zvi: self-portrait: short, fat, black dyke in bunny slippers (Default)
still kind of a stealthy love ninja ([personal profile] zvi) wrote in [site community profile] dw_suggestions2009-07-15 10:09 am

Inbox should not open links in new windows

Title:
Inbox should not open links in new windows

Area:
inbox

Summary:
The last code push makes links in the inbox open in new windows. This is bad webdesign, and the behavior should revert.

Description:
The expected behavior of a webpage link is that it opens a link in the same window/tab. The inbox now opens (some?) links in new windows, but does not indicate which links will do so with any metainformation. A focus jump and unnanounced browser takeover are bad webdesign. It also interferes with the normal use of the back button. (See "The Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 1999" by Jakob Nielsen [ http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990530.html ]

In addition to being a generally bad webdesign, this behavior breaks the LJ-clone pattern of behavior, but *not* in a way that someone new to Dreamwidth can anticipate before it happens, and not in a way for which the user can mentally model a benefit in the change of behavior. (I understand that this was introduced as part of an enhancement -- making the inbox mark entries as read when they are acted upon [ http://bugs.dwscoalition.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1284 ] -- but there's no way to know that without having read the bug.)

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 45


This suggestion:

View Answers

Should be implemented as-is.
29 (64.4%)

Should be implemented with changes.
3 (6.7%)

Shouldn't be implemented.
9 (20.0%)

(Other: please comment)
4 (8.9%)

cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

[personal profile] cesy 2009-07-16 11:21 am (UTC)(link)
Sounds like a bug, if a new feature broke existing behaviour.
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2009-07-16 11:42 am (UTC)(link)
I'm not sure I'd call it a bug if it's supposed to do that:

http://bugs.dwscoalition.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1284

The bugfix was by [personal profile] kareila: The major change in behavior is that it opens the link in a new window when
clicked on. I did it this way for two reasons.

1) Inbox stays open in background, and will show refreshed state when the user returns. If the link replaces the inbox, then when you click the back button,the link still shows as unread, although it is actually read and will update state on refresh.

2) Attempts to change the window location with JS resulted in some sort of error message being triggered from devel.js (in cvs/js). "Logger popup window blocked. Using confirm() instead." I couldn't figure out what was going on with that.


Seems like it's not an easy thing to have it both ways: no new window, but also mark things as read when they are acted upon.

Oh, okay, that was linked to in the original suggestion. I didn't completely read throug that, just saw your comment. Please disregard then.
Edited 2009-07-16 11:43 (UTC)
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

[personal profile] cesy 2009-07-16 11:58 am (UTC)(link)
Hmm. And from the sound of it, it wouldn't be easy to make it an option to choose which behaviour you want.

In Gmail, I definitely prefer that links in emails open in a new tab by default. I haven't got used to it in the DW Inbox yet.

Could the suggestion be fixed simply by making it clear somehow that links will open in a new window, so that users don't get confused? Then it wouldn't be an "unannounced" browser takeover.
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2009-07-16 12:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Could the suggestion be fixed simply by making it clear somehow that links will open in a new window, so that users don't get confused?

Yes, that would also be good. A grey (opens in a new window) or something, until someone can think of a way to fix this?
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

[personal profile] cesy 2009-07-16 02:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah, I hadn't realised it was only the first time you clicked it. That is something that needs changing, then, as that kind of inconsistency is hard to learn, as you say.
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)

[personal profile] melannen 2009-07-16 06:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, is *that* what gmail thinks it's doing. (In my browser, links in gmail e-mails fail to open in any tab at all. I have to copy-paste the urls if I want to see them. I haven't had to do that since I was using pine. Oh, gmail, you fail so hard.)

Anyway, yes, I definitely vote that we fix this; like zvi said, it's unexpected behavior, and the behaviour's not consistent across messages or across users, as so many people have special settings for pop-ups.
triadruid: Pseudocode for "If nothing else, remember this." (codemonkey)

[personal profile] triadruid 2009-07-16 08:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Actually fixing the problem without changing behavior seems like the 'intended' behavior, Jenn just wasn't up to it. ZVI's suggestion stands and is a good one (it's a lot easier to open a tab when you want, than to stop a program opening new tabs when you don't want it to).
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2009-07-16 11:40 am (UTC)(link)
Things opening in the same tab is actually behavior that irritated me in LJ's inbox.
sofiaviolet: drawing of three violets and three leaves (Default)

[personal profile] sofiaviolet 2009-07-16 01:29 pm (UTC)(link)
This. Although the Dreamwidth inbox doesn't seem to be opening things in new tabs in my browser (Firefox 3 for Mac) - could be because I was testing it on old, already-marked-read messages. I'll test on an unread message when I get home.

