link
> opening in a new window, using the
>
> Target="blank"
>
> attribute?
>
> That is:
>
> Opening the new page, and minimizing the previous one.

Hi Kallie,

Its good practice/polite to start a new conversation/email, anyway in
answer to your question there isn't a special reason to open a new
window and in fact is bad practice.

If a user wants to open the link in a new window they have the choice to
do so. It breaks the back button for users that aren't aware that a new
window has opened.

If you *must* use target="blank" then its best to advise the user.

<a href="newSite.html" target="_blank">go to this site (will open in a
new window)</a>

Generally i would avoid it unless the client specifically requests it,
then use a technique similar to the above.

regards, ben.

From: ben morrison
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 5:50AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

On 1/5/07, Kallie Swanepoel < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Hi Ben
>
> My apologies for not starting the conversation in the correct manor, I
> was not sure how to do that.

Not a problem, jsut noticed that there was a previous conversation in
the email, some people receive what is called a 'list-digest' where
all the emails are grouped together, therefore its nice to trim the
emails - neater for everyone else as well.

> Thank you for the advise on the linking, I've never really used that
> attribute, but I've seen it a few times, and didn't think that it's
> relevant for the reasons you've mentioned.

Well done for asking anyway, I find them almost as annoying as pop-up
windows, which are finally becoming less and less thankfully.

HTH ben.

From: Sandra Clark
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 7:50AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

Just an FYI, in xHTML 1.x the target attribute in a link is deprecated.
I've had some success with a Javascript solution that I reference
http://www.shayna.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.display_entry&;id=153. It
also degrades gracefully when Javascript is disabled.

I stay away from popups, but I've found that when building applications (not
web sites) that having popups or new windows for items such as pick lists
sometimes is much preferable than opening the links in the same window.


Sandra Clark
==============================
http://www.shayna.com
Training in Cascading Style Sheets and Accessibility


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of ben morrison
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007 7:12 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Reason For Links Opening In New Window

On 1/5/07, Kallie Swanepoel < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Hi All
>
> Are there any special reason why one should want to have a link
> opening in a new window, using the
>
> Target="blank"
>
> attribute?
>
> That is:
>
> Opening the new page, and minimizing the previous one.

Hi Kallie,

Its good practice/polite to start a new conversation/email, anyway in answer
to your question there isn't a special reason to open a new window and in
fact is bad practice.

If a user wants to open the link in a new window they have the choice to do
so. It breaks the back button for users that aren't aware that a new window
has opened.

If you *must* use target="blank" then its best to advise the user.

<a href="newSite.html" target="_blank">go to this site (will open in a new
window)</a>

Generally i would avoid it unless the client specifically requests it, then
use a technique similar to the above.

regards, ben.

From: Susan R. Grossman
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 8:50AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

target="blank" is no longer supported in the xhtml spec, but there are
reasons to occasionally use accessible pop-up windows. Besides the reasons
already stated, for many government sites (and some large corporate), it's
policy to force links that go to an outside web page (not in the current
domain) to open in a pop-up window with a message about "leaving the site"
and "no responsibility for content" with a link to click on to continue
knowingly to the outside site.

Susan

On 1/5/07, Sandra Clark < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
> Just an FYI, in xHTML 1.x the target attribute in a link is deprecated.
> I've had some success with a Javascript solution that I reference
> http://www.shayna.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.display_entry&;id=153. It
> also degrades gracefully when Javascript is disabled.
>
> I stay away from popups, but I've found that when building applications
> (not
> web sites) that having popups or new windows for items such as pick lists
> sometimes is much preferable than opening the links in the same window.
>
>
> Sandra Clark
> ==============================
> http://www.shayna.com
> Training in Cascading Style Sheets and Accessibility
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of ben morrison
> Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007 7:12 AM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Reason For Links Opening In New Window
>
> On 1/5/07, Kallie Swanepoel < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> > Hi All
> >
> > Are there any special reason why one should want to have a link
> > opening in a new window, using the
> >
> > Target="blank"
> >
> > attribute?
> >
> > That is:
> >
> > Opening the new page, and minimizing the previous one.
>
> Hi Kallie,
>
> Its good practice/polite to start a new conversation/email, anyway in
> answer
> to your question there isn't a special reason to open a new window and in
> fact is bad practice.
>
> If a user wants to open the link in a new window they have the choice to
> do
> so. It breaks the back button for users that aren't aware that a new
> window
> has opened.
>
> If you *must* use target="blank" then its best to advise the user.
>
> <a href="newSite.html" target="_blank">go to this site (will open in a new
> window)</a>
>
> Generally i would avoid it unless the client specifically requests it,
> then
> use a technique similar to the above.
>
> regards, ben.
>

