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Re: [NH] Use Of target="_blank"

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  • Ray Shapp
    Hi Axel, Lotta, Mike, This is just to let you know I haven t gone away. I ve spent the whole day trying to learn the lessons contained in Axel s great tutorial
    Message 1 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
      Hi Axel, Lotta, Mike,

      This is just to let you know I haven't gone away. I've spent the whole day
      trying to learn the lessons contained in Axel's great tutorial at
      http://axel.berger-odenthal.de/Webdesign/Testpage.htm# and to consider
      carefully what you folks have said in your messages.

      So far, I have successfully tested my first web page using SSI. I discovered
      it was failing because Apache requires a file extension like ".shtm". After
      fixing that, I was able to confirm that the hosting service for the club's
      website does act on SSI directives, but a site for classic car restorations
      (at a different hosting service) which I also maintain does not. It merely
      renders the SSI as text. That's OK for now because it's the club's site that
      I want to modify to eliminate the use of frames.

      I also placed a German dictionary in my bookmarks, and I had fun trying to
      understand some of the comments linked from
      http://axel.berger-odenthal.de/BTW, Axel, you appear much younger than
      I had imagined (assuming that is not
      a very old photo of you).

      Most of what I have seen today is quite daunting because it's new to me. A
      basic question before I go much farther though: my main nav bar in the
      redesigned website will be along the top of the page. Can SSI and a
      modification of the script at
      http://fdp.berger-odenthal.de/base/fix-menue.js keep the nav bar in view
      when the user scrolls down the page?

      If this discussion does nothing else, it will definitely reduce the number
      of instances where I use target="_blank". On the other hand, I have special
      audiences for both the club website and the classic car website. In the
      first case, the majority of users do need extra hand-holding. Most don't
      know about the drop-down window on the Back button, and they don't want to
      learn about it. We have a wide range of ages in the club, but the modal
      member is probably 55 to 60 years of age. The important audience on the
      classic cars website is special because the content of the site is mostly
      about rare vehicles. For example, users who want to know about 1918 Cadillac
      laundry trucks will want to stay on our site because the internet doesn't
      offer many other places to see that kind of vehicle. The site is also
      special because car enthusiasts tend to be unfamiliar with web navigation.
      It was after speaking with a number of visitors that we realized many of
      them were not scrolling vertically. In response, we placed a large white
      downward-pointing arrow labeled "more below" on the Home page. All our
      thumbnails are accompanied by a hint indicating that a click on the picture
      will display a larger version. Otherwise many visitors will miss important
      content.

      I need to take my first break all day now to get something to eat, but I'll
      be back later. I really like working with this stuff. Thank you all!

      Ray Shapp


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • loro
      ... Includes don t do anything more than glue the content of files together before the page is served, like a server-side Find & Replace, you could say, only
      Message 2 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
        Ray wrote:
        >Can SSI and a modification of the script at
        >http://fdp.berger-odenthal.de/base/fix-menue.js keep the nav bar in view
        >when the user scrolls down the page?

        Includes don't do anything more than glue the content of files
        together before the page is served, like a server-side Find &
        Replace, you could say, only it isn't permanent, the physical files
        aren't changed.

        I think you are looking for 'position: fixed' (that isn't supported
        by older versions of IE, but there are workarounds).
        http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/visuren.html#propdef-position

        Lotta
      • Axel Berger
        ... You re right of course! I have done that quite a few times and I forewent the trial. But you will admit, I think, that editing one file - there will
        Message 3 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
          Michael Rawley wrote:
          > I am, of course, refering to the command 'Ctrl-D'.
          > Try it on half a dozen dummy files first!

          You're right of course! I have done that quite a few times and I
          forewent the trial. But you will admit, I think, that editing one file -
          there will ususally be more than change, even moving something is one
          deletion plus one entry - is quite different from converting each step
          into a replace command (find the right and only the right place) or a
          clip.

          Anyway, I have a prepared clip for just that, where you only need to add
          the specific task at hand. N.B: Defeintely try this out on dummy files
          in a dummy folder first.

