things wrong with 3.0

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karlsemple
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Re: things wrong with 3.0

Post by karlsemple »

Golf Girl wrote:OK, here's an example. This morning I was posting in another forum that I run, which uses Ikonboard. Both of my forums, by the way, are music discussion forums. So, I wanted first of all to include a link to a particular page on the artist's official website which includes a flash player playing all of the tracks from the latest album. This is the link:

http://www.jamestaylor.com/covers_audio.php

I also wanted to include a link to a film of the artist talking about the making of the new album, which I found on the Amazon page for the album, like so:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/mpd/permalink/ ... 61-8176725

Obviously, with such links, it is important that the author can test the link before committing it to the forum. In Ikonboard I can do that without any problem, in the message preview. In phpBB3, I can't. It's nothing to do with me using the dreaded Internet Explorer, it wouldn't matter which browser I was using, this is what would happen because links are not allowed to open in new windows.

So, now my members can read my message, and they click on the first link and get some nice music. Can they listen to that music while continuing to read the rest of the message? Not in phpBB3 they can't, because they have to close that window to get back to the message.

To indiscriminately prohibit the opening of links in new windows in the context of a discussion forum is wrong. It seriously detracts from the user experience in terms of flexibility and usability, and I really wish the phpBB3 development team would reconsider their rigid stance on this point at least.
We seem to be going round in circles here, phpBB3 follows standards and as such links open in the same window and as mentioned before this is not a phpBB3 decision this is something which has been made a web standard and if phpBB3 wants to comply to standards it has to follow it. This is not going to change, there are mods to install which will change this behaviour for you as mentioned above or you can use proper browsing techniques (middle click or CTRL and click).

As for the text vanishing in IE when you browse away from the page and then clicking the back button, well you have already had this explained to you that it is an IE bug. You have also also been told that the reason this bug is now occurring is because of a security change and as such phpBB are not going to re-allow the security issue so an IE bug will not occur, instead it is down to Microsoft to address the bug in question.
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Re: things wrong with 3.0

Post by SamG »

Golf Girl wrote:To indiscriminately prohibit the opening of links in new windows in the context of a discussion forum is wrong.
This is really where the discussion breaks down. There is nothing indiscriminate about phpBB's behavior. It's not arbitrary. And nothing is prohibited.

Obviously user experience is important. Since I use Opera more often than not when on a Windows machine, my user experience isn't altered by phpBB's behavior. I completely agree it's hardly practical to insist that everyone use Opera (etc.), but if all user experiences are of equal value, then a default behavior which opens new windows interferes, or at least threatens to interfere, with the user experience of a minority of people. That's the basis for the W3C decision to recommend against that kind of default behavior and let (encourage, insist) best-practices browsing involve the user making the choice to open a new window.

You don't have to agree with the W3C position, etc. I just mention all that by way of saying that there's nothing indiscriminate or arbitrary going on here.
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Re: things wrong with 3.0

Post by Kim_Possible »

SamG wrote:if all user experiences are of equal value, then a default behavior which opens new windows interferes, or at least threatens to interfere, with the user experience of a minority of people. That's the basis for the W3C decision to recommend against that kind of default behavior and let (encourage, insist) best-practices browsing involve the user making the choice to open a new window.
To elaborate:

We have two people. One wants to open links in new windows. One doesn't. Currently there are several easy options to open W3C complaint links in a new window (middle click, ctrl click, right click and select), but there are no easy options (none that I know of) to force a link that is designed to open in a new window to open in the same window.

Given that, I think it makes perfect sense to default to opening links in the same window, so that users, given the browsers that are currently available, will have a real choice in how the links will open.
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Golf Girl
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Re: things wrong with 3.0

Post by Golf Girl »

karlsemple wrote:We seem to be going round in circles here, phpBB3 follows standards and as such links open in the same window and as mentioned before this is not a phpBB3 decision this is something which has been made a web standard and if phpBB3 wants to comply to standards it has to follow it. This is not going to change, there are mods to install which will change this behaviour for you as mentioned above or you can use proper browsing techniques (middle click or CTRL and click)
I'm sorry karl, but if anyone is going round in circles, it's not me. I also apologise if I did not make my point clear, but it is this - opening links in a new window is sometimes a desirable behaviour. When I carried out the exercise I described this morning on an Ikonboard, it struck me how difficult it would be for one of my users to do it on the phpBB3 board (note I'm talking 'normal' users here ie the majority who are used to left-clicking on links and having them open in a new window etc). I also thought that it would perhaps be a good example to bring to the attention to all of those here who are adamant that it should never be done.

I would also add that complying with standards is all very well and good, but it's not the be all and end all. If a standard is flawed, then it should not be followed to the letter just for the sake of saying that it has been complied with it.
As for the text vanishing in IE when you browse away from the page <snip the rest>
Did my post mention text vanishing in IE? No, it didn't.
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Re: things wrong with 3.0

Post by Phil »

phpBB has opted to go with standard compliance. As Kim_Possible pointed out, it allows users to choose what they prefer. If you prefer your links to open in a new window, you've already been provided an option -- Knowledge Base - Links Opening New Windows. Simply put, while it's at your discretion as to what you do with your board, phpBB will, out of the box, follow standards. It's Microsoft's issue whether or not Internet Explorer chooses to ignore them.
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Re: things wrong with 3.0

Post by Highway of Life »

Kim_Possible wrote:We have two people. One wants to open links in new windows. One doesn't. Currently there are several easy options to open W3C complaint links in a new window (middle click, ctrl click, right click and select), but there are no easy options (none that I know of) to force a link that is designed to open in a new window to open in the same window.

