Is Dreamweaver 8's validator unreliable? I'm finding so..

Discussion in 'HTML' started by xyZed, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. xyZed

    xyZed Guest

    I asked this question on the Dreamweaver site and despite adding a
    second post it still lies dead in the water after several days with no
    one caring to comment.

    I have Dreamweaver 8 and it's set to validate XHTML 1.0 Transitional
    but it misses lots of errors (compared to W3C validator)

    For example (and this is only on one page) it hasn't picked up my
    erroneous use of more than one "id" element, and missed a "end tag
    for "img" omitted but OMITTAG NO was specified". Plus it misses a
    "required attribute "alt" not specified" and even an extra </div>
    where a div was never opened

    I've been relying on dreamweaver's validator which is why so many
    mistakes have crept in as I've modified, checked an uploaded. I just
    wondered if it was known that Dreamweavers validator is useless? It's
    supposed to be a professional tool.

    --

    Free washing machine help and advice.

    www.washerhelp.co.uk

    www.xyzed.co.uk/newsgroups/top-posting.html
     
    xyZed, Mar 18, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. xyZed wrote:

    > I have Dreamweaver 8 and it's set to validate XHTML 1.0 Transitional
    > but it misses lots of errors (compared to W3C validator)


    Then it is broken.

    > For example (and this is only on one page) it hasn't picked up my
    > erroneous use of more than one "id" element,


    I assume you mean the use of the same id on multiple elements? Ouch, nasty
    bug.

    > and missed a "end tag for "img" omitted but OMITTAG NO was specified".
    > Plus it misses a "required attribute "alt" not specified" and even an
    > extra </div> where a div was never opened


    Certainly not a tool you can depend on then.

    > I've been relying on dreamweaver's validator which is why so many
    > mistakes have crept in as I've modified, checked an uploaded. I just
    > wondered if it was known that Dreamweavers validator is useless?


    It is now.

    > It's supposed to be a professional tool.


    So is Frontpage ... :)

    --
    David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
    Home is where the ~/.bashrc is
     
    David Dorward, Mar 18, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. xyZed

    Steve Pugh Guest

    xyZed <> wrote:

    >I asked this question on the Dreamweaver site and despite adding a
    >second post it still lies dead in the water after several days with no
    >one caring to comment.
    >
    > I have Dreamweaver 8 and it's set to validate XHTML 1.0 Transitional
    >but it misses lots of errors (compared to W3C validator)
    >
    >For example (and this is only on one page) it hasn't picked up my
    >erroneous use of more than one "id" element, and missed a "end tag
    >for "img" omitted but OMITTAG NO was specified". Plus it misses a
    >"required attribute "alt" not specified" and even an extra </div>
    >where a div was never opened
    >
    >I've been relying on dreamweaver's validator which is why so many
    >mistakes have crept in as I've modified, checked an uploaded. I just
    >wondered if it was known that Dreamweavers validator is useless? It's
    >supposed to be a professional tool.


    The "validator" in DW is not a validator in the strict SGML/XML sense
    of the word. Instead it's a checker which checks some things that a
    validator would also check but also checks some other things, and it
    doesn't check everything that a validator would check.

    It is also highly configurable and you can play with the settings to
    make it check all sorts of stuff, or to ignore all sorts of other
    stuff.

    Use it as well as a proper validator. Don't rely on it alone.

    Steve
    --
    "My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
    I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

    Steve Pugh <> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
     
    Steve Pugh, Mar 18, 2006
    #3
  4. On Sat, 18 Mar 2006, xyZed wrote:

    > I have Dreamweaver 8 and it's set to validate XHTML 1.0
    > Transitional but it misses lots of errors (compared to W3C
    > validator)


    I'm not personally familiar with the details of DW. The term
    "Validator" in an SGML/XML context has a very precise meaning, you
    know, but is often abused.

    I just searched for the term validator in conjunction with dreamweaver
    8, and the only references I found seemed to be about an
    "accessibility validator". That would seem to me to be doubly
    misleading, since accessibility isn't something that can be
    mechanically "validated" - but to pursue that might be a digression
    away from what you're really interested in.