          Beware of long lines

          ; Adapt this part to the task in hand
          ^!Set %varFIL%="F:\Webspace\index.php"
          ^!Set %varPAT%="*.htm;*.php"
          ; End of invidual adaptation

          ^!SetWizardLabel "Please define the files to be converted"
          ;^!SetDebug On
          ^!Set %varFIL%=^?{(T=O;F="Source
          Files|*.html;*.htm;*.?html;*.xml;*asp;*.css;*.php;*.php3;*.php4")Sample
          file=^%varFIL%}; %varSDR%=^?{(T=L)Include Subdirectories?==_Yes|No};
          %varPAT%=^?{Search Pattern=^%varPAT%}
          ^!Set %varPTH%=^$GetPath(^%varFIL%)$
          ^!If "^%varSDR%"="Yes" yessub ELSE nosub
          :yessub
          ^!Set %varFIL%=^$GetFileFirst("+^%varPTH%";"^%varPAT%")$
          ^!Goto loop
          :nosub
          ^!Set %varFIL%=^$GetFileFirst("^%varPTH%";"^%varPAT%")$
          :loop
          ^!IfTrue ^$IsEmpty(^%varFIL%)$ finished
          ;^!Continue ^%varFIL%
          ^!Open "^%varFIL%"

          ; Adapt this part to the task in hand

          ^!Replace "http://www.w3.org/Icons/valid-html401" >>
          "http://berger-odenthal.de/pics/valid-html401.png" WAS
          ^!Replace "http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/images/vcss" >>
          "http://berger-odenthal.de/pics/vcss.png" WAS

          ;^!Replace "//EN"> <" >> "//EN"^P
          "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">^P<" WAS

          ; End of invidual adaptation

          ^!Close ALL,SAVE
          ^!Set %varFIL%=^$GetFileNext$
          ^!Goto loop
          :finished
          ^!CloseFileFind




          >
          > Michael Rawley
          > www.normist.co.uk
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Fookes Software: http://www.fookes.com/
          > NoteTab website: http://www.notetab.com/
          > NoteTab Discussion Lists: http://www.notetab.com/groups.php
          >
          > ***
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          --
          Dipl.-Ing. F. Axel Berger Tel: +49/ 2174/ 7439 07
          Johann-Häck-Str. 14 Fax: +49/ 2174/ 7439 68
          D-51519 Odenthal-Heide eMail: Axel-Berger@...
          Deutschland (Germany) http://berger-odenthal.de
        • Ray Shapp
          Hi Michael and Axel, I will definitely need to use the global replace command in NoteTab (Ctrl+D), however it will be done piecemeal on limited subsections of
          Message 4 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
            Hi Michael and Axel,

            I will definitely need to use the global replace command in NoteTab
            (Ctrl+D), however it will be done piecemeal on limited subsections of the
            site. Currently I have nearly 6,000 files in 238 folders on the astronomy
            club's website. More than 3,000 of the files are JPGs, PDFs, XLS files, and
            DOC files, but that still leaves about 2300 html pages. The index frame
            points to 21 subsections in addition to the Home page. Over the past 12
            years well over a dozen members created and edited various web pages or
            whole sections of the site, and they used a wide variety of formats.

            While eliminating the frames, I want to develop a single CSS style sheet
            that will apply to most HTML pages. I want also a fixed nav bar preferably
            at the top of every page. Most of the current web pages were designed for
            800x600 resolution displays. I want to change that to 1024x768. Of course,
            the site needs to remain usable during the transition, and I am working
            alone on this project. Our hosting plan allows 5GB of storage, and we are
            using only a little over 1GB now. I think it may be best to duplicate the
            entire site using an alternate web address as I convert sections to the new
            format. I'll give out the alternate address to only a few members who might
            have constructive comments about usability of the new design. Axel's clip
            (shown below) will be very useful for making conversions on well-defined
            subsections of the site.

            I don't have any time limit. The only time pressure I feel is
            self-generated.