What I really want most of all is for the command-click trick to open inbox links in new tabs. It works everywhere else on the site and so the inbox behavior drives me bananas.
archangelbeth: An anthropomorphic feline face, with feathered wing ears, and glasses, in shades of gray. (Default)

[personal profile] archangelbeth 2009-07-16 05:15 pm (UTC)(link)
My copy of Safari (I think it's the latest one) command-clicks inbox links into new tabs fine right now. I just tested it again...
sofiaviolet: drawing of three violets and three leaves (Default)

[personal profile] sofiaviolet 2009-07-17 10:59 am (UTC)(link)
Well, now Firefox is doing it. IDEK. *flails*
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)

[personal profile] afuna 2009-07-17 12:10 pm (UTC)(link)
Hmm, maybe it's not cmd+click working, but that normal clicking in some circumstances is causing the inbox to open in a new tab.
sofiaviolet: drawing of three violets and three leaves (Default)

[personal profile] sofiaviolet 2009-07-17 09:26 pm (UTC)(link)
No, command-click definitely is working now, for both read and unread messages. ... :D?
tiferet: cute girl in pink dress captioned "not all bad girls wear black" (Default)

[personal profile] tiferet 2009-07-28 05:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, but it irritates me that I find myself with 8 memory hogging tabs when I'm working from journal inboxes. I found myself the other day with 5 tabs all to the same entry in one journal because I was answering comments.
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2009-07-16 11:52 am (UTC)(link)
(Other: please comment) -> it should still mark things read upon acting, and if that is somehow not possible to implement at the same time, I'd rather keep the 'open in new tab' behavior.

(I suck at filling out polls today :/)
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)

[personal profile] susanreads 2009-07-16 12:32 pm (UTC)(link)
It doesn't do it consistently (I clicked on the link on the word "entry" to get here, and it stayed in the same tab), so it shouldn't do it at all. The inbox isn't email.

If somebody follows a link from an item and it's marked as read on the database, all they have to do is click "Inbox" again instead of "Back" to see the new version.

If you're using Firefox and you want something to open in a new tab (or window, depending on your settings), you can control-click. Opening new windows without asking is an accessibility problem.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)

[personal profile] kyrielle 2009-07-16 01:43 pm (UTC)(link)
I hate extra windows/tabs, and sometimes they cause performance issues if I already have a lot of them open. I can shift-click or right-click and select 'new tab' if I want a new tab; I don't want to be given one unasked.
7rin: (Default)

[personal profile] 7rin 2009-07-16 07:03 pm (UTC)(link)
This.
tiferet: cute girl in pink dress captioned "not all bad girls wear black" (Default)

[personal profile] tiferet 2009-07-28 05:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes.
rainbow: drawing of a pink furred cat person with purple eyes and heart shaped glasses. their name is catastrfy. (Default)

[personal profile] rainbow 2009-07-16 03:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, a million times yes! It's *much* harder for me to navigate around when tabs are opened without my opening them on purpose, since it's harder to figure out where I was if I have several open.

(I thought I'd messed up a setting when that happened yesterday, and am relieved it wasn't me, since I couldn't fix it.)

ciaan: (blaze of glory)

[personal profile] ciaan 2009-07-16 07:33 pm (UTC)(link)
I definitely vote against inconsistent link behavior. Either they should always open in the same window/tab or always a different one.
ratcreature: RatCreature is conflicted, and ponders under the influence of hovering angel- and devil-RatCreatures. (conflicted)

[personal profile] ratcreature 2009-07-16 08:03 pm (UTC)(link)
I really like that actions now result in the message being read. If there was no way to accomplish that without the new window thing, I'd rather have a new window (which for me opens in new tabs anyway) than have it not read. Without the new window I previously always used a middle click, which I have set to open links in new tabs, to click on the inbox links anyway, so I don't mind it that much.
msilverstar: (leaf)

consistency should rule

[personal profile] msilverstar 2009-07-17 04:24 am (UTC)(link)
I love the new behavior because I can now command-click to open in a new tab, and I couldn't before.

HOWEVER, sudden changes in interface like this should go through a process and be announced.

So, despite my own preferences, I think the old behavior should be restored.
turlough: Frank Iero & Ray Toro looking very thoughtful, spring 2011 ((mcr) thinky thoughts)

Re: consistency should rule

[personal profile] turlough 2009-07-18 12:40 pm (UTC)(link)
I think I've got to VERY RELUCTANTLY agree with this :-) *goes to change poll answer*
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)

Re: consistency should rule

[personal profile] afuna 2009-07-18 12:49 pm (UTC)(link)
There's another fix in the works for the cmd+click issue, so that doesn't need to affect the vote for this issue, for reference :)

ETA. Oops! Meant this for the parent comment!
Edited 2009-07-18 12:50 (UTC)
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)

Re: consistency should rule

[personal profile] afuna 2009-07-18 12:50 pm (UTC)(link)
There's another fix in the works for the cmd+click issue, so that doesn't need to affect the vote for this issue, for reference :)
kareila: (Default)

[personal profile] kareila 2009-07-27 05:18 am (UTC)(link)
Hey, I was just browsing suggestions and saw this. I can't believe my ears weren't burning!

I was actually surprised my patch was pushed through without further changes. I agree with everyone who says that the inbox behavior needs to be consistent! Hopefully it will get there, but it's a stepwise process. Ideally we could even have a user preference for new windows vs. same window when clicking links.

I'm not going to cast a vote either way on this but I appreciate the feedback! Hopefully the end result will be something people are more happy with than not.