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target="_blank" Navigation
the best way

 5:08 pm on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

I typically put a blank tag on any link so it will open in a new window. What's your best wisdom on how one should tag urls to facilitate navigation? Best, S



 5:38 pm on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Do not use target="_blank" on all links -- it confuses most users (especially those using unconventional browsing devices) and 'breaks' the back functionality. It is counterintuitive to close a window when you want to go back to the previous page. If a person wants to open the link in a new window, then they are also smart enough to do so themselves. If a link opens in a new window (either a popup or regular window) -- make sure to notify the user about this using some form of descriptive (and clearly visible) text, either before or as part of the link. Opening links in a new window should most likely be limited to external links.


 6:29 pm on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

406 pages changed! Thanks. S


 6:32 pm on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Global search and replace rocks ;)


 6:47 pm on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good ol' notetab...if I just knew more about what I don't know about ... Thanks again. S


 9:09 pm on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree with DrDoc: On our site, all internal links are standard - external links spawn a new browser window.

This is intuitive for the user - and doesn't force people off your site when they want to view an external link.


 9:16 pm on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

I keep an info page on my site about no pop up/new windows and how to right click to inform people about it.

If I find a site that forces me to have another window open that I didn't choose, I leave the site and put it on my banned list immediately - this includes new window external links. If I want a new window, I know how to right click.

Another problem I've seen, is that if the new window is made with java and not html, a lot of pop up blockers won't ever open the new window - if you're going to use this technique, make sure it's all in html.


 4:34 am on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

I prefer a new window for:

- External links
- Specific things like a larger version of an image, things like that

(Btw, when surfing, even in-site I usually open in a new window so that I do not need to reload the main page. Closing a window is a lot faster than reloading to get the previous page.)


 4:40 am on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

From an earlier thread: [webmasterworld.com...]

BlobFisk wrote:
"To be honest, I'm not sure if there is a replacement for the target="_blank" in HTML4.01."

tedster wrote:
Now here is the mess. Everything you try has a downside. You can use javascript's window.open() method, but of course you run into problems with disabled/no javascript and some of the sub-par pop-up blockers.

Even when the user agent does execute the javascript, many browsers do not pass on the referrer. In many situations (external links, for example) that is not acceptable.

Sitepoint has an article by Kevin Yank where he explains how Sitepoint approaches the problem. They use the newly introduced attribute rel= and give it a non-standard argument rel="external". Then they run a script on every page to find all the hyperlinks. Whenever a link has the attribute rel="external" the javascript function then declares anchor.target = "_blank"; for that link.

This approach does validate and it also avoids the referrer problem, so it has those advantages. Older browsers, however, will just open the link in the same window. Not too big a loss, but still it is a loss.

What on God's Green Earth was wrong with "target=_blank" so as not to include it in the strict standard?

Now this is exactly the sort of thing that makes me go "F*** your f****** standards!"

No wonder nobody uses the strict standard (or DTD). The W3C are messing it up for themselves by "forcing" everybody to code any which way because the "standard" simply is unusable.


 5:05 am on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have stopped using target=_blank altogether, free yourself from this evil addiction:



 5:17 am on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

No wonder nobody uses the strict standard (or DTD).

I use it along with many others. You are not forced to use the Strict DTD. You are not forced to validate. You've chosen to at least validate Transitional which is a step in the right direction. If you feel that opening a new window for links is something your visitors are comfortable with, then go for it.

Unfortunately the research and statistics show that spawning a new window from a link is as stated above by DrDoc and the others. I stopped using the target attribute a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I do have projects that require the use of target for framesets and iframes and in those instances we at least validate Transitional knowing the only errors are those target attributes.

It is a little frustrating at first trying to work around it but, after a while it grows on you. There is a reason that target="" is deprecated, I'm still trying to justify it to myself. ;)


 11:07 pm on Dec 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I open a new window for the help page of my forum. The intention was to allow the user to move back and forth between the instructions and whatever it was that (s)he wanted to do.

Since target= _blank is deprecated, what would people suggest? Should I make them use the back and forward buttons to go back and forth to the help page?


 11:34 pm on Dec 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Tois is off topic but it probably only needs one or two responses and it is probably something everyone else knows.

How key is validation to getting a good listing?

I am teetering between just finding someone to go in and fix my site so it is totally compliant with everything and just forgetting about it since in terms of browsers over 99 percent of traffic can doubtless get through the imperfections. There is nothing complex about my site.

Best, S


 11:44 pm on Dec 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

target= _blank is deprecated

I didn't know that, I'll use it until they pry it out of my cold dead editor .. any suggestions for how to replace it using simple HTML?

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