            Ray Shapp


            On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 7:10 AM, Axel Berger <Axel-Berger@...> wrote:

            >
            >
            > Michael Rawley wrote:
            > > I am, of course, refering to the command 'Ctrl-D'.
            > > Try it on half a dozen dummy files first!
            >
            > You're right of course! I have done that quite a few times and I
            > forewent the trial. But you will admit, I think, that editing one file -
            > there will ususally be more than change, even moving something is one
            > deletion plus one entry - is quite different from converting each step
            > into a replace command (find the right and only the right place) or a
            > clip.
            >
            > Anyway, I have a prepared clip for just that, where you only need to add
            > the specific task at hand. N.B: Defeintely try this out on dummy files
            > in a dummy folder first.
            >
            > Beware of long lines
            >
            > ; Adapt this part to the task in hand
            > ^!Set %varFIL%="F:\Webspace\index.php"
            > ^!Set %varPAT%="*.htm;*.php"
            > ; End of invidual adaptation
            >
            > ^!SetWizardLabel "Please define the files to be converted"
            > ;^!SetDebug On
            > ^!Set %varFIL%=^?{(T=O;F="Source
            > Files|*.html;*.htm;*.?html;*.xml;*asp;*.css;*.php;*.php3;*.php4")Sample
            > file=^%varFIL%}; %varSDR%=^?{(T=L)Include Subdirectories?==_Yes|No};
            > %varPAT%=^?{Search Pattern=^%varPAT%}
            > ^!Set %varPTH%=^$GetPath(^%varFIL%)$
            > ^!If "^%varSDR%"="Yes" yessub ELSE nosub
            > :yessub
            > ^!Set %varFIL%=^$GetFileFirst("+^%varPTH%";"^%varPAT%")$
            > ^!Goto loop
            > :nosub
            > ^!Set %varFIL%=^$GetFileFirst("^%varPTH%";"^%varPAT%")$
            > :loop
            > ^!IfTrue ^$IsEmpty(^%varFIL%)$ finished
            > ;^!Continue ^%varFIL%
            > ^!Open "^%varFIL%"
            >
            > ; Adapt this part to the task in hand
            >
            > ^!Replace "http://www.w3.org/Icons/valid-html401" >>
            > "http://berger-odenthal.de/pics/valid-html401.png" WAS
            > ^!Replace "http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/images/vcss" >>
            > "http://berger-odenthal.de/pics/vcss.png" WAS
            >
            > ;^!Replace "//EN"> <" >> "//EN"^P
            > "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">^P<" WAS
            >
            > ; End of invidual adaptation
            >
            > ^!Close ALL,SAVE
            > ^!Set %varFIL%=^$GetFileNext$
            > ^!Goto loop
            > :finished
            > ^!CloseFileFind
            >
            >
            > >
            > > Michael Rawley
            > > www.normist.co.uk
            > >
            > > ------------------------------------
            >
            > >
            > > Fookes Software: http://www.fookes.com/
            > > NoteTab website: http://www.notetab.com/
            > > NoteTab Discussion Lists: http://www.notetab.com/groups.php
            > >
            > > ***
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > --
            > Dipl.-Ing. F. Axel Berger Tel: +49/ 2174/ 7439 07
            > Johann-H�ck-Str. 14 Fax: +49/ 2174/ 7439 68
            > D-51519 Odenthal-Heide eMail: Axel-Berger@...
            > Deutschland (Germany) http://berger-odenthal.de
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Scott Fordin
            FWIW, I think that, in most cases, you don t want to open links in new windows for many of the reasons already mentioned here. For example, I know the style
            Message 5 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
              FWIW, I think that, in most cases, you don't want to open links in new
              windows for many of the reasons already mentioned here. For example, I
              know the style guidelines for all external Sun Microsystems (let's take
              a moment here to shed a tear) Web sites specifically prohibited spawning
              new windows except in relatively rare circumstances.