    Are we really talking about the same thing?

    > For example (and this is only on one page) it hasn't picked up my
    > erroneous use of more than one "id" element, and missed a "end tag
    > for "img" omitted but OMITTAG NO was specified". Plus it misses a
    > "required attribute "alt" not specified" and even an extra </div>
    > where a div was never opened


    If this claims to be an HTML validator (in the technical sense), then
    on your evidence it has to be a lie.

    > I've been relying on dreamweaver's validator which is why so many
    > mistakes have crept in as I've modified, checked an uploaded. I just
    > wondered if it was known that Dreamweavers validator is useless?


    It may well be that, like the improperly-named CSE "validator", it
    carries out some useful checks - if only one knows what those checks
    are - and what are their limitations.

    > It's supposed to be a professional tool.


    Most "professional" web pages are invalid HTML, you know. Some of us
    think this is a bad idea, however (quite apart from it being a WAI
    violation in itself).

    The mere fact that you use tool X to compose your pages, does not rule
    out the possibility of using tools Y and Z to check the quality of the
    result in various ways, if you so choose. In fact, I'd recommend it,
    since, if tool X can't or won't produce valid HTML, what possible
    guarantee could you get that an HTML verifier from the same house
    would be able to reveal its faults?

    Certainly my colleague who makes pages with DW does not omit to submit
    them to the W3C validator, as well as to their CSS checker, and repair
    the results; as well as to a third party accessibility verifier, and
    giving due consideration to its alerts. If working on a larger scale,
    one can install this or equivalent software locally.

    While researching this reply to you, google suggested
    http://forum.joomla.org/index.php?topic=11583.msg81830
    But that was about the DW *accessibility* so-called *validator*, not
    an HTML syntax validator, so this may or may not be what you're on
    about.

    hth
     
    Alan J. Flavell, Mar 18, 2006
    #4
  5. xyZed

    Neredbojias Guest

    With neither quill nor qualm, xyZed quothed:

    > I asked this question on the Dreamweaver site and despite adding a
    > second post it still lies dead in the water after several days with no
    > one caring to comment.
    >
    > I have Dreamweaver 8 and it's set to validate XHTML 1.0 Transitional
    > but it misses lots of errors (compared to W3C validator)
    >
    > For example (and this is only on one page) it hasn't picked up my
    > erroneous use of more than one "id" element, and missed a "end tag
    > for "img" omitted but OMITTAG NO was specified". Plus it misses a
    > "required attribute "alt" not specified" and even an extra </div>
    > where a div was never opened
    >
    > I've been relying on dreamweaver's validator which is why so many
    > mistakes have crept in as I've modified, checked an uploaded. I just
    > wondered if it was known that Dreamweavers validator is useless? It's
    > supposed to be a professional tool.


    It's the same in politics. If you know what you can (truthfully) say
    isn't what the people want to hear, you don't say anything at all. Or
    you lie.

    --
    Neredbojias
    Contrary to popular belief, it is believable.
     
    Neredbojias, Mar 18, 2006
    #5
  6. xyZed wrote:

    > I have Dreamweaver 8 and it's set to validate XHTML 1.0 Transitional


    Are these new documents? If so, they should be Strict, rather than
    Transitional, which is for converting (transitioning <g>) old legacy
    documents that have bits you can't change for one reason or another.

    Whether you use XHTML 1.0 or HTML 4.0, I will leave for others to
    discuss.

    --
    -bts
    -Warning: I brake for lawn deer
     
    Beauregard T. Shagnasty, Mar 18, 2006
    #6
  7. xyZed

    xyZed Guest

    There is circumstantial evidence that on Sat, 18 Mar 2006 14:54:56
    GMT, "Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <> wrote
    _______________________________________________________

    >› xyZed wrote:
    >›
    >› > I have Dreamweaver 8 and it's set to validate XHTML 1.0 Transitional
    >›
    >› Are these new documents? If so, they should be Strict, rather than
    >› Transitional, which is for converting (transitioning <g>) old legacy
    >› documents that have bits you can't change for one reason or another.
    >›
    >› Whether you use XHTML 1.0 or HTML 4.0, I will leave for others to
    >› discuss.


