Demaestro - 5:42 pm on May 10, 2010 (gmt 0)
Opening up new browser windows is like a vacuum cleaner sales person who starts a visit by emptying an ash tray on the customer's carpet. Don't pollute my screen with any more windows, thanks (particularly since current operating systems have miserable window management). If I want a new window, I will open it myself!
I don't agree with this sentiment.
Many users aren't even savvy enough to upgrade to a modern browser, to expect they know the procedure to open links in a new browser on their own is a huge assumption.
PDFs, .xls, .doc should always open in a new window. (or tab)
Offsite links often can open in a new window. (or tab)
Printable receipts should always open in a new window. (In fact I like all my printable pages to open in a new window. I remove nav links and such from my printable pages. Giving someone a dead end page like that in their current browser seems like a really bad idea.)
I set my browser so that new windows open in a new tab instead to protect my screen real estate.
"a client wants it that way" is not a good reason
I think the client wanting it that way is the best reason to do it. Of course it is your duty to explain why it may not be a good idea and to explain both the up and the down side of this practice but if the client wants it and the client is paying then you do it for the client.
Just because it is considered "bad practice", isn't reason to warn people off it everytime it comes up in a thread, there are still plenty of real world use-cases to do this and it not be "bad".