              There are times, however, when it's appropriate to spawn new windows
              when you want to provide additional information about a topic or product
              without losing the initial context. Examples here include, say, an
              online help system, or individual photos in a gallery, or a page that
              compares a series of products, or a link to a PDF coupon, or a link that
              takes you to another Web site in an entirely different domain.

              All this said, I think it's much, much better to use a specifically
              named target window rather than _blank, so you're at least not rudely
              spawning a gazillion windows, and it also becomes possible to create a
              history trail in the spawned window. In short, I think _blank is evil,
              but specifically named targets can be quite useful.

              Finally, you could also use some sort of hover-based pop-up for certain
              kinds of content, but that can lead to all sorts of browser, platform,
              and accessibility issues. For example, hover-based pop-ups are not so
              great on mobile phones, and they're really bad if your users rely on
              screen reading add-ons.

              Scott

              On 3/27/2011 1:01 AM, loro wrote:
              > Ray wrote:
              > >Can SSI and a modification of the script at
              > >http://fdp.berger-odenthal.de/base/fix-menue.js keep the nav bar in view
              > >when the user scrolls down the page?
              >
              > Includes don't do anything more than glue the content of files
              > together before the page is served, like a server-side Find &
              > Replace, you could say, only it isn't permanent, the physical files
              > aren't changed.
              >
              > I think you are looking for 'position: fixed' (that isn't supported
              > by older versions of IE, but there are workarounds).
              > http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/visuren.html#propdef-position
              >
              > Lotta
              >
              >
            • loro
              ... Ah, but only if that s what you want. What if the user actually likes to open new windows and what if he also likes to save windows with pages he might
              Message 6 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
                Scott wrote:
                >All this said, I think it's much, much better to use a specifically
                >named target window rather than _blank, so you're at least not rudely
                >spawning a gazillion windows, and it also becomes possible to create a
                >history trail in the spawned window. In short, I think _blank is evil,
                >but specifically named targets can be quite useful.

                Ah, but only if that's what you want. What if the user actually likes
                to open new windows and what if he also likes to save windows with
                pages he might want to peruse later, so he minimizes them or lets
                them lose focus while he goes through the rest of the links (I do
                this a lot myself). When he wants to read that interesting page, lo
                and behold, it has been replaced with a totally different page. Boo-hoo.

                That's what it boils down to. No one knows what anyone else wants or
                prefers in a given situation. So keep the options open.

                I'm not adamant about this. There are situations when I think a
                little JS window fits in and doesn't harm anything, but for navigation - nuh.

                Lotta
              • Axel Berger
                ... Yes absolutely. I know I tend to be of the black and white school with no exceptions, but when used sensibly pop-ups and new windows do have their place.
                Message 7 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
                  Scott Fordin wrote:
                  > There are times, however, when it's appropriate to spawn new windows

                  Yes absolutely. I know I tend to be of the black and white school with
                  no exceptions, but when used sensibly pop-ups and new windows do have
                  their place. Just remember how rare these instances are.

                  > For example, hover-based pop-ups are not so
                  > great on mobile phones, and they're really bad if your users rely on
                  > screen reading add-ons.

                  And of course for those fed up with noisy disturbing backgrounds all
                  browsers offer a setting to turn them off. The result is that for me all
                  these hovers have a transparent background and become illegible. Alas
                  the number of sensible uses of the hover technique is minuscule compared
                  to all the inappropriate backgrounds so I live with it.

                  Axel
                • Ray Shapp
                  Hi Axel and Scott, I m not sure what you are referring to when you say, hover-based pop-ups . Please look at the NewEgg website . Just
                  Message 8 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
                    Hi Axel and Scott,

                    I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say, "hover-based pop-ups".
                    Please look at the NewEgg website <http://www.newegg.com/>. Just below their
                    "Search" window, they have a yellow nav bar containing eleven categories of
                    product beginning with, "COMPUTER HARDWARE". When I hover over that button,
                    a two-column screen opens containing links for about two dozen
                    sub-categories of computer hardware. Is this an example of a "hover-based
                    pop-up"?