    Thanks for all the replies. The Dreamweaver newsgroup weren't
    interested for some reason. The Dreamweaver option is, "check
    page/validate markup" which implies it will validate markup but it is
    a useless tool in my experience unless there is some setting needing
    adjusting. It does pick up some errors but lots of obvious ones go
    unchecked.

    I was writing all my markup in XHTML 1.0 strict but was bothered by
    the fact it wouldn't allow me to open affiliate sites in a separate
    window. I know it's potentially contentious, but I really think if
    someone clicks a link which goes to a different site I would prefer
    them to do so in a fresh window. Even as I type it, it sounds a bit
    dictatorial though ;-)

    Other than the opening of links with target="_blank" my pages
    validated with XHTML strict (apart from the useless affiliate
    javascript links which is another post) Should I seriously consider
    switching to strict?



    --

    Free washing machine help and advice.

    www.washerhelp.co.uk

    www.xyzed.co.uk/newsgroups/top-posting.html
     
    xyZed, Mar 18, 2006
    #7
  8. xyZed wrote:

    > I was writing all my markup in XHTML 1.0 strict but was bothered by
    > the fact it wouldn't allow me to open affiliate sites in a separate
    > window. I know it's potentially contentious, but I really think if
    > someone clicks a link which goes to a different site I would prefer
    > them to do so in a fresh window. Even as I type it, it sounds a bit
    > dictatorial though ;-)


    It is. Most browsers have options to let a user open a link in a new window
    or tab (usually by middle clicking it) when they choose to. Likewise, most
    browsers display the target URL in the status bar, so the user can glance
    at that and see that the link goes to an external site (if that is a factor
    in their decision).

    Most browsers won't inform the user that the author wants the link to open
    in a new window, and I'm now aware of any which allow the user to
    selectively disable such hints.

    Should a new window be opened, then it is not uncommon for both the original
    and new window to be maximised. This means that it isn't obvious that a new
    window has opened. The only clue is that the back button doesn't work. I've
    seen mention (no, I haven't got the references to hand) of studies which
    show a strong tenancy for users to give up, type another URL in the address
    bar and carry on. Then, when they finish, they close their window, discover
    another window underneath go "Oh, that's what happened to that site", and
    close that window too since they've finished.

    > Other than the opening of links with target="_blank" my pages
    > validated with XHTML strict (apart from the useless affiliate
    > javascript links which is another post) Should I seriously consider
    > switching to strict?


    Yes.

    --
    David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
    Home is where the ~/.bashrc is
     
    David Dorward, Mar 18, 2006
    #8
  9. On Sat, 18 Mar 2006, xyZed wrote:

    > There is circumstantial evidence that on Sat, 18 Mar 2006 14:54:56
    > GMT, "Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <> wrote


    > > W›Whether you use XHTML 1.0 or HTML 4.0, I will leave for otherto
    > > discuss.


    HTML/4.01 rather than 4.0, hmmm?

    > I was writing all my markup in XHTML 1.0 strict but was bothered by
    > the fact it wouldn't allow me to open affiliate sites in a separate
    > window. I know it's potentially contentious,


    If that's your only reason for using "transitional", then I would find
    it annoying - except on browsers which have the option for me to
    defeat it ;-)

    Of course, I'm hardly a typical web reader; but there are lots of
    other reports of ordinary folk being annoyed or confused by the
    throwing of a new window. Indeed for someone who is low on resources,
    the throwing of a new window *could* crash their browser, hang their
    operating system, etc., so maybe it's nicer to leave the decision to
    them. There are less harmful ways to signal that some links are
    internal to your enterprise whereas others are external, if you feel
    that this is important to you. The BBC (to take one example) seems
    quite capable of opening web sites for which "The BBC is not
    responsible...", without feeling the need to break my browser's Back
    function. I'm looking at news.bbc.co.uk in this specific example.

