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Links still take me away from EpicSki - Page 2

post #31 of 49
Quote:

If nothing else this discussion has taught me that there's much about browsing the Internet that I didn't know--good stuff!

 

Yes, it is good stuff!

 

There's no doubt that concerns like those raised in this thread are a non-issue for experienced, skillful Internet users. Even so, as some have pointed out here, experienced forum users still get annoyed when a feature or function acts significantly differently than they expected. Like Chris, I've several times opened a link, finished with it, and closed it, finding out only too late, and much to my annoyance, that it took my whole browser with it, and that I had to start all over to navigate back to where I'd left off. Yes, it's easy to ctrl-click, or right-click and select the option you want, and I chided myself for not having done that in the first place.

 

But if experienced users like Chris and myself get annoyed, we can be sure that it happens to others. There are certain conventions and behaviors that people expect, and that we should change only for very good reason. As most of you know, I'm the first person to challenge "conventional wisdom" in most cases, and I've always appreciated Bob Kriegel's suggestion that "if it ain't broke...break it!" But some conventions are important. They're convenient, comforting, and aggravating when broken. There are apparently "faster" keyboards for typing than the conventional "qwerty" arrangement, but there are also plenty of reasons why they haven't caught on.

 

Forum conventions have evolved over time, and they will continue to evolve. There are areas where EpicSki can lead as the bleeding edge of change. But I can't see any real gain--and as the discussion here has shown, there is a bit to lose--by messing with established conventions like this one. At least for now!

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #32 of 49

Hmm--I just noticed that one of the new behaviors that I've come to like in the new platform seems to have reverted. For a while, the last post on a page repeated as the first post on the next page, but that did not happen here, at least not for me. Has that changed?

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #33 of 49

Before we converted the site, I argued for all outside links to open in a new window--and that we shouldn't "allow" people to go away from the site in pursuit of ancillary information. Since then I've come to believe that argument is actually rather oppressive and paternalistic, which is evident in the word "allow." I now see this issue as one of Personal Freedom, which is a pretty big deal to me.

 

I also want to tout the control-click option because I think it's the ultimate liberator of individual choice--not only putting the link in a  new tab, but allowing the user to go to the tab at his/her convenience, and keeping the initial page in the window until the user chooses to move to a different one.

 

 

post #34 of 49

Nolo, if I may, I suggest that taking the "Personal Freedom" justification very far is stretching the point a bit. It's hardly an encroachment on "freedom" either way--neither a big deal to close a window that you hadn't intended to leave open, nor to open a link in a new window with "ctrl-click" if you choose (and if you think of it). It's but a minor inconvenience, either way. In the grand scheme of "freedom," this sits pretty low on the horizon, I would think.

 

This issue is not one of freedom of choice. It lives in the more mundane realm of expectations and conventions, as well as responding to the expressed preferences of those members of the community who feel strongly enough to raise the question. Again, if there's a choice, I certainly advocate giving users the freedom to choose their own "default" behavior themselves. That would entirely eliminate the need for this discussion, and it would be a great resolution. Barring that, I suggest again that we mess with established conventions only for very good cause.

 

If this really is "a pretty big deal" for you, then that might constitute good cause. To me, it's such a minor thing that I don't see messing with it--or opposing the opinions of those who have expressed their preference.

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #35 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

 

Is this something we could possibly give individual users the option to choose, as a default setting in their profile? That would be the ideal solution, I would think.

Yes, this is possible. Yes, it may take longer to do it that way.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

 

GMail opens e-mail links in new windows--for many of the same reasons that they should open in new windows here. CGeib has expressed those reasons well. Most of the links we would open from here are references or content related to the post containing the link. I almost always want to keep the original window open separately (and I don't mind closing it manually otherwise). Exceptions might include clicking on a new thread, or returning to the forum index or home page. If I recall correctly, the old vBulletin site mostly only opened new windows from links embedded in posts, but opened other links (eg. forum index and such) in the same window--which made a lot of sense to me.

I think Garrett's observation is right now: User-supplied links open in a new tab. Platform-provided links open in the same tab. So far, that seems to address what I would expect.

post #36 of 49
Quote:
I think Garrett's observation is right now: User-supplied links open in a new tab. Platform-provided links open in the same tab. So far, that seems to address what I would expect.

 

Well said, Steve. I agree. And perhaps, down the road, we can find the time to make it a user-defined choice--the best solution of all!

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #37 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

 

Hmm--I just noticed that one of the new behaviors that I've come to like in the new platform seems to have reverted. For a while, the last post on a page repeated as the first post on the next page, but that did not happen here, at least not for me. Has that changed?