From: Austin, Darrel
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 9:20AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

> but
> there are reasons to occasionally use accessible pop-up
> windows. Besides the reasons already stated, for many
> government sites (and some large corporate), it's policy to
> force links that go to an outside web page (not in the current
> domain) to open in a pop-up window with a message about
> "leaving the site"
> and "no responsibility for content" with a link to click on
> to continue knowingly to the outside site.

That's not a reason to make a pop-up though. That's a reason to educate
the client and explain how silly and annoying of an idea that is.

-Darrel

From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 9:40AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

On Fri, 5 Jan 2007, Susan R. Grossman wrote:

> target="blank" is no longer supported in the xhtml spec,

It is. Please refrain from spreading false rumors and check the actual
specifications before citing them. The target attribute is in the XHTML
1.0 specification just as in HTML 4.01. By the way, there is a difference
between target="blank" and target="_blank".

> but there are
> reasons to occasionally use accessible pop-up windows.

There's really no such thing as an accessible pop-up window on the WWW.
There might be in a limited environment where users are aware of pop-up
features and quite capable of controlling them.

> Besides the reasons already stated,

No acceptable reasons were stated.

> for many government sites (and some large corporate), it's
> policy to force links that go to an outside web page (not in the current
> domain) to open in a pop-up window with a message about "leaving the site"

That's a mistake on several accounts, including accessibility. It's quite
illogical to present it as an argument in favor of something that is
implied in this wrong idea itself.

--
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

From: Gareth Dart
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 9:50AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

On Fri, 5 Jan 2007, Susan R. Grossman wrote:

> target="blank" is no longer supported in the xhtml spec,

For clarification, it is VALID in XHTML Transitional, but it is INVALID in XHTML Strict. It will WORK in both - just don't expect it to be standards compliant in the latter.

G

From: Austin, Darrel
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 10:00AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

> Unfortunately the 'client' (i.e. the ones you're talking to)
> often completely agree, but the people who need persuading
> are three levels up and five across... and not really
> listening. I've had that happen a few times, on this and
> accesskeys, primarily because of out-of-date government guidelines.

Oh, no argument there. I'm a .gover myself...I know how that goes. ;o)

I just wanted to clarify that that wasn't a 'good' reason to use a
pop-up. A necessary reason, perhaps, but not a good one. ;o)

-Darrel

From: Alastair Campbell
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 10:10AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

Austin, Darrel wrote:
> That's not a reason to make a pop-up though. That's a reason
> to educate
> the client and explain how silly and annoying of an idea that is.

Unfortunately the 'client' (i.e. the ones you're talking to) often
completely agree, but the people who need persuading are three levels up
and five across... and not really listening. I've had that happen a few
times, on this and accesskeys, primarily because of out-of-date
government guidelines.

Kind regards,

-Alastair

--
Alastair Campbell | Director of User Experience

Nomensa Email Disclaimer:
http://www.nomensa.com/email-disclaimer.html

From: Gareth Dart
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 11:10AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

target = "_blank" is a special value of the target attribute which tells the browser to open the link in a new window.

target = "blank" is a normal value of the target attribute which tells the browser to open the link in a frame named 'blank' - just not a good idea on _so_ many levels.

G

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]On Behalf Of Kallie
Swanepoel
Sent: Friday 5 January 2007 18:02
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Reason For Links Opening In New Window


What is the difference between the two?

Kallie Swanepoel
Piano Tuner/Klavierstemmer
Skype Name: KallieSwanepoel
Phone: +27 (0) 12 379 3762
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 261 6942
Voice Link: +27 (0) 88 129 8775
Fax: +27 (0) 86 633 2999
http://www.kallieswanepoel.co.za


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jukka K.
Korpela
Sent: 05 January 2007 18:32
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Reason For Links Opening In New Window


On Fri, 5 Jan 2007, Susan R. Grossman wrote:

> target="blank" is no longer supported in the xhtml spec,

It is. Please refrain from spreading false rumors and check the actual
specifications before citing them. The target attribute is in the XHTML
1.0 specification just as in HTML 4.01. By the way, there is a
difference
between target="blank" and target="_blank".