    > Other than the opening of links with target="_blank" my pages
    > validated with XHTML strict (apart from the useless affiliate
    > javascript links which is another post)


    You mean inlined JS ? That would seem to be a problem, especially if
    they insist on using invalid syntax (I mean, "insist" to the point of
    refusing payment if one corrects their syntax errors).

    But, that issue aside, inlined JS is less of a problem in HTML syntax
    than in XHTML; and anyway should not be relevant to your *other*
    choice, of strict versus transitional.

    > Should I seriously consider switching to strict?


    I can't tell you what you *should* do, but I've been steadily adapting
    my own legacy pages to strict. Except for the ones which offer
    samples of legacy markup for tutorial purposes, that is :-}

    As far as I'm concerned, though, the browsers that are out there are
    still somewhat more tuned to HTML than to XHTML, so I've made my
    choice (for now) accordingly.

    Hardly any of what passes for XHMTL on the web today would be really
    fit to offer as real XHTML, though. So, the fact that one sees
    increasing amounts of what purports to be XHTML need not make anyone
    despondent about the status of HTML. On the other hand, it certainly
    *should* make them despondent about the status of XHTML - as Hixie's
    well known rant also points out, in its own way.
     
    Alan J. Flavell, Mar 18, 2006
    #9
  10. Alan J. Flavell wrote:

    >> There is circumstantial evidence that on Sat, 18 Mar 2006 14:54:56
    >> GMT, "Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <> wrote

    >
    >>> W›Whether you use XHTML 1.0 or HTML 4.0, I will leave for otherto
    >>> discuss.

    >
    > HTML/4.01 rather than 4.0, hmmm?


    But of course. I found a crumb of hobnob stuck under the <oomph> the
    .... One key.

    (I know I stabbed at it with the left pinkie...)

    --
    -bts
    -Warning: I brake for lawn deer
     
    Beauregard T. Shagnasty, Mar 18, 2006
    #10
  11. xyZed wrote :

    [snipped]

    > I was writing all my markup in XHTML 1.0 strict but was bothered by
    > the fact it wouldn't allow me to open affiliate sites in a separate
    > window. I know it's potentially contentious, but I really think if
    > someone clicks a link which goes to a different site I would prefer
    > them to do so in a fresh window. Even as I type it, it sounds a bit
    > dictatorial though ;-)
    >
    > Other than the opening of links with target="_blank" my pages
    > validated with XHTML strict (apart from the useless affiliate
    > javascript links which is another post) Should I seriously consider
    > switching to strict?


    Any new document should be declared with a strict DTD.
    Unless you really know what you're doing, don't use XHTML 1.0; use HTML
    4.01 rather.
    Like others, I recommend you use the W3C markup validator and not
    DreamWeaver's "validator".

    If you really need to have some links open documents into a new window,
    then, at least, follow usability and accessibility guidelines on this:

    http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/DOM:window.open#Usability_issues

    - one of them being to not use target="_blank"
    - another one of them being to clearly identify links which will open a
    new window or will re-use/recycle an already opened one.

    Gérard
    --
    remove blah to email me
     
    =?windows-1252?Q?G=E9rard_Talbot?=, Mar 19, 2006
    #11
  12. xyZed

    Toby Inkster Guest

    Alan J. Flavell wrote:

    > HTML/4.01 rather than 4.0, hmmm?


    I assumed he was rounding to two sig figs. :)

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact
     
    Toby Inkster, Mar 19, 2006
    #12
  13. xyZed

    xyZed Guest

    There is circumstantial evidence that on Sun, 19 Mar 2006 02:06:25
    -0500, Gérard Talbot <> wrote
    _______________________________________________________

    >› Any new document should be declared with a strict DTD.
    >› Unless you really know what you're doing, don't use XHTML 1.0; use HTML
    >› 4.01 rather.


