User-hostile Link Behavior

Most people know how to open your article’s outbound links in new tabs or windows, especially readers of a tech site. Modern browsers make multiple-tab/window management very easy for almost everyone who wants them, and the people who don’t know how to manage them usually don’t want them.

The best practice for the modern web is to let people manage their own windows and tabs.

-Marco Arment, Forcing links to open in new windows: an argument that should have ended 15 years ago”,

On previous iterations of this site, I had always used the target=”_blank”’ item in my link markup, mainly due to the fact that I was using Tumblr’s built-in editor, which made it an easy, single click away. However, I read a post by Matt Gemmell1 that showed me the light regarding its user hostility. Now, every time I visit a site that directs me to a new tab when I click a link, I let out an audible groan.2 With the move to Markdown for all of my writing, in addition to the fact that I now dislike the behavior, I left it behind by virtue of the fact that Markdown leaves it out by default.

Either way, the behavior is, at best, simply unnecessary cruft in a website design (or ignorance) and, at worst, an actively user-hostile choice. For experiences that show signs of the latter, I honestly hope that website designers get with the times.

  1. See the section entitled, Hypertext Etiquette, for all the rules. I agree with every single one and suggest you read the entire post if you are a blogger or want to know more about designing a website’s behavior specifically for reading. 

  2. It is actually one of the reason why I no longer read The Verge. The site has tons of links and each one directs me to a new tab. As Arment says, give me (or any reader for that matter) the choice of how to manage my open items. 

Read, Think, Share, Repeat

The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.