> but there are
> reasons to occasionally use accessible pop-up windows.

There's really no such thing as an accessible pop-up window on the WWW.
There might be in a limited environment where users are aware of pop-up
features and quite capable of controlling them.

> Besides the reasons already stated,

No acceptable reasons were stated.

> for many government sites (and some large corporate), it's policy to
> force links that go to an outside web page (not in the current
> domain) to open in a pop-up window with a message about "leaving the
> site"

That's a mistake on several accounts, including accessibility. It's
quite
illogical to present it as an argument in favor of something that is
implied in this wrong idea itself.

--
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

From: Rimantas Liubertas
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 11:20AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

> Except that I've just tested it and (in FF2 at least) target = "blank" (no underscore) _does_
> force a new window, which is not how I remembered it working. In any case, steer clear of
> both.

Let's say you have two links with target="blank" attribute. Clicking
on the first will open new
window named 'blank'. If you then click on the second link then
destination will be opened in the window created by the first click.
On the other hand, several links with target="_blank" will open yet
another new window on each click. That's the difference.


Regards,
Rimantas
--
http://rimantas.com/

From: Gareth Dart
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 11:30AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

>target = "_blank" is a special value of the target attribute which tells the browser to open the link >in a new window.

>target = "blank" is a normal value of the target attribute which tells the browser to open the link in >a frame named 'blank' - just not a good idea on _so_ many levels.

>G

Except that I've just tested it and (in FF2 at least) target = "blank" (no underscore) _does_ force a new window, which is not how I remembered it working. In any case, steer clear of both.

G

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]On Behalf Of Kallie
Swanepoel
Sent: Friday 5 January 2007 18:02
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Reason For Links Opening In New Window


What is the difference between the two?

Kallie Swanepoel
Piano Tuner/Klavierstemmer
Skype Name: KallieSwanepoel
Phone: +27 (0) 12 379 3762
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 261 6942
Voice Link: +27 (0) 88 129 8775
Fax: +27 (0) 86 633 2999
http://www.kallieswanepoel.co.za


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jukka K.
Korpela
Sent: 05 January 2007 18:32
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Reason For Links Opening In New Window


On Fri, 5 Jan 2007, Susan R. Grossman wrote:

> target="blank" is no longer supported in the xhtml spec,

It is. Please refrain from spreading false rumors and check the actual
specifications before citing them. The target attribute is in the XHTML
1.0 specification just as in HTML 4.01. By the way, there is a
difference
between target="blank" and target="_blank".

> but there are
> reasons to occasionally use accessible pop-up windows.

There's really no such thing as an accessible pop-up window on the WWW.
There might be in a limited environment where users are aware of pop-up
features and quite capable of controlling them.

> Besides the reasons already stated,

No acceptable reasons were stated.

> for many government sites (and some large corporate), it's policy to
> force links that go to an outside web page (not in the current
> domain) to open in a pop-up window with a message about "leaving the
> site"

That's a mistake on several accounts, including accessibility. It's
quite
illogical to present it as an argument in favor of something that is
implied in this wrong idea itself.

--
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

From: Kallie Swanepoel
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 11:40AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

What is the difference between the two?

Kallie Swanepoel
Piano Tuner/Klavierstemmer
Skype Name: KallieSwanepoel
Phone: +27 (0) 12 379 3762
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 261 6942
Voice Link: +27 (0) 88 129 8775
Fax: +27 (0) 86 633 2999
http://www.kallieswanepoel.co.za


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jukka K.
Korpela
Sent: 05 January 2007 18:32
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Reason For Links Opening In New Window


On Fri, 5 Jan 2007, Susan R. Grossman wrote:

> target="blank" is no longer supported in the xhtml spec,

It is. Please refrain from spreading false rumors and check the actual
specifications before citing them. The target attribute is in the XHTML
1.0 specification just as in HTML 4.01. By the way, there is a
difference
between target="blank" and target="_blank".

> but there are
> reasons to occasionally use accessible pop-up windows.

There's really no such thing as an accessible pop-up window on the WWW.
There might be in a limited environment where users are aware of pop-up
features and quite capable of controlling them.