                    Axel, are you saying that the subcategories of hardware on the NewEgg site
                    are illegible for you?

                    Separate but related question: Do most of these hover-based pop-ups get
                    spawned by the operation of JavaScript code?

                    Ray Shapp


                    On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 6:34 PM, Axel Berger <Axel-Berger@...> wrote:

                    >
                    >
                    > Scott Fordin wrote:
                    > > There are times, however, when it's appropriate to spawn new windows
                    >
                    > Yes absolutely. I know I tend to be of the black and white school with
                    > no exceptions, but when used sensibly pop-ups and new windows do have
                    > their place. Just remember how rare these instances are.
                    >
                    >
                    > > For example, hover-based pop-ups are not so
                    > > great on mobile phones, and they're really bad if your users rely on
                    > > screen reading add-ons.
                    >
                    > And of course for those fed up with noisy disturbing backgrounds all
                    > browsers offer a setting to turn them off. The result is that for me all
                    > these hovers have a transparent background and become illegible. Alas
                    > the number of sensible uses of the hover technique is minuscule compared
                    > to all the inappropriate backgrounds so I live with it.
                    >
                    > Axel
                    >
                    >


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Axel Berger
                    ... Yes, exactly. ... I am. Firstly they are not even present and after allowing scripting this is what I see: http://berger-odenthal.de/upload/Clipboard01.png
                    Message 9 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
                      Ray Shapp wrote:
                      > Is this an example of a "hover-based pop-up"?

                      Yes, exactly.
                      > Axel, are you saying that the subcategories of hardware
                      > on the NewEgg site are illegible for you?

                      I am. Firstly they are not even present and after allowing scripting
                      this is what I see:

                      http://berger-odenthal.de/upload/Clipboard01.png

                      > Do most of these hover-based pop-ups get
                      > spawned by the operation of JavaScript code?

                      Yes. Mostly it seems to be because many authors just don't know how to
                      do it in pure CSS. On the other hand this example conforms to a
                      useability rule of adding a slight delay. See:
                      http://www.useit.com/alertbox/mega-dropdown-menus.html
                      under the heading "Speed".

                      So here script is good, but they ought to implement pure CSS first and
                      have the script, when running, turn that off first and replace it by the
                      better version. Never exclude visitors without script.

                      By the way my sample design employs the CSS solution in the left menu
                      and it shows the problems with that. Try moving down to a certain top
                      menu entry from the top, you'll fail. I ought to write a script with
                      delay for that, but then we all ought to do many things ...

                      Axel
                    • Axel Berger
                      ... My daughter keeps chiding me about that. It s more than thirty years old and I was younger then than she s now. It happens to be the only photograph of
                      Message 10 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
                        Ray Shapp wrote:
                        > BTW, Axel, you appear much younger than I had imagined
                        > (assuming that is not a very old photo of you).

                        My daughter keeps chiding me about that. It's more than thirty years old
                        and I was younger then than she's now. It happens to be the only
                        photograph
                        of myself I ever liked.
                        A more current one is this Buddha
                        http://berger-odenthal.de/upload/Axel.jpg

                        Axel
                      • loro
                        ... Hover based it may be, but it isn t a popup ( a new window). It s a section of the same page that was previously hidden that is shown when the link is
                        Message 11 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
                          Ray Shapp wrote:
                          >I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say, "hover-based pop-ups".
                          >Please look at the NewEgg website <http://www.newegg.com/>. Just below their
                          >"Search" window, they have a yellow nav bar containing eleven categories of
                          >product beginning with, "COMPUTER HARDWARE". When I hover over that button,
                          >a two-column screen opens containing links for about two dozen
                          >sub-categories of computer hardware. Is this an example of a "hover-based
                          >pop-up"?

                          Hover based it may be, but it isn't a popup ( a new window). It's a
                          section of the same page that was previously hidden that is shown
                          when the link is hovered.

