[thelist] Opening new windows or not [was: dumb css questions for valid XHTML 1.0 Strict]

Rick den Haan rick.denhaan at gmail.com
Mon May 28 15:29:40 CDT 2007

Shawn K. Quinn wrote:
> I don't think breaking Web browser behavior for the users who actually
> know how their Web browser operates. Like Ricky Zhou, I would have
> guessed people that age would ask a younger relative/hired guru to
> manage most computer-related affairs for them.

Depends on your definition of computer-related affairs, really.  The whole
purpose of this particular website was to provide a means of entertainment
for those cooped up in retirement homes, unable to leave their apartments
for some reason, and bored out of their heads.  Mostly, it contained simple
games that don't require too much thinking, like Yetisports' original Pingu
Throw for example (click once to get ready, click again to whack the
penguin, and try to time it right to get them as far as possible).  Shame
they ended up using it as an intranet system...

> I compare (suggesting that) having links open in a new window is like
> having the gas pedal in a car work like a brake pedal half the time at
> random. (And I say "suggesting that" because this *can* be overridden
> with e.g. Privoxy and/or a Firefox setting.)

It's an interesting comparison, certainly.  However, remember the late
nineties?  All (OK, maybe not all, but certainly most) websites with
external links opened them in new windows using the target="_blank" method.
IMO, this became the de facto method of opening off-site links, and surfers
started expecting this behavior.

Yes, the default behavior can be overridden by a browser setting, but how
many people do you know that use Firefox and know of about:config?  And I
mean the average websurfer here, not other developers or IT workers.


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