> Besides the reasons already stated,

No acceptable reasons were stated.

> for many government sites (and some large corporate), it's policy to
> force links that go to an outside web page (not in the current
> domain) to open in a pop-up window with a message about "leaving the
> site"

That's a mistake on several accounts, including accessibility. It's
quite
illogical to present it as an argument in favor of something that is
implied in this wrong idea itself.

--
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

From: Kallie Swanepoel
Date: Fri, Jan 05 2007 12:30PM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

Thanks


Kallie Swanepoel
Piano Tuner/Klavierstemmer
Skype Name: KallieSwanepoel
Phone: +27 (0) 12 379 3762
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 261 6942
Voice Link: +27 (0) 88 129 8775
Fax: +27 (0) 86 633 2999
http://www.kallieswanepoel.co.za


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Gareth Dart
Sent: 05 January 2007 20:07
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Reason For Links Opening In New Window


target = "_blank" is a special value of the target attribute which tells
the browser to open the link in a new window.

target = "blank" is a normal value of the target attribute which tells
the browser to open the link in a frame named 'blank' - just not a good
idea on _so_ many levels.

G

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]On Behalf Of Kallie
Swanepoel
Sent: Friday 5 January 2007 18:02
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Reason For Links Opening In New Window


What is the difference between the two?

Kallie Swanepoel
Piano Tuner/Klavierstemmer
Skype Name: KallieSwanepoel
Phone: +27 (0) 12 379 3762
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 261 6942
Voice Link: +27 (0) 88 129 8775
Fax: +27 (0) 86 633 2999
http://www.kallieswanepoel.co.za


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jukka K.
Korpela
Sent: 05 January 2007 18:32
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Reason For Links Opening In New Window


On Fri, 5 Jan 2007, Susan R. Grossman wrote:

> target="blank" is no longer supported in the xhtml spec,

It is. Please refrain from spreading false rumors and check the actual
specifications before citing them. The target attribute is in the XHTML
1.0 specification just as in HTML 4.01. By the way, there is a
difference
between target="blank" and target="_blank".

> but there are
> reasons to occasionally use accessible pop-up windows.

There's really no such thing as an accessible pop-up window on the WWW.
There might be in a limited environment where users are aware of pop-up
features and quite capable of controlling them.

> Besides the reasons already stated,

No acceptable reasons were stated.

> for many government sites (and some large corporate), it's policy to
> force links that go to an outside web page (not in the current
> domain) to open in a pop-up window with a message about "leaving the
> site"

That's a mistake on several accounts, including accessibility. It's
quite
illogical to present it as an argument in favor of something that is
implied in this wrong idea itself.

--
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

From: John E. Brandt
Date: Sun, Jan 07 2007 5:40PM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

I agree with all who have chimed in here and generally feel that spawned
windows are "poor form," but I can actually think of example where it
*might* be appropriate to open a new spawned window. I should qualify this
by saying that in this case it would be using JavaScript and most typically
in an intranet kind of environment.

And what I am referring to are cases where you might be providing help
information in the spawned window (e.g., glossary of terms, pronunciation
guide, specific help reference) - and where there would be some value in
having both windows open at the same time. In this scenario the spawned
window would have the help information and be a javascripted "special"
window (without status bar) that had the JS "Close window" link inside. BTW,
I do not know how this works with screen readers - you all can respond to
that part.

I mention this example as I have been recently playing around with a new
Content Management System that uses this type of spawned window in the back
end of the application. And I have found myself grateful to be able to see
the help screen and the main screen information at the same time.

Perhaps this is not a good example or an accurate representation to what you
all have been discussing. But I would be curious to know how these spawned
windows are dealt with in screen readers.

~j

John E. Brandt
Augusta, Maine USA
www.jebswebs.com



-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Kallie Swanepoel
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007 7:04 AM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: [WebAIM] Reason For Links Opening In New Window

Hi All

Are there any special reason why one should want to have a link opening in a
new window, using the

Target="blank"

attribute?

That is:

Opening the new page, and minimizing the previous one.