                          Lotta
                        • Ray Shapp
                          Quoting Axel: Firstly they are not even present and after allowing scripting this is what I see: http://berger-odenthal.de/upload/Clipboard01.png That s odd!
                          Message 12 of 29 , Mar 28, 2011
                            Quoting Axel:
                            Firstly they are not even present and after allowing scripting
                            this is what I see:

                            http://berger-odenthal.de/upload/Clipboard01.png

                            That's odd! Here is what I see:

                            http://www.classiccars.ws/testing/ScreenShot004.jpg

                            Notice they use a link title as well as hover pop-up. That's probably
                            because some browsers are deliberately set to ignore JavaScript or are
                            unable to do so. I am using Firefox v3.6.16 under Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit.


                            Quoting Lotta:
                            Hover based it may be, but it isn't a popup

                            That makes sense. Otherwise my pop-up blocker would prevent me from seeing
                            the enhanced menu.

                            Ray Shapp



                            On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 9:04 PM, Axel Berger <Axel-Berger@...> wrote:

                            >
                            >
                            > Ray Shapp wrote:
                            > > Is this an example of a "hover-based pop-up"?
                            >
                            > Yes, exactly.
                            >
                            > > Axel, are you saying that the subcategories of hardware
                            > > on the NewEgg site are illegible for you?
                            >
                            > I am. Firstly they are not even present and after allowing scripting
                            > this is what I see:
                            >
                            > http://berger-odenthal.de/upload/Clipboard01.png
                            >
                            >
                            > > Do most of these hover-based pop-ups get
                            > > spawned by the operation of JavaScript code?
                            >
                            > Yes. Mostly it seems to be because many authors just don't know how to
                            > do it in pure CSS. On the other hand this example conforms to a
                            > useability rule of adding a slight delay. See:
                            > http://www.useit.com/alertbox/mega-dropdown-menus.html
                            > under the heading "Speed".
                            >
                            > So here script is good, but they ought to implement pure CSS first and
                            > have the script, when running, turn that off first and replace it by the
                            > better version. Never exclude visitors without script.
                            >
                            > By the way my sample design employs the CSS solution in the left menu
                            > and it shows the problems with that. Try moving down to a certain top
                            > menu entry from the top, you'll fail. I ought to write a script with
                            > delay for that, but then we all ought to do many things ...
                            >
                            > Axel
                            >
                            >


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Axel Berger
                            ... Not odd at all, self-inflicted. In Firefox the setting is found in Tools-- Options-- Content-- Colors-- Allow pages...-- No The reason is that now all text
                            Message 13 of 29 , Mar 28, 2011
                              Ray Shapp wrote:
                              > That's odd!

                              Not odd at all, self-inflicted. In Firefox the setting is found in
                              Tools-->Options-->Content-->Colors-->Allow pages...-->No

                              The reason is that now all text on all pages is optimally legible
                              whatever bad contrast and noisy background a misguided designer-artist
                              may have chosen. As Jacob Nielsen keeps saying, people do not browse to
                              pages to admire their beauty but to find things and get things done as
                              quickly and as efficiently as possible. The default background of all
                              elements except <BODY> is transparent and if I forbid changing that,
                              that's what I'll get and hovering in front of other content won't work
                              for text.

                              Your mileage may vary, but whenever I turn colours back on for a page
                              like that one I tend to leave it on for a while and I find that very
                              soon the terrible abominations of taste I'm confronted with make me turn
                              it off very soon again. But be that as it may, it is a fully legal
                              setting that ALL browsers offer right there as a menu switch, so just
                              like script on and off, a minimum font size, and varying window size
                              conscientious designers have to be prepared for it and ensure their
                              designs basic useability. An ugly kludge is fine, it is self inflicted
                              by the visitor after all, but useable it has to be.

                              One possibility would be hover an image, one white pixel with width and
                              height in em, and hover the text in front of that. Contrary to script
                              there is no way, not even employing script, to find out what the
                              vistor's settings are so it's not possible to employ the cludge only
                              when needed. With bad luck your image has exactly the visitor's font
                              colour and will make things even worse.
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