    If I was starting from scratch and I knew what I know now I would
    probably have used just HTML, but I really don't have time to go over
    all my markup and get rid of all the XHTML stuff. When embarking on
    web design I read books which convinced me to use XHTML. Would it be
    acceptable to use the Strict XHTML 1.1 DTD?

    Is there an accepted problem with XHTML strict, or is it just a
    preference by some to stick with HTML.4.1 because they see little
    tangible benefit with XHTML?


    >› Like others, I recommend you use the W3C markup validator and not
    >› DreamWeaver's "validator".


    I've learnt that lesson. It's ridiculous that Dreamweaver 8 can't
    perform such a simple task though.


    >› If you really need to have some links open documents into a new window,
    >› then, at least, follow usability and accessibility guidelines on this:
    >›
    >› http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/DOM:window.open#Usability_issues


    Will do. Thanks for link.



    --

    Free washing machine help and advice.

    www.washerhelp.co.uk

    www.xyzed.co.uk/newsgroups/top-posting.html
     
    xyZed, Mar 19, 2006
    #13
  14. xyZed wrote:

    > If I was starting from scratch and I knew what I know now I would
    > probably have used just HTML, but I really don't have time to go over
    > all my markup and get rid of all the XHTML stuff.


    If it's XHTML then it should be relatively trivial to convert it to HTML -
    with an automated process. If your XHTML conforms to Appendix C then all
    you should have to do is:

    * Strip the xmlns attribute from the <html> element
    * Strip the xml:lang attribute from same
    * Replace every instance of " />" with ">" (Assuming you never use " />" as
    character data - something that isn't all that likely).
    * Change the doctype.

    A simple multiple file search and replace will so the job.

    If you haven't conformed to Appendix C then the specs forbid serving as
    text/html anyway - and XSLT can convert to HTML 4.01 without too much pain.

    > When embarking on web design I read books which convinced me to use
    > XHTML. Would it be acceptable to use the Strict XHTML 1.1 DTD?


    There is no such thing.

    XHTML 1.1 does not have the clause which allows it to be served as
    text/html, so you can pretty much forget about serving it to GoogleBot or
    Internet Explorer.

    XHTML 1.0 Strict has such a clause, providing you follow the guidelines in
    Appendix C. These guidelines depend on bugs in browser support for HTML so
    are silly at best. (And those guidelines include, to paraphrase, "Don't do
    anything you can't do in HTML anyway).

    > Is there an accepted problem with XHTML strict, or is it just a
    > preference by some to stick with HTML.4.1 because they see little
    > tangible benefit with XHTML?


    Again, no such thing as HTML 4.1. I expect you mean HTML 4.01.

    The /only/ advantage of serving XHTML to HTML 4.01 clients is that you can
    write XHTML and not have any work to do converting it to something sane
    before serving it to clients.

    If you serve XHTML as XHTML to Mozilla based clients (such as Firefox) then
    you lose a some feature (including support for document.write() and
    incremental rendering).

    Some clients (rare, but not non-existent) don't have the bugs that Appendix
    C depends on, so they will display ">" characters in the rendered page when
    you have an element using XML style self-closing tag syntax.

    --
    David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
    Home is where the ~/.bashrc is
     
    David Dorward, Mar 19, 2006
    #14
  15. xyZed wrote :
    > There is circumstantial evidence that on Sun, 19 Mar 2006 02:06:25
    > -0500, Gérard Talbot <> wrote
    > _______________________________________________________
    >
    >> › Any new document should be declared with a strict DTD.
    >> › Unless you really know what you're doing, don't use XHTML 1.0; use HTML
    >> › 4.01 rather.

    >
    > If I was starting from scratch and I knew what I know now I would
    > probably have used just HTML, but I really don't have time to go over
    > all my markup and get rid of all the XHTML stuff.


    With an advanced text editor, I can convert any XHTML 1.x document into
    a HTML 4.01 document in less than 1 min. 2 years ago, this is what I
    did: I converted my website from XHTML 1.0 strict into HTML 4.01 strict.
    With a macro, I could convert any batch of XHTML 1.x documents in less
    than 1 min.

