[whatwg] Target Attribute Values

Matthew Paul Thomas mpt at myrealbox.com
Sat Apr 28 02:04:56 PDT 2007

On Apr 28, 2007, at 4:12 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> ...
> One valid reason to use _blank instead of a named target to open a new 
> window is the fact that the top-level frame namespace is global, and 
> you don't want to collide with windows opened by other web apps, or 
> even other instances of your own web app.
> ...

Ever since I first visited two Web pages that accidentally opened 
external links in the same window as each other, I've assumed that the 
top-level frame namespace being global was a bug, with 
under-specification of the target= attribute in HTML4 as a contributing 

I suggest that WA1 specify that the frame namespace is 
per-top-level-browsing-context, not global. (Even if it is global in 
all extant browsers, I doubt that any applications rely on that 
behavior.) Otherwise, what is a Web application developer supposed to 
do to ensure that the application's help links reuse only its own help 
window, and don't accidentally obliterate those of other apps or even 
other open windows in the same app? Generate a per-page UUID prefix for 
all its target= attribute values? :-)

Matthew Paul Thomas

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