[whatwg] Proposal: target="_tab"

Borek Bernard borekbe at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Jun 11 01:37:09 PDT 2008

Hi Ian,

What do you think about the GReader use case? In my eyes, it makes the _tab scenario quite valid.

But, as mentioned by Adrian Sutton, there would be technical problems with older browsers so this proposal has to be scrapped. On the HTML/CSS level, this will be eventually handled by the 'target-new' property (which will be more flexible than target="_tab" as well) and I hope it will find its way into JavaScript too, eventually.

P.S. Sorry for not maintaining the thread sequence correctly, I couldn't figure out how to do that (that's why I used the forum instead of the mailing list in the first place :)


----- Original Message ----
From: Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch>
To: Simon Pieters <simonp at opera.com>; Jens Meiert <jens at meiert.com>; João Eiras <joao.eiras at gmail.com>; Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au>; Borek Bernard <borekbe at yahoo.co.uk>; Adrian Sutton <adrian.sutton at ephox.com>
Cc: WHATWG <whatwg at whatwg.org>
Sent: Wednesday, 11 June, 2008 12:16:50 AM
Subject: Re: Proposal: target="_tab"

On Tue, 10 Jun 2008, Simon Pieters wrote:
> In http://forums.whatwg.org/viewtopic.php?t=185 it is proposed that 
> authors should have the ability to suggest that links open in new 
> windows and new tabs. The suggested solution is to introduce a new 
> browsing context keyword "_tab".
> Use case for opening a new window with specified size: help popup.
> Use case for opening a new window without specified size: print page.
> Use case for opening a new tab: links in GReader for later reading.
> Demand for this feature: http://www.google.com/search?q=_tab

In general, it's best to let users decide where the link should open. In 
cases where the author really wants to open a new top-level browsing 
context, _blank already provides that option. Help popups are probably 
better done using inline floating iframes inside <aside>. Browsers having 
tabs, windows, or any number of other UI constructs should not be an issue 
that Web authors need to deal with. Thus, I don't think _tab makes much 

[snip a number of arguments much like the above]

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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