    When embarking on
    > web design I read books which convinced me to use XHTML. Would it be
    > acceptable to use the Strict XHTML 1.1 DTD?
    >


    There is no such thing as a Strict XHTML 1.1 DTD

    > Is there an accepted problem with XHTML strict, or is it just a
    > preference by some to stick with HTML.4.1 because they see little
    > tangible benefit with XHTML?
    >


    David Dorward, many others and I gave you the quick answer: use a strict
    DTD and use HTML 4.01. The long answers are given at these URLs:

    Say No to XHTML (excellent article summing up the issues involved):
    http://www.spartanicus.utvinternet.ie/no-xhtml.htm

    XHTML is dead
    http://www.autisticcuckoo.net/archive.php?id=2005/03/14/xhtml-is-dead

    Sending XHTML as text/html Considered Harmful
    http://www.hixie.ch/advocacy/xhtml

    XHTML—What’s the Point? (Draft, incomplete)
    http://hsivonen.iki.fi/xhtml-the-point/

    Gérard
    --
    remove blah to email me
     
    =?windows-1252?Q?G=E9rard_Talbot?=, Mar 20, 2006
    #15
  16. xyZed

    xyZed Guest

    There is circumstantial evidence that on Sun, 19 Mar 2006 21:56:24
    -0500, Gérard Talbot <> wrote
    _______________________________________________________

    >› With an advanced text editor, I can convert any XHTML 1.x document into
    >› a HTML 4.01 document in less than 1 min. 2 years ago, this is what I
    >› did: I converted my website from XHTML 1.0 strict into HTML 4.01 strict.
    >› With a macro, I could convert any batch of XHTML 1.x documents in less
    >› than 1 min.


    I have now reverted my home page to HTML 4.01 and it validates. It
    took me just 3 or 4 mins including uploading and validating. I agree
    with you, and Dave, that it's no where near as big a job as I thought.

    Thanks for the links.

    The only problem I have is in not being able to open affiliate links
    in another window. Although I agree we shouldn't open new windows for
    people, I believe a substantial majority of people just don't know how
    to open a link in a new window. I'm sure many (like me) do prefer to
    use a new window so that the original site remains where I left it if
    and when I've finished looking at the new site . I do agree it should
    be a user choice, I just wish everyone new how to open in a new window
    themselves.

    --

    Free washing machine help and advice.

    www.washerhelp.co.uk

    www.xyzed.co.uk/newsgroups/top-posting.html
     
    xyZed, Mar 20, 2006
    #16
  17. xyZed wrote :
    > There is circumstantial evidence that on Sun, 19 Mar 2006 21:56:24
    > -0500, Gérard Talbot <> wrote
    > _______________________________________________________
    >
    >> › With an advanced text editor, I can convert any XHTML 1.x document into
    >> › a HTML 4.01 document in less than 1 min. 2 years ago, this is what I
    >> › did: I converted my website from XHTML 1.0 strict into HTML 4.01 strict.
    >> › With a macro, I could convert any batch of XHTML 1.x documents in less
    >> › than 1 min.

    >
    > I have now reverted my home page to HTML 4.01 and it validates. It
    > took me just 3 or 4 mins including uploading and validating. I agree
    > with you, and Dave, that it's no where near as big a job as I thought.
    >
    > Thanks for the links.
    >
    > The only problem I have is in not being able to open affiliate links
    > in another window. Although I agree we shouldn't open new windows for
    > people, I believe a substantial majority of people just don't know how
    > to open a link in a new window.



    2 questions.

    1- What makes you *so sure* that a substantial majority of people just
    don't know how to open a link in a new window?

