[whatwg] Target Attribute Values

Spartanicus mk98762 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 26 05:07:12 PDT 2007

Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au> wrote:

>   This is regarding the valid browsing context names, used for the 
>target attribute [1].
>Why is _blank still considered a conforming value?  On IRC, Hixie 
>mentioned that there are some legitimate use cases, but didn't list any. 
>  I've argued against popups many times before and heard many arguments 
>for them, but I'm yet to hear of any legitimate use cases.  If there are 
>any, what are they?
>_new is also not specced, yet it is widely used and treated as a magic 
>value like _blank in Firefox.  Maybe it should be specced the same as 
>_blank.  However, IE, Opera and Safari didn't appear to treat it as 
>such, so maybe it's not needed.

As a user I detest new windows opening without having chosen to do that
myself. But I'd question the wisdom of making _blank non conforming.

1) At least _blank allows me to filter it out before sending it to my
2) Afaik currently any attribute value for the target attribute which
hasn't been defined opens a new window. If _blank were made non
conforming authors would imo resort to using non defined names which has
the same result in practice, but which makes filtering such methods out
on the user end much harder.

I've argued my socks off trying to convince authors that they should
leave opening new windows to users, but there are an awful lot of them
who for various reasons insists on doing just that.

Would perhaps a spec conformance requirement that browsers should offer
users a config option to opt out of windows being opened via target
values be an alternative? It could avoid the seemingly unwin'able
argument with authors who insist on doing this, and give users the final

Mozilla already offers such an opt out afaik.


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