|New windows for off-site links?|
Is it better commercially
Is it better, commercially, to set up off-site links to open in new windows? My instinct is that it is. I tend to expect it, and in a strange site, I get irritated when I haven't noticed the back button is dead, and kill the page, only to find a new window has not been opened, and the browser has been shut down too.
What do you do, particularly on commercial sites?
Also, if your estimates are correct that 20% have JS disabled, that still leaves me with good odds. If the others have to hit the back button to come back to my site, so be it.
who decides these things anyway? And why aren't they wearing tin foil hats?
I also agree that, except in rare instances, all offsite links should open a new window by default. I know many of the "it's my browser" folks hate the whole concept of target="_blank", but then, those of us who are in that crowd are the ones who know how to prevent new windows in the first place. So I don't see that our opinion matters.
You pegged the issue when you said many users expect and like new windows sometimes; many of my visitors also appreciate that offsite links open a new window. They're normally interested enough in what they're viewing on my site that they'd like to "hold their place," but they're interested enough in the offsite link to give it a look, too. And most don't even know they can open new windows themselves, which puts the decision right in our laps as far as I can tell.
Regarding the web standards, the <br> tag and target="_blank" are two of the biggest mistakes they've made about what to deprecate, in my opinion. Both are among the few small bits of invalid code I'm actually willing to use on my site, when there's a good reason.
<rabbit trail>Which brings up a related issue on validation...I've always held that outright validation isn't nearly as important as knowing what valid code is and making an informed decision about what, if any, invalid code you'll use. </rabbit trail>
Actually, I pro validation as a first stepping-stone to good accessibility - which I also support. But I fail to see why
target"_blank" was deprecated. For the moment, I am leaving those pages which require outside links in transitional DOCTYPE so that I can retain that coding.
Oops, it looks like I made a mis-statement above about the <br> (or <br />) tag. (Thanks for asking about that, tedster.) It's not deprecated after all, although some have spoken of axing it [webmasterworld.com]. Sorry for any confusion.
I find it absolutely mind-boggling that even xhtml does not support client-side includes. This could be achieved as simply as <div src="url">upgrade your browser</div>. The idiots in charge of standards are just that - idiots.