Given that, I think it makes perfect sense to default to opening links in the same window, so that users, given the browsers that are currently available, will have a real choice in how the links will open.
This is an excellent point, and perhaps was a reason in the decision of W3C to make links open in the same window the default standard. I open windows in new tabs all the time, some I want to open in the same window, I like the ability to control what opens in the same window and what does not.

Websites that have links open in external windows when I don’t want them to drive me nuts!!! As I’m sure they do to a lot of people.
Golf Girl, while it may not be the be all and end all, but standards went through a considerable amount of consideration before becoming a standard. My point is that it’s a standard for a reason, and it is NOT a flawed standard. You have to remember that in this case, users who want links to open in a new window by default are the minority, and while this is fine, it is just their (or your) opinion on how it should work.
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karlsemple
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Re: things wrong with 3.0

Post by karlsemple »

Golf Girl wrote:opening links in a new window is sometimes a desirable behaviour.
Round and round we go.... CTRL+click or middle click....correct browsing techniques :)

[quote=""Golf Girl""]Did my post mention text vanishing in IE? No, it didn't.[/quote] Maybe you need to read the topics first post, it is one of the main points of the topic, if you are simply complaining about windows not opening in a new window then you were given the simple edit earlier to cure this issue :)
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Re: things wrong with 3.0

Post by Marshalrusty »

I'll throw in my support for the decision to open links in the same window. Forcing people to open links in new windows is very forceful. As has been said, it is possible for users to force links to open in new windows, but not possible to force them to open in the same. Sites should not be dictating how users navigate. I'm surprised that there is even discussion about this.

Links should not automatically open in new windows just like videos/sounds shouldn't play automatically and things shouldn't pop up. It's intrusive and extremely unprofessional.
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Golf Girl
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Re: things wrong with 3.0

Post by Golf Girl »

karlsemple wrote:
Golf Girl wrote:opening links in a new window is sometimes a desirable behaviour.
Round and round we go.... CTRL+click or middle click....correct browsing techniques :)
Sigh. YOU say that's correct, but the fact is there are, and always have been, different ways of achieving the same end in a GUI environment - that's what makes it easy to learn and use and that's why everyone these days from grannies to toddlers knows how to use one. Most people who use a computer nowadays are not techies, they are ordinary human beings who, once they learn a way of doing something, stick with that. There is no way in this world that you are ever going to change the behaviour of the masses, not even by sniffily pointing out to them that they've been doing things 'wrong' all these years. If you force a change on them, they'll just think 'this doesn't work properly', stop using it, and go and use something else that works in the way they've always known.
karlsemple wrote:[quote=""Golf Girl""]Did my post mention text vanishing in IE? No, it didn't.
Maybe you need to read the topics first post, it is one of the main points of the topic, if you are simply complaining about windows not opening in a new window then you were given the simple edit earlier to cure this issue :)[/quote]
I have read all of the posts in this thread. The discussion has moved on somewhat since then. In the post which you were quoting from I was making the point that, in a discussion forum environment, it is desirable that links open in a new window by default, and I don't understand why phpBB3 has decided to do the opposite. Of course I will install the mod, I have no choice - I have to fix my board.
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Golf Girl
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Re: things wrong with 3.0

Post by Golf Girl »

ElbertF wrote:It wasn't phpBB's decision, they just follow the rules set by the World Wide Web Consortium.

http://google.com/search?q=target+attri ... tml+strict
Sorry, but to follow 'the rules' as you put it was phpBB's decision. Complying with a standard isn't compulsory. If the standard is questionable, then you shouldn't adopt it.

Thanks for those links by the way. The last one brings up some interesting stuff, including this very relevant discussion:

http://www.robertnyman.com/2006/02/13/h ... attribute/
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Re: things wrong with 3.0

Post by ElbertF »

Adopting standards is the only way to help the web move forward, it's almost irresponsible for a big project like phpBB not to. The standard isn't questionable, it's just a matter of preference and you can easily change it on your own board (I personally like to have a choice and think having tons of windows open after half an hour of browsing is way more confusing).

I believe the target attribute was removed because HTML should purely be a markup language. Functionality should be handled by scripts and the browser (a necessary step to move toward XML).
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Re: things wrong with 3.0

Post by T50 »

just adding my 2 cents

you can always right click the link and select it to open in a new window or tab

also, if the links were forced to be opened in a new window, some pop-up blockers would probably block the pop-ups

me, I personally HATE more than one window open at a time, I just use tabs
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Re: things wrong with 3.0

Post by Techie-Micheal »

Golf Girl wrote:
ElbertF wrote:It wasn't phpBB's decision, they just follow the rules set by the World Wide Web Consortium.

http://google.com/search?q=target+attri ... tml+strict
Sorry, but to follow 'the rules' as you put it was phpBB's decision. Complying with a standard isn't compulsory. If the standard is questionable, then you shouldn't adopt it.
The standard is not questionable. That's why it was used.
Thanks for those links by the way. The last one brings up some interesting stuff, including this very relevant discussion:

http://www.robertnyman.com/2006/02/13/h ... attribute/
Funny you bring that up. Because the author even states:
though it has been terribly misused
Having links open the same window in preview is not a justifiable reason for making them open in a new window. Right-click, ctrl+click, middle-click, whatever. The author of that article even stated:
It should be up to the end user, not the web site, to decide if a link should be opened in the same window, a new window or a new tab; web developers shouldn’t force such behavior on people.
If you want your site to open new windows, either get a style that does that, or modify it so it does.
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Re: things wrong with 3.0

Post by 3Di »

T50 wrote:me, I personally HATE more than one window open at a time, I just use tabs
So do I, that's IMHO the best way of surfing, actually.

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