Golf Girl, this discussion is still going in circles. As a summary, here are the facts.
Opening links in new windows has never
been the default option, but it was an option that web designers could use
. The default behaviour has always been to open links in the same window.
For years now, that default option has been removed because it forces
specific behaviour with no option for an alternative. i.e. you cannot force a link to open in the same window when it uses the attribute set to open in a new window.
The W3C dropped the target attribute from all HTML strict versions (HTML/XHTML) because it was deemed not user-friendly.
W3C wrote:The objective of this technique is to avoid confusion that may be caused by the appearance of new windows that were not requested by the user. Suddenly opening new windows can disorientate or be missed completely by some users. In HTML 4.01 Transitional and XHTML 1.0 Transitional, the target attribute can be used to open a new window, instead of automatic pop-ups. (The target attribute is deleted from HTML 4.01 Strict and XHTML 1.0 Strict.) Note that not using the target allows the user to decide whether a new window should be opened or not.
Usage of the target attribute in other versions (Transitional for example) should be limited to frames and not opening links in new windows, thereby taking browser control away from the user
The lack of the target attribute is a good standard. The decision was correctly made to remove it from strict versions of (X)HTML, and phpBB made the correct decision to follow this guideline.
The W3C does not have any questionable
guidelines and standards. These standards and guidelines are necessary to utilise the full potential for the web.
The fact that you
do not like correct browsing techniques, correct standards, etc, is not the fault of phpBB or the W3C. It is your own personal preference, which is just fine, but it is wrong
to force these bad techniques and standards on others.