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4 posts from March 2007

Why I don't like target=_blank

I get asked quite a lot why my links don't open in new windows, and could I please add target="_blank" (or target="new" - which is incorrect) to them? The answer to that is no. I have never used target="_blank" on my site, except when I used popup windows (ewww, I know). And even then I wasn't happy about doing it. Especially now, when I validate to doctypes that don't support the target attribute.

Ok, I do have my Firefox settings set to ignore target="_blank", but why should I have to change my settings because of your site? I don't like being told how I'm going to go to a link. I want to choose for myself whether I am going to open a new window, a new tab, a new browser, or reuse the same page. I want links to follow what I've told my browser I want to happen. Usually, I reuse the same page. However, I never ever have more than one browser window open, and that is how I want it to stay, thank you very much. I can't stand cluttered desktops/taskbars where I don't know which window contains what. At least with tabs I can rename them and order them and whatever else (Firefox extensions FTW!1!).

This behaviour stems from the times of IE6 and other non-tabbed browsers, however is still being used today - people don't want visitors leaving their sites, so they force another browser window to open. On my old computer this was a nightmare - it couldn't cope with more than one instance of IE and opening another (by choice or otherwise) resulted in the whole thing crashing. Likewise, my current computer is getting slower and more dodgy every day, and opening an instance of Firefox/IE/anything takes it quite a while (yes, I have defragmented/taken off spyware/viruses/etc. It's just getting old). That's another reason I only have one FF window open, actually, heh. To those people (who don't want visitors leaving their sites) I say this: if your site is worth visiting, people will go back to it. You don't have to force them to stay on your site. In most cases, they will end up closing your site's window anyway.

So my point (I do have one, honest): please don't use target="_blank". It's not only inaccessible, but it's a nuisance to those of us such as myself (and it's not just me) who dislike our default settings being overridden. Let the user choose how to open links. Like I said, if your site is really worth staying on, people will stay on it. There is no need to force them to do so.

I hate cold callers.

After finally finding something to talk about for my dissertation (ongoing fiasco with that, urgh) and a decent way to write about it, the phone rang. Grrr. I considered not answering, but it might have been the boyfriend needing me to pick him up or something.

The following conversation ensued:

Me: Hello.
Me: *Prepares to hang up*
Man with heavy accent: Hello?
Me: Hello.
Man: Is this maddamaddablah?
Me: I'm sorry?
Man: Is this Mrs. Murphy I am speaking to?
Me: (Begin flat, bored tone) No. Wrong number.
Man: Can I speak to the owner of this number please, would that be you ma'am?
Me: Yeah.
Man: Hello ma'am my name is (pause) John. I am from blahblah company can I ask whether you use a mobile telephone at the moment.
Me: Yeah.
Man: Is it pay as you go or contract.
Me: Contract.
Man: How many months are left on your contract please ma'am.
Me: I just renewed it.
Man: Oh. Um. Does anyone in your family have a mobile phone?
Me: Yes. They're all happy with their services. Bye.
Man: Oh no worries bye.

(No question marks because he didn't make any of those questions actually sound like questions)

Normally I hang up on these people as soon as I hear the odd silence after I pick up, since I know it'll be one of these people trying to sell me stuff (they're on some automated system that seems to wait a while before telling the operator that the call's been answered). For some reason though I didn't. Meh. Anyway. Why is it that these people ALWAYS call when a) the number is ex-directory and listed on the TPS list (the UK equivalent of the Do Not Call list, I believe) and b) they have called 3985719835 times before and each time they have been hung up on or told that I AM NOT INTERESTED.

That is not a space.

Look what I spotted while out shopping today:

Asshole parker - parked in the middle of a road

(Excuse the quality, it was getting dark and my phone couldn't quite cope with that :P )

In case you can't tell, the guy is parked in the middle of the road, NEXT to the parking spaces. Although there's no one moving in that picture, that road leads to the car park exit and a lot of people use it - this guy was blocking off one side of this road and causing a lot of problems. I submitted him to Hahaha :P

This whole situation was not made much better by the fact that the other side of the road was slightly taken up by another badly-parked idiot (also submitted to, go me!).

Seriously, can people not park these days? Even I can park better than that and I freely admit to not being able to park!

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