target = _blank = annoying

How many people use target=_blank to open links in new browser windows? I used to occasionally do so whenever I felt it made more sense to preserve the content of the window containing the link. Now, however, I feel quite differently. I have come to believe that it should be up to the user to decide where the link should open up: in the same window, in a new window, or in a new tab. I think shift-clicking, command-clicking and right-clicking are well enough understood by the general public at this point that we can all stop assuming we know what the user wants and start letting them choose for themselves.

What really annoys me is when people use target=_blank when linking to other sites because they don’t want the user to leave their website. If you don’t want users to leave your site, don’t put links to other websites on it. And what really annoys me is when people use JavaScript to either resize or reposition your browser for you, as if they know more about how your desktop should be arranged than you do.

Ok, I’ll stop griping now. Just had to blow off some steam. Back to work.