Regards

Kallie Swanepoel
Piano Tuner/Klavierstemmer
Skype Name: KallieSwanepoel
Phone: +27 (0) 12 379 3762
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 261 6942
Voice Link: +27 (0) 88 129 8775
Fax: +27 (0) 86 633 2999
http://www.kallieswanepoel.co.za


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Alastair Campbell
Sent: 04 January 2007 18:24
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] screen resolutions, was Serif vs sans-serif


Austin, Darrel wrote:
> it's about a 100% increase in PPI. Which seems like a lot, but not
> compared to the pace that nearly every other

> portion of computing has increased.

True, but the interface hasn't really changed resolution, so if there were a
400 DPI screen, it would be unusable!

> There's been talk of this for years. Hopefully it will happen soon.

It's going to have to if they produce better screens, it's a minor chicken &
egg situation...

Kind regards,

-Alastair

--
Alastair Campbell | Director of User Experience

Nomensa Email Disclaimer: http://www.nomensa.com/email-disclaimer.html

From: Phil Teare
Date: Mon, Jan 08 2007 1:10AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

Hi all

There are many "Web2.0" type reasons for such techniques. Opening a
new window can often give you Javascript fucntionality that woud
otherwise be out of reach.

Such as Jacuba's spellchecking.

I give Jacuba as an example, as it offers AT to many for free, so
bashing it for useing javascript in this way is not an immediate
conclusion to be reached.

For example you can use a spawned window to keep some javascript
alive, when a user goes to another page, even if it is not loaded by
the next page. It can be inserted by the spawned page, if created by
one on the same domain.

This affords greater freedom scope and functionality to bookmarklets
developers, and JS service providers. Some of whom are on the side of
accessibility...

Thoughts/reactions to this?

Phil Teare
Technical Director
Textic ltd
www.talklets.com

From: John S. Britsios
Date: Mon, Jan 08 2007 1:20AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

Hi all,

I wrote a long time an article about this issue, which I hope it is not
outdated.
Maybe you would like to have a look: http://www.webnauts.net/new-window.html

Best,

John


Phil Teare wrote:
> Hi all
>
> There are many "Web2.0" type reasons for such techniques. Opening a
> new window can often give you Javascript fucntionality that woud
> otherwise be out of reach.
>
> Such as Jacuba's spellchecking.
>
> I give Jacuba as an example, as it offers AT to many for free, so
> bashing it for useing javascript in this way is not an immediate
> conclusion to be reached.
>
> For example you can use a spawned window to keep some javascript
> alive, when a user goes to another page, even if it is not loaded by
> the next page. It can be inserted by the spawned page, if created by
> one on the same domain.
>
> This affords greater freedom scope and functionality to bookmarklets
> developers, and JS service providers. Some of whom are on the side of
> accessibility...
>
> Thoughts/reactions to this?
>
> Phil Teare
> Technical Director
> Textic ltd
> www.talklets.com
>

From: Gareth Dart
Date: Mon, Jan 08 2007 1:30AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

Makes sense. Never actually used it in this way since a) as discussed, new windows are best avoided in 99% of cases and b) any windows I've been opening from my markup have been opened via Javascript with rigidly delineated properties.

Cheers,

G

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]On Behalf Of Rimantas
Liubertas
Sent: Friday 5 January 2007 18:18
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Reason For Links Opening In New Window


> Except that I've just tested it and (in FF2 at least) target = "blank" (no underscore) _does_
> force a new window, which is not how I remembered it working. In any case, steer clear of
> both.

Let's say you have two links with target="blank" attribute. Clicking
on the first will open new
window named 'blank'. If you then click on the second link then
destination will be opened in the window created by the first click.
On the other hand, several links with target="_blank" will open yet
another new window on each click. That's the difference.


Regards,
Rimantas
--
http://rimantas.com/

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Date: Mon, Jan 08 2007 8:00AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

The questions that I ask myself about this general guideline for
accessibility are
1) Are there web applications that are similar to desktop applications
in terms of complexity (answer: yes)
2) Can I imagine operating complex apps with all user interface
appearing in the same window - no dialogs, no extra windows? (Answer:
no)

If you are prepared to say, as I am, that we need to be able to handle
new windows in web applications then question then becomes - what do we
need to do to make this accessible? When a new window in a browser
opens up assistive technologies do know about it and many notify the
user appropriately. These same tools allow users to get a list of all
open windows.

I'm not entirely clear on the real issues that remain -- I see the ones
that John mentions in his page, but am not convinced. What are the
other reasons why new windows are still "deemed harmful"?

