[whatwg] Target Attribute Values

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at apple.com
Fri Apr 27 22:38:37 PDT 2007

On Apr 27, 2007, at 9:55 PM, Lachlan Hunt wrote:

> The major reasons for popups that I can remember include:
> * Links to external sites, so that users don't leave the previous  
> site.
>   - It's far better to inform the user that they're going to an  
> external
>     site and let them decide for themselves if they want a new window.

What about webmail? My desktop application Mail client opens in a new  
browser window when I click a link in a mail message. It seems  
reasonable for a web-based mail client to do the same. I guess it  
would be nice to have a preference or a way to override this, but it  
doesn't seem fundamentally unreasonable.

I do agree that many uses of pop-up windows are broken. But target is  
actually less problematic than window.open, since it avoids some of  
the most abusive scenarios. For example, some pages put an onclick  
handler on every link on the page. Then they use window.open to open  
an ad popup in addition to the normal navigation. target can't be  
abused that way. Similarly for removing the window chrome.

So in general, at the margin, it's probably unwise to create a  
scenario where conformance checkers encourage authors to use  
window.open instead of target.


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