[Mediawiki-l] How to make external links open a new window?

Jan Steinman Jan at Bytesmiths.com
Wed Feb 9 16:59:22 UTC 2005

Ah, didn't know I opened a can of worms here!

I'm dealing with a bunch of artists who barely know how to turn a 
computer on. While on the Wiki, they need "management." They get REALLY 
CONFUSED when they click on one word, and are still within the site, 
then click on the next word, and are warped off to who-knows-where. I 
get phone calls from people reporting problem with OTHER sites -- when 
I try to explain, they say, "But I clicked this thing on our site!"

The simplest solution is to draw a bright line between what is "here" 
and what is elsewhere. I make all my offsite links go 
'target="offsite"' and there's no confusion at all.

Sophisticated users on sophisticated browsers can easily defeat that, 
at least with Safari (MacOS X). The status bar reads "in another 
window" when you point at such a link, and holding down Command forces 
it to open in a tab instead of a window.

The challenge is not to say, "The user is God, thou shalt not even risk 
annoying Him," but rather to figure out what works for your audience, 
and trust sophisticated users to be, well, sophisticated about it.

Thanks, Brion for the caching advice. That was it. I simply went to 
another computer, and it was working as expected.

:::: Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have 
guided missiles and misguided man. Martin Luther King Jr.
:::: Jan Steinman <http://www.Bytesmiths.com/Item/02CJDBGF>

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