Opening external links

As it is now an external link opens in the actual window, and hence one leaves the forum.
IMHO an external link should by default open in another tab/window.

Hi @Rob_van_der_Does

You can change this in your profile preferences :slight_smile: Click on your picture in the top right corner > Profile > Preferences > “Open all external links in a new tab”.

Kind regards,



Yep, correct. Still strange you let people away jump from the forum.

This forum is developed on the Discourse platform. It’s an option the developers at Discourse put in, so nothing the Fairphone team can change, really. :slight_smile:

This is a very good point - we can ask the FP team to look at this. I believe there is a setting that the admins can set to switch this preference on by default. Unfortunately it’ll only work for new users that register after the change is made - existing users will need to make the change themselves.

What do we think - worth asking for?

Hmm maybe, I don’t really know :slight_smile: I’ve found this setting in my preferences myself in like 2 minutes so it’s not that hard to find. But perhaps it’s more useful if you don’t navigate away from the forum, by default.

All the forums I visit have external links that open in another tab. So I was quite surprised to navigate away from this forum when clicking on any link.
IMHO as forum you don’t want visitors to navigate away, especially not by accident. So default should be ‘other tab’ and IMHO not a user-option at all.

Having links that automatically open in a new tab/window is bad practice, regardless of whether the link is internal or external.

There are well known usability and accessibility problems with that, but for the sake of argument suffice to say that a user should always be able to choose.

If the default is to open links in new tabs/windows, then the choice is removed from the user.

Leave the default the way it is. :wink:

I’m not sure how well known those ‘well known’ problems are.
I visit quite a number of forums that all open external links in a new tab and I never ever experienced a problem nor heard others about that.

Sorry I didn’t reply earlier, but I reached the limit for yesterday.

Anyway, I was referring to problems that are well known in webdevelopment and webdesign, not necessarily by regular users.

And the fact that, yes, many websites disregard best practices, is only a demonstration of the laziness and ignorance or disregard on the part of those who develop websites.

As I said, for the purpose of this discussion the very notion that forcing the opening of links in new windows/tabs, takes away the choice from the user, should be enough to make the case without going into redundant details about webdevelopment practices.

Even more so among Fairphone users, that I believe might be particularly sensitive to issues of freedom of choice (not to mention accessibility).


@van - just to clarify, a change to the defaults wouldn’t remove this choice from users to decide, it would simply reverse the situation we have now where the option is off by default to being on by default. The option will be still available in preferences to disable if that’s what someone wanted to do

I was referring to the reason why opening links in a new window/tab is bad in general.

But even for this forum in particular, I still think it would be wrong to change the default because a user has a choice only if logged in, and is aware enough about the preference (and we’ve seen how some didn’t explore the options that much).

Users that are not logged in and other visitors would find themselves unable to open links in the same window tab if the default was to be changed, while by leaving things the way they should be, anybody can chose to open links in new tabs/windows by middle-clicking or ctrl-clicking or whatever other custom action a user may prefer.

I mean, it is like the Google Apps installer on the Fairphone: if you have that installer, anybody can have Google stuff with a just a few clicks, if you don’t, those who prefer to be without Google are screwed.

The reason why I got the Fairphone is because I though the philosophy about wanting freedom and choice was “included” in the fair-awareness and care attitude.
If users of this forum cannot see how one option is limiting the freedom to choose (of even a smaller part) while the other option isn’t, then I wonder why they bothered getting the Fairphone, instead of buying a Nexus or Galaxy or iPhone, in the first place.

I’m sorry I ever brought this up.
Given the attitude of the above reaction, I’m out of here…

@van, I understand your views. This is however a community led forum (facilitated by Fairphone) so we want to hear what others think too.

This is not a personal discussion, so please bear this in mind and respect the views of others without being personal.

Whatever views we have: no one is ever “right”. The option of opening links in a different tab is something the developers of Discourse have included. I think everyone has their own view as to why or why not you would or would not open links in a new tab automatically. As for the picking a default selection: it’s the admins who decide what to do with this.

Personally, and I this is purely my opinion, I think wanting freedom and having ‘a choice’ has absolutely nothing to do with this forum. The option to change it is there, so don’t complain for as you have the ‘freedom’ to change it.

I personally prefer to open external links into a new tab/window, however I intentionally do so by opening that link with middle-clicking my mouse. While I do see why it can be helpful to others, I don’t very much like websites forcing me to open something in a new tab/window when I wouldn’t have needed it. It’s easier for the user to manually open to a new tab/window. However a user can’t (as far as I know) specifically influence to open a link in the same window.
So, personally, I would agree with @van’s reasoning for leaving the default as it is.

As for the topic of finding the option in the Preference section. I don’t know, maybe it doesn’t get noticed by everyone? Personally I have a habit of specifically exploring the settings of a website when I register but I guess not everyone does that. Maybe it’d be an idea to add a sentence to the Welcome Message, generally linking to the Preferences so every new user gets another nudge to look at it.

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On mobile I prefer it to automatically open in a new tab. On PC I don’t care because I click everything with the middle mouse button (open in new tab) anyway.


[quote=“Rob_van_der_Does, post:13, topic:811, full:true”]
I’m sorry I ever brought this up.Given the attitude of the above reaction, I’m out of here…[/quote]
I’m sorry Rob, I understand where you might have perceived attitude but believe me when I say I mean well.

Mine was a rhetoric point, exactly because I do not believe people here would be insensitive to such issues.
You asked me “how well known those ‘well known’ problems are” and I have tried to give an answer without entering the details of webdevelopment, because it would be of little interest here and quite frankly, even though I know it is on me to provide you with the info, it is easy to look