----- Original Message ----- From: "Patrick H. Lauke" <re...@splintered.co.uk>
To: <wsg@webstandardsgroup.org>
Sent: Friday, December 30, 2011 8:39 PM
Subject: Re: tabs - was[WSG] Expected behaviour of links to external

Again, let me turn this discussion around once more. Explain to us WHY you
feel that it's important that your site open links in new tabs, [snip]

Or, then again...can we just let this discussion die? > P
Patrick H. Lauke

I believe that as the internet increasingly spreads in usage, the percentage
of what might be called 'computer literate' users goes down and down. It's
an inevitable fact of life. So the more varied the experience of the
audience for a web site, the more the users won't know about how to navigate
to their own best advantage.

Given the above, whatever I do with links means that the choice is actually made by
me, not the user, since the user doesn't have a choice if he thinks there is
only one option. Whichever route I adopt, including doing nothing, it could be said that I am
deciding for my user.  So, short of designing an elaborate system  . . .

As to why/when : sometimes it is preferable if the link destination appears
'separately' and a classical case (already mentioned by someone) is in the
use of pdf's. One site I am concerned with uses several forms and much as
pdf can be a horrible medium it is the best one in the case of forms which
have to maintain a rigid layout, be printed out and posted back (using stamps!)

However, if I make the choice of opening a pdf in a new window/tab, I
always inform the user that this will happen (as I said earlier in this discussion):

a[rel="external"] {
 padding-right: 13px;
 background: url(outofit.gif) no-repeat right top;

With this code:

<a href="../sjp.html" rel="external" onclick="window.open(this.href); return
false;" title="opens in a new window">LINK</a>

I'm not arrogant enough to declare for sure that this is the best practice, which is why I value the various responses.

But you're probably right Patrick, we have now said enough . . .   !!! :-)


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