    2- Let's say 12% of people do not know how to open a link in a new
    window. Now, if your links open new windows, do you expect them to be
    able to manage the taskbar?
    Allow me to provide you some quotes:

    "Research shows that most users don't like to run more than one
    application at a time. In fact, many users are confused by multiple
    applications."
    Windows User Experience team,
    Microsoft Windows User Experience Frequently Asked Questions: Why is the
    taskbar at the bottom of the screen?,
    March 2001
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnwui/html/winuifaq.asp


    "(...) some people can use Windows applications for years without
    understanding the concept of task switching. (When I point to the task
    bar and ask them what it's for, they can't tell me.) (...) spawning
    second browser windows can completely throw users off track because it
    removes the one thing they are sure how to use: the 'Back' button.(...)
    In another recent study, six out of 17 users had difficulty with
    multiple windows, and three of them required assistance to get back to
    the first window and continue the task.
    Carolyn Snyder, Seven tricks that Web users don't know: 7. Second
    browser windows, June 2001
    http://www.snyderconsulting.net/article_7tricks.htm#7

    (...) Users often don't notice that a new window has opened, especially
    if they are using a small monitor where the windows are maximized to
    fill up the screen. So a user who tries to return to the origin will be
    confused by a grayed out Back button. Jakob Nielsen, The Top Ten New
    Mistakes of Web Design: 2. Opening New Browser Windows, May 30, 1999
    http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990530.html


    "(...) The biggest fault with pop-ups is that it takes the focus away
    from the main browser window, and this can be disconcerting. It presents
    general usability issues aside from accessibility. How often have you
    seen someone launch a pop-up and then inadvertently click back on the
    launcher window and thinking that nothing's happened, click the link
    again with nothing happening? Of course the window has opened but is now
    under the launcher window, and only moving down to the task-bar and
    selecting the window from there will solve this. (...) To address the
    issue of a window losing focus, you can use JavaScript to re-set the focus."
    Ian Lloyd, tutorial at Accessify.com, November 20th 2002


    "In all dominant browsers, using the <a target="_blank"> tag to force a
    link to open in a new window breaks the Back button. The new window does
    not retain the browser history of the previous window, so the "Back"
    button is disabled. This is incredibly confusing, even for me, and I've
    been using the web for 10 years. In 2002, it's amazing that people still
    do this."
    Mark Pilgrim,
    Dive Into Accessibility: not opening new windows, 2002
    http://diveintoaccessibility.org/day_16_not_opening_new_windows.html

    You can find more interesting quotes related to this topic at

    http://www.gtalbot.org/Netscape7Section/Popup/PopupAndNetscape7.html

    I'm sure many (like me) do prefer to
    > use a new window so that the original site remains where I left it if
    > and when I've finished looking at the new site .


    The trend is not to open a new window but to open a new tab for this
    sort of surfing... and to let the user do that all by himself. The
    growing popularity of tab-capable browsers gives such choice,
    flexibility and capability. There is an UI icon for opening a new tab in
    tab-capable browsers, which is not the case for non-tab-capable browsers
    for opening a new window.

    Another reason why people using a tab-capable browser will prefer to
    open a tab is that javascript-initiated new windows often are created
    with the script author trying deliberately to remove chrome
    functionalities and toolbar presences... which will not be possible with
    tab-capable browsers. The user is assured of using the same UI that he
    prefers when viewing a page. User prefer UI consistency
    http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/DOM:window.open#Avoid_resorting_to_window.open.28.29

    Just a few days ago, Microsoft confirmed that script authors will not be
    able to force the opening of resources into tab.


    I do agree it should
    > be a user choice, I just wish everyone new how to open in a new window
    > themselves.


    Well, then explain it to those who don't: that way, you empower the
    users, you give them control, you won't alienate them.
    E.g.: some sites (e.g. w3schools.com:
    http://www.w3schools.com/largetext.htm ) rightly explain to their users
    how to increase text size if they feel the need to increase the font
    size. That's a lot better than to create a script and put an icon in the
    webpage to do so. Show them how to use their browsers and empower them;
    don't alienate them and don't misuse javascript.