AWK

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of John S.
Britsios
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 3:16 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Reason For Links Opening In New Window

Hi all,

I wrote a long time an article about this issue, which I hope it is not
outdated.
Maybe you would like to have a look:
http://www.webnauts.net/new-window.html

Best,

John


Phil Teare wrote:
> Hi all
>
> There are many "Web2.0" type reasons for such techniques. Opening a
> new window can often give you Javascript fucntionality that woud
> otherwise be out of reach.
>
> Such as Jacuba's spellchecking.
>
> I give Jacuba as an example, as it offers AT to many for free, so
> bashing it for useing javascript in this way is not an immediate
> conclusion to be reached.
>
> For example you can use a spawned window to keep some javascript
> alive, when a user goes to another page, even if it is not loaded by
> the next page. It can be inserted by the spawned page, if created by
> one on the same domain.
>
> This affords greater freedom scope and functionality to bookmarklets
> developers, and JS service providers. Some of whom are on the side of
> accessibility...
>
> Thoughts/reactions to this?
>
> Phil Teare
> Technical Director
> Textic ltd
> www.talklets.com
>

From: Joshue O Connor
Date: Mon, Jan 08 2007 8:50AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

> What are the
> other reasons why new windows are still "deemed harmful"?

One area that certainly springs to mind is users with cognitive
disabilities. I would suggest that some users with cognitive/sensory
disabilities may experience a disconnect when browsing a site that
generates new browser windows, or certainly a lot of browser windows.
Also older users can find them confusing. However, there may also be
times when the same new browser window could facilitate comprehension by
(as someone earlier suggested) allowing a glossary of terms to accompany
a complex HTML document. In order for this to work it has to be apparent
to the user that they can expect a new window (would you call the
presence of new browser windows a shift in modality, maybe, if their
mode of interaction was to change also such as entering data?). This
could accompany a change in the user task such as filling out a complex
form in a new browser window. Having said that, when I have seen this
technique used and a new browser window appear for the user to input
their data, it had often been implemented very badly, using a very small
window size, or not giving the window immediate focus when the user
clicks "Fill out our form" etc, or changing the colours and graphics so
the new window is visually inconsistent with the parent site. The use of
these windows is also further complicated if the user has previously
visited a site(s) which have spawned other browser windows that have not
closed when they have left the last site(s) they visited.

Generally, I don't recommend their use at all but if they _must_ be used
I think it is important to be consistent with the look and feel of the
site they are generated from, that the user is clearly informed (in
advance) of what to expect and that the number is minimal.

My 2 cents.

Josh

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From: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Date: Mon, Jan 08 2007 9:10AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

> > What are the
> > other reasons why new windows are still "deemed harmful"?

> One area that certainly springs to mind is users with cognitive
disabilities. I would suggest that some users with cognitive/sensory
disabilities may
> experience a disconnect when browsing a site that generates new
browser windows, or certainly a lot of browser windows.

Perhaps. I'd argue that there may be benefit to having multiple
windows. For example, a user interacting with a web-based email
application who wants to save the contact information from an email into
that same application's contact directory can switch back and forth more
easily if they need to with two windows. The user could deliberately
launch the contact "page" in a new window, but then we are likely to run
into cognitive issues also.

What sensory issues are you alluding to?

> when I have seen this technique used and a new browser window appear
for the user to input their data, it had often been implemented very
badly, using a
> very small window size, or not giving the window immediate focus when
the user clicks "Fill out our form" etc, or changing the colours and
graphics so
> the new window is visually inconsistent with the parent site. The use
of these windows is also further complicated if the user has previously
visited a > site(s) which have spawned other browser windows that have
not closed when they have left the last site(s) they visited.

These all seem like legitimate best practice and usability concerns.
The new window should get the focus - not doing that is an accessibility
issue, but this is generally the avoidable exception, isn't it?

> that the user is clearly informed (in advance) of what to expect and
that the number is minimal.

I'm not going to argue that this is a bad idea, but I don't think that
I've seen any research indicating that this is a problem in desktop
applications - anyone else?

Thanks,
AWK

From: Joshue O Connor
Date: Mon, Jan 08 2007 10:00AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

> I'd argue that there may be benefit to having multiple
> windows. For example, a user interacting with a web-based email
> application who wants to save the contact information from an email into
> that same application's contact directory can switch back and forth more
> easily if they need to with two windows. The user could deliberately
> launch the contact "page" in a new window, but then we are likely to run
> into cognitive issues also.