Yes, it has. That was "a bug in the pagination code". I agree with you. I liked it that way!

post #38 of 49

Make it a choice, just like Google does in preferences. Click a box if you want links to open in new window, leave it blank if you don't. Simple, and everyone can choose for themselves.

 

Whats the big deal, just do it.

post #39 of 49

Don't ya hate it when ya step on a "good" bug 

post #40 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

 

Nolo, if I may, I suggest that taking the "Personal Freedom" justification very far is stretching the point a bit. It's hardly an encroachment on "freedom" either way--neither a big deal to close a window that you hadn't intended to leave open, nor to open a link in a new window with "ctrl-click" if you choose (and if you think of it). It's but a minor inconvenience, either way. In the grand scheme of "freedom," this sits pretty low on the horizon, I would think.

 

This issue is not one of freedom of choice. It lives in the more mundane realm of expectations and conventions, as well as responding to the expressed preferences of those members of the community who feel strongly enough to raise the question. Again, if there's a choice, I certainly advocate giving users the freedom to choose their own "default" behavior themselves. That would entirely eliminate the need for this discussion, and it would be a great resolution. Barring that, I suggest again that we mess with established conventions only for very good cause.

 

If this really is "a pretty big deal" for you, then that might constitute good cause. To me, it's such a minor thing that I don't see messing with it--or opposing the opinions of those who have expressed their preference.

There actually is a distinction, Bob. If the default is to open in a new window, there is no way to open the link in the same window other than dragging the link to the tab of the current window (assuming that there is one). There's just no way. That's the strongest reason I have seen to leave it as it is now.

 

Not that I am expressing my personal preference in this statement. But, I do think it's a pretty strong argument for the current method.

post #41 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan View Post

 

Make it a choice, just like Google does in preferences. Click a box if you want links to open in new window, leave it blank if you don't. Simple, and everyone can choose for themselves.

 

Whats the big deal, just do it.

The "big deal" is the effort it takes to do it. It is non-trivial. Hence, we want to do it right and have to prioritize it with other things. If it's an exceedingly large effort, it's less likely to get done in the near-term.

post #42 of 49

I'm just saying, I know there are at least two ways of looking at it, because I have looked at it both ways. Of course you're right: it ain't no big thing. It's just a difference of opinion on ultimately a trivial matter, but still, it's important that both sides of the issue get presented.


 

post #43 of 49

Agreed, Nolo, and I'm sure we have more important things to worry about.

 

 

Quote:
There actually is a distinction, Bob. If the default is to open in a new window, there is no way to open the link in the same window other than dragging the link to the tab of the current window (assuming that there is one). There's just no way. That's the strongest reason I have seen to leave it as it is now.

 

Yes, SSH--which requires the not-too-onerous task of opening and then subsequently closing the new window--or the old one (your choice!), as I suggested. Let me be more specific. To open a new window from a link that defaults to the current window, you would right click, or ctrl-click, on the link. To open a link that defaults to "new window" without keeping two windows open, you'd click on the link and then close the old window. I don't see either being much more difficult or time-consuming than the other. Both are certainly possible.

 

I agree that it's the strongest reason I've seen to leave it as it is now. But it's not a very strong reason, in my opinion, especially in the face of the numerous reasons that have been raised for changing it to the way it was, and still is, in pretty much every other forum I've visited.

 

Anyway, as Nolo says, it's really quite trivial. Neither option is the end of the world, and neither curtails our freedom to view any, or as many, windows as we want. On the other hand, it's probably also a very simple thing to set--is it not?

 

With Snowfan, I look forward to the time we can make it a user-defined option. Not a high priority, but just for kicks, what is your actual, specific estimate of the time it would take, SSH? I wish I knew more about these things, and I'm eager to learn.

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #44 of 49

I appreciate everyones responses on this issue. Relax Nolo and SSH, its no big deal. 

 

What I see as important is this....ONE....PRIMARY ISSUE...

 

You who moderate EpicSki should help keep people on your site.

 

When the links are currently clicked, you lose that person to the other site....BAD BUSINESS. They can't see your advertisements then, because they are gone....fewer folks on site, residuals lost.

 

Keep 'em here...open new windows or tabs...we need everyones input...who knows, the guy that goes to the other site might be the guy who develops the next big thing in boots.

 

Shux, we don't want Bob Peters to click out of here, do we?

post #45 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

 

Agreed, Nolo, and I'm sure we have more important things to worry about.

