Hi Priscilla,

I develop in PHP (though the actual language is fairly irrelevant) and based on what you say it sounds like a fingers crossed approach to the problem. Not knowing the perspective of your developer I cannot say whether he is wrong or right, but I can say with absolute certainty there is no fundamental reason to have to open a new window to control the way a user interacts with the form.

I'm not sure how far to go without drifting off topic but the thing he may be talking about is "maintaining state". For example; if the user submits the form but their email is invalid, you want to send them back to the same form to correct it. During that submission you need to hold the data they submitted (i.e. maintain state), check it and if incorrect send them back to the form with the data they filled in still there. In multi page forms it is also crucial to carry over data.

Neither cases have necessarily anything to do with what windows are open. Personally I, like you, would never open a new window and in fact would see it as yet another thing I'd have to control in the dangerous world of forms.

John's comment:

"If you can get an email from the PHP guy explaining in more detail what he thinks the issue is, we could discuss it in more detail."

Is probably a good idea.


Our backend coder (php) insists that a new window should open for this form, so that the user cannot use the browser’s navigation buttons, because if they do some of the information does not make it back to the database (or something like that!).

I told him that I don’t want a new window opening as it is not user-friendly and may be difficult for people with physical disabilities to use.

We have now reached an impasse. I told him I would supply examples of similar applications online that comply with web standards i.e. do not open in a new window. Does anybody know of any that I can pass on?

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