Instances like you suggest certainly have an application - if the user
is used to that particular way of interacting with an application. If
they are accustomed to that kind of functionality - and expect it from
the start when they use the web application.

> What sensory issues are you alluding to?

None specifically, but the autism spectrum does come to mind. I am
suggesting the simpler the applications interface and methods of use,
the more people will be able to comfortably use it. There are usability
considerations here and not just accessibility issues (though they are
not for my money mutually exclusive at all). As a general rule of thumb,
IMO, good usable interfaces and comfortable modes of interaction are
made possible by simple interfaces and predictable (not to be confused
with boring) behaviors.

> These all seem like legitimate best practice and usability concerns.

Yup.

> The new window should get the focus - not doing that is an accessibility
> issue, but this is generally the avoidable exception, isn't it?

It is - but I have in user testing seen where the developer seems to
make an assumption that the user may not have any other browser windows
open and when their new browser window does pop up, it can get buried
under many other spawned windows. It doesn't always happen but it
can.Tabbed browsing will change this also and I'm sure tabbed windows
will start to appear, ( I had to stop myself saying pop-up, Ooh there it
is, sorry) but that could bring other usability problems, such as the
user not knowing what a tab is, or saying I haven't seen those since the
sixties.

Anyway others on the list will have more to say.

Josh


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From: Philip Kiff
Date: Mon, Jan 08 2007 10:10AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

Andrew Kirkpatrick wrote on 8 January 2007 09:50 EST:
> The questions that I ask myself about this general guideline for
> accessibility are
> 1) Are there web applications that are similar to desktop applications
> in terms of complexity (answer: yes)
> 2) Can I imagine operating complex apps with all user interface
> appearing in the same window - no dialogs, no extra windows? (Answer:
> no)

This is an interesting way of approaching the issue of pop-up windows on
websites in the context of the burgeoning popularity of "Web 2.0" apps. I
hadn't really thought about the issue from this perspective before, and it
seems clear that you are right to draw a parallel between JavaScript (or
other) pop-up windows on websites and modal (or other) dialog boxes in
operating systems.

Having said that, however, I wonder about two things.

First, while there are growing parallels, especially superficially
(visually) between the function of web-based applications and
local-operating-system-based applications, there is still a deep chasm of
underlying (code) differences. I can imagine a very near future in which
there are potentially thousands of different web-based interfaces that a
person might reasonably stumble upon on the web, and each interface will
come with its own design principles and coding ideas. Some will eventually
become dominant and perhaps thereby become the defacto standards for how to
code pop-up behaviour in Javascript/AJAX/PHP/whatever. But there will still
be thousands of others that exist only on a couple individual small sites
somewhere. In such an environment, the lack of predictability of web-based
applications could become a nightmare for a user with cognitive disabilities
or for creating fully-compatible screen-reading or other AT software. By
contrast, isn't it a much, much easier task to get such AT software to work
correctly with just a couple different operating systems? (This is not to
say that new standards for "web applications" won't be created, I expect
they will, but for the moment that seems at least a couple years off). So,
aren't you asking your questions a couple years too early, before there is a
standard for such behaviour available on the web?

Second, while I haven't sat down and tried to envision an entire operating
system, it does seem to me that you could design productive, complex
applications that did not require the spawning of windows and/or modal
dialogs. Certainly, the modal dialog box is the currently dominant standard
method of working with applications, but I suspect one could develop a
streamlined application that worked without such things. I'm not a software
designer, but my imagination suggests that our currently accepted "normal"
computer interface could very-well be superseded by something else entirely
within 10 years. And I'm not immediately convinced that pop-ups would have
to be part of that newfangled interface. I'm not sure why web-based
applications have to be stuck in the same design mode as
local-operating-system-based applications do...isn't part of the promise of
the web precisely that such new interfaces could become possible where they
weren't before?

As I say, interesting questions. I haven't thought much about the issue at
this "macro" level before, and it does make one wonder where the future of
pop-ups might lead us.

Phil.