 

 

 

Yes, SSH--which requires the not-too-onerous task of opening and then subsequently closing the new window--or the old one (your choice!), as I suggested. Let me be more specific. To open a new window from a link that defaults to the current window, you would right click, or ctrl-click, on the link. To open a link that defaults to "new window" without keeping two windows open, you'd click on the link and then close the old window. I don't see either being much more difficult or time-consuming than the other. Both are certainly possible.

 

I agree that it's the strongest reason I've seen to leave it as it is now. But it's not a very strong reason, in my opinion, especially in the face of the numerous reasons that have been raised for changing it to the way it was, and still is, in pretty much every other forum I've visited.

 

Anyway, as Nolo says, it's really quite trivial. Neither option is the end of the world, and neither curtails our freedom to view any, or as many, windows as we want. On the other hand, it's probably also a very simple thing to set--is it not?

 

With Snowfan, I look forward to the time we can make it a user-defined option. Not a high priority, but just for kicks, what is your actual, specific estimate of the time it would take, SSH? I wish I knew more about these things, and I'm eager to learn.

 

Best regards,

Bob

 

Hmmm... You ctl-click or command-click and get a new window/tab if the default is "same window". You click, move to the tab area or the window "X", and close the old window if the default is "new window." From a usability perspective, I see a big difference between the two. From a pure usability perspective, same window wins, hands down...

 

That said, a bit of research tonight led to this:

 

 

This makes it clear that there is a mixed opinion about what's "best". Use of EpicSki, I would (and have) argued is closer to Google Reader, Google Docs, Gmail, Google groups, and so on than it is to mySpace. Yahoo Groups is interesting for this reason, as is Blogger, however. So, there's clearly not a consensus. As I've said before, though, I do not think that EpicSki is in a position to be in the vanguard, and so we should comply with user expectations. What are those? For long-term EpicSki folks, that answer is simple. For new ones, I argue that, while mixed, the majority is likely to find "new window" as the default more expected. That opinion is, of course, arguable.

 

Now, as for what it takes, that depends on which version we do...

 

If we allow users to set it in the profile, then it has to be done at render time. Therefore, whenever a page is rendered for a given user, it will have to be parsed and have the 'target="_blank"' added to all of the URIs on the page. This is a fair amount of processing, and I do not know if the content is currently parsed as it's displayed. If not, this is a completely new function.

 

If we do it for all links, we can do it with a single query to the database to reset all of the old links, then have all of the new ones created with 'target="_blank"' moving forward. This version is dramatically simpler, which I hope I've made clear.

post #46 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan View Post

 

I appreciate everyones responses on this issue. Relax Nolo and SSH, its no big deal. 

 

What I see as important is this....ONE....PRIMARY ISSUE...

 

You who moderate EpicSki should help keep people on your site.

 

When the links are currently clicked, you lose that person to the other site....BAD BUSINESS. They can't see your advertisements then, because they are gone....fewer folks on site, residuals lost.

 

Keep 'em here...open new windows or tabs...we need everyones input...who knows, the guy that goes to the other site might be the guy who develops the next big thing in boots.

 

Shux, we don't want Bob Peters to click out of here, do we?

This is an interesting argument, but one that isn't as clear as it might seem. If opening a new window is viewed as the equivalent of Internet rudeness (as it is by some), then they may draw erroneous conclusions about EpicSki and the community and not return.

 

We're walking a line here in an effort to deliver to all users what they would prefer. This is not simple or unanimous, so we have to make a decision which will not please all the people. So, making it carefully is obviously the right approach.

post #47 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

I also want to tout the control-click option because I think it's the ultimate liberator of individual choice-- 

That might be a bit over the top.

 

I use this option all the time, despite spending most of my intertubes time on sites that follow the conventions followed by the most popular sites on the internet, such as Facebook...and preferring that arrangement strongly.  I use this option to control whether or not I want to read a link right now, or slightly later.

 

Step up your game though: use your middle mouse button as God intended it.  Browsing shouldn't require two hands.

post #48 of 49

My middle mouse button--why, I had no idea it existed and certainly never used it before. But this--this!--is the ultimate liberator of my poor overworked digits. Thank you for pointing that out, Garrett.

 

*What this site needs is a Video Professor segment on how to use your browser 101.

post #49 of 49

Just a note on priorities for this item... we won't be looking at it until after at least the search update (beginning sometime next week) and the permissions updates (for a number of things like viewing private forum threads in New Posts, subscriptions and so on). More after those settle a bit.

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