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  1. #1
    ********* Articles ArticleBot's Avatar
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    Article Discussion

    This is an article discussion thread for discussing the SitePoint article, "Beware of Opening Links in a New Window"

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Good article.

    I stopped opening in new windows too, unless under special circumstances.

    And more importantly - most of us now are blocking pop-ups, which are the essence of opening a new window.

  3. #3
    Tri Pham
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    Great article.

    It has good arguments and I agree with the author.

  4. #4
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    I like the way that your links to useit.com, Yahoo and AOL all open in new windows without giving any warning to the user!

    I am assuming that SitePoint automatically forces all external links to do this.

  5. #5
    Mcpollo
    SitePoint Community Guest
    True for commercial sites, but not for web applications. The usability would be horrible if we didn't use pop-up in web applications. Remeber that there are users which "work" with webapps 8 hours a day, and can`t be navigating pages and pages just to make simple selections (lookup tables, double selectors, etc)

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard Mike Borozdin's Avatar
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    I personally think that it is very usefull to open external link in a new window.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Borozdin
    I personally think that it is very usefull to open external link in a new window.
    I like to choose myself if I want new window or not. One solution is to have dynamically created selector and store its state in cookie so it affects whole site. See http://www.sci.fi/~tenu/test/switcher.htm for example (without cookies, it's single page!).

  8. #8
    Chief Procrastinator arano's Avatar
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    I think its quite useful to open in a new window, if your reading a blog and your following along with what the person is saying, if you click a link they provide,and it opens in the same window, you are taking away from the flow of the information.

    Opening up a new window allows the user to take a quick glance and still return to the blog without having to cycle through back links.

  9. #9
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    Maybe it's more useful for those who haven't converted to tabbed browsing, F.ex. when I read a newspaper I scan the frontpage and open all articles I want to read in a background tab (middle-click does that for me). I do the same with external links when I want to continue reading an article.

    When I use Firefox those new window links really annoy me because they open in a new window, not a new tab (doesn't seem to be anything in the options to fix that). Fortunately a little less annoying in Opera.
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  10. #10
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    Letting people know is the right way to go. I hate when I checkout and am not sure if it's going to open a new window or not. Sure Firefox helps, but with text or a new window icon, I neve have to worry.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot Octal's Avatar
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    fish; try the Tabbrowser extension for Firefox. It has the option of forcing external links to open in a New Tab.

  12. #12
    mightywong
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    I rarely use pop-ups because I don't like the loss of the back button. But there are instances (not mentioned in this article) where I use them. The biggest one is when I have something which links merely to a definition of a term or something explanatory (usually under 80 words or so). Title tags can get unweidly and they don't respond immediately in every browser...

  13. #13
    Google Engineer polvero's Avatar
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    ah the things we look forward to in css 3.0
    in this case we can distinguish all out-going links from self-bound links (pages within your own site) without using a class :)

    I say this because most people think that all out-going links should open in new windows (which they shouldn't), in this case we can let the user know ahead of time which links are going out (without having to hover over the link and see the title="")


  14. #14
    SitePoint Addict
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    that's triple clear!

  15. #15
    Nick B
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    I think the text and icon ideas are great in this article. It's something I hadn't thought of and probably something I'll implement, however, I feel that this kind of negates alot of reasons not to use new windows for links. If you give fair warning to your users that the link will open a new window then there doesn't seem to be a reason not to use a new window if you want to.

    When I'm searching the web and am on a site then I like it when an external link autmatically opens in a new window. I want the information from both sites and can get it easily by ALT+TABbing in between the sites. This means I don't have to use my "back" and "forward" buttons 900 times to get between the sites.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast roloenusa's Avatar
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    I have to agree with TooGraffic on that. However, one must have on account that the web is full of pop-up advertisement. This is such a common problem that most people have created a reflex to close any window that is open without the direct input of the user.

    Opening a new window (specially if it is a resized window for screenshots or graphics) will trigger this reflex and it's very likely that the user will not get the requested info.

    I have to strongly recommend what Neil says on his article. The icon+text is the best combination to ensure that the user will know that the browser will open a new window.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Member victorvp's Avatar
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    It's funny that while writing this article, the link that directs to useit.com opens a new window, and doesn't warn you.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Thanks Octal, I'll check out that extension sometime soon.
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  19. #19
    Google Engineer polvero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victorvp
    It's funny that while writing this article, the link that directs to useit.com opens a new window, and doesn't warn you.
    that's to blame on sitepoint, not the author.

  20. #20
    Forensic SEO Consultant Webnauts's Avatar
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    Thumbs up My opinion

    My opinion may be found here: http://www.webnauts.net/new_window.html

  21. #21
    Google Engineer polvero's Avatar
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    this is funny cause i remember reading an article called New Window Links in a Standards Compliant World.

    I wonder if Kevin Yank has changed his mind about his own article? Sure it's standards compliant according to the validator, but is it ethical?

  22. #22
    SitePoint Member
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    Made me think - not a bad thing in itself.

  23. #23
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    Valid points, but it's not convinced me to change from opening external links in new windows.

    My own personal viewpoint is that I ifnd it more convenient as a user to have multiple windows so I can view and switch between sites easily.

  24. #24
    Pixware
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    I always think about my mom navigating a site (she does anyway, so I can just look at her) and she gets quite anoyed when a new window opened without her intention, and normally she does not even notice that it IS a new window, getting angry about "where was I before and how do I get back??"

    I use "new windows" just as a help insite, with JS, for quick forms, help, advices and else. But not everywhere it "could be usefull"

  25. #25
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    That is so stupid... i'think new_window is only good for like search engins not for ordenry links..


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