From: John Foliot - Stanford Online Accessibility Program
Date: Mon, Jan 08 2007 10:20AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

Andrew Kirkpatrick wrote:
>
> When a new window in a browser opens up assistive technologies do know
> about it and many notify the user appropriately. These same tools allow
> users to get a list of all open windows.
<snip>
>
> I'm not entirely clear on the real issues that remain -- I see the
> ones that John mentions in his page, but am not convinced. What are
> the other reasons why new windows are still "deemed harmful"?
>
> AWK

Back in the day, we used to warn about user-agents that did not support
JavaScript and/or multiple instances of browser windows. In those days it
was due to older, less mature user-agents, lower CPU and RAM issues, dial-up
14.4 modems, etc. Today, many argue that these concerns are no longer
issues.

However, there is still the "front-end" of these technologies: new, smaller,
hardware and emerging alternative user-agents that may not support concepts
such as multiple windows. Just this week alone there is much "buzz" about
newly emerging tools such as the rumored Apple Television set-top
(web-enabled) at MacWorld, and new handhelds that leave the current
generation of Sidekicks, Blackberrys, et. al. in the dust. The new Nintendo
Wii game console ships with a version of Opera embedded into it's innards
(I've not actually seen it), which is an interesting mixing of technologies.


To me, this type of convergence, especially into smaller and smaller
devices, may mean that many types of web-usage will evolve beyond the
"traditional" desktop/tower or laptop usage we see today. The old adage of
it not "looking" (or reacting) the same for everyone remains, whether it is
pixel-perfect layout design, or a presumed ability for *all* user-agents to
support concepts such as multiple windows and client-side scripting. In
each and every case, the need for graceful degradation remains as true today
as it did 'way back in the 90's, especially when we start talking about
universal accessibility. Andrew mentions that today's adaptive technology
tools (at least screen readers) have evolved to deal with multiple windows,
but by now we all know that web accessibility is more than just "web pages
for blind people", right?

Just my $0.02

JF



From: Alastair Campbell
Date: Mon, Jan 08 2007 10:40AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

Andrew Kirkpatrick wrote on 8 January 2007 09:50 EST:
> 2) Can I imagine operating complex apps with all user interface
> appearing in the same window - no dialogs, no extra
> windows? (Answer: no)

Interestingly, the people designing the cheap ($100?) "One Laptop Per
Child" laptop go with a no-windows approach, possibly for the
'simplicity'.
http://www.90percentofeverything.com/2006/11/21/short-video-of-the-olpc-
ui-action/

Kind regards,

-Alastair

--
Alastair Campbell | Director of User Experience

Nomensa Email Disclaimer:
http://www.nomensa.com/email-disclaimer.html

From: Alastair Campbell
Date: Mon, Jan 08 2007 10:50AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | Next message →

> In each and every case, the need for graceful degradation
> remains as true today as it did 'way back in the 90's

I agree, although you could argue that if you can get mobile browsers
that deal with JavaScript and multiple windows
(http://alastairc.ac/2006/10/mobile-browsing/) then surely these other
devices can?

There are still issues with many sites (and I haven't seen my bandwidth
bill yet!) but these little devices (based on Webkit & Opera) are pretty
good browsers. I wonder if they work with the readers you can get for
phones? It is actually the 'fiddle' factor that makes overly complex
sites unusable, rather than not being able to access it.

Anyway, perhaps things won't be as difficult in future as we would
assume?

Kind regards,

-Alastair

--
Alastair Campbell | Director of User Experience

Nomensa Email Disclaimer:
http://www.nomensa.com/email-disclaimer.html

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Date: Mon, Jan 08 2007 11:10AM
Subject: Re: Reason For Links Opening In New Window
← Previous message | No next message

> However, there is still the "front-end" of these technologies: new,
smaller, hardware and emerging alternative user-agents that may not
support concepts
> such as multiple windows.

Do you believe that web applications won't be optimized for different
environments? There will undoubtedly be a core set of functionality
that one could develop an app to use and work across, but will that
happen?

With Flash, there is only one top level window, but you can do similar
things that you can with multiple windows - you can have modal dialogs
or other "panels" that can be part of the application. You will find
that some of the interfaces for new devices you see take advantage of
Flash's capabilties for their UI.

You can do similar things with javascript within a single window also,
but the data for both the primary window and the "new" window (which
might just be a div with particular styling) need to exist in the same
page structure in the DOM, and in this case there are additional
problems for user agents in order to deliver information so users
(particularly screen reader and keyboard users) can know about and
navigate to this new content - a new window might even be easier...

AWK