    Gérard
    --
    remove blah to email me
     
    =?windows-1252?Q?G=E9rard_Talbot?=, Mar 20, 2006
    #17
  18. xyZed

    xyZed Guest

    There is circumstantial evidence that on Mon, 20 Mar 2006 06:51:47
    -0500, Gérard Talbot <> wrote
    _______________________________________________________

    >› 2 questions.
    >›
    >› 1- What makes you *so sure* that a substantial majority of people just
    >› don't know how to open a link in a new window?


    Sorry, I meant to say a substantial percentage. I started saying the
    majority then realised it was a sweeping statement and changed it to
    substantial percentage but didn't delete "majority". Even so it's
    still a sweeping statement. What I mean is there are enough people to
    matter.

    Thanks for your lengthy thoughts on the matter. I'm convinced. Of
    course I was convinced before, but hung on to the easy way out. I will
    get rid of all the target="_blank" and instead place several
    instructions on how to open in a new window (or tab) if required
    around my site.

    --

    Free washing machine help and advice.

    www.washerhelp.co.uk

    www.xyzed.co.uk/newsgroups/top-posting.html
     
    xyZed, Mar 21, 2006
    #18
  19. xyZed

    Andy Dingley Guest

    xyZed wrote:

    > Other than the opening of links with target="_blank" my pages
    > validated with XHTML strict (apart from the useless affiliate
    > javascript links which is another post) Should I seriously consider
    > switching to strict?


    There are two benefits to Strict.

    - It triggers standards modes in browser CSS rendering.

    - It compels you not to use certain bad features left behind in
    transitional (e.g. <font>)

    Now the first one is important. You really do need to trigger this, but
    you can also do it with transitional (if you use exactly the right
    doctype).

    The second one is also important. But if you know what you're doing,
    then you can avoid these elements anyway, even if labelled under a
    Transitional doctype. The doctype alone does not make your code any
    better! It's not writing rubbish into your code that stops it being
    rubbish, not voodoo doctypes.

    As you've also noticed, then target disappears too. This is a bad thing
    - target was removed in favour of its future replacement, not because
    it's obsolete. The _use_ of target is also a usability question, not an
    implementation question. If you want to use target for your pages, then
    go ahead and do so. Do it either by switching to Trans (as noted above)
    or by writing invalid code under Strict. A known invalidity isn't the
    worst thing in the world.

    Most of all though, ditch the <font> bogosities. What you do is more
    important than how you label it.

    XHTML 1.1 is still unusable (forces you into XML, which the web just
    doesn't support yet)
     
    Andy Dingley, Mar 21, 2006
    #19
  20. On Tue, 21 Mar 2006, Andy Dingley wrote:

    > There are two benefits to Strict.
    >
    > - It triggers standards modes in browser CSS rendering.


    While I agree with the general advice to use Strict, I wouldn't want
    to over-state the case.

    According to http://hsivonen.iki.fi/doctype/
    it would appear that Konq is the only listed browser which
    cannot be kept out of quirks mode when using a transitional DOCTYPE.

    All others will use either standards or almost-standards mode in
    the face of a 4.01 DOCTYPE with the URL, even Transitional.

    [other good points snipped]
     
    Alan J. Flavell, Mar 21, 2006
    #20
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Andrew Turner

    FPGA output unreliable

    Andrew Turner, Aug 11, 2005, in forum: VHDL
    Replies:
    9
    Views:
    761
    Mike Treseler
    Aug 16, 2005
  2. Replies:
    1
    Views:
    794
    Scott Allen
    Jul 12, 2005
  3. Jason
    Replies:
    25
    Views:
    8,642
    Toby Inkster
    Jan 9, 2005
  4. =?Utf-8?B?SmViQnVzaGVsbA==?=

    Unreliable Image Display in VS2003

    =?Utf-8?B?SmViQnVzaGVsbA==?=, Jun 21, 2006, in forum: ASP .Net
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    334
    bruce barker \(sqlwork.com\)
    Jun 21, 2006
  5. James R. Saker Jr.

    Queue qsize = unreliable?

    James R. Saker Jr., Aug 6, 2004, in forum: Python
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    452
    Jacob Hallen
    Aug 10, 2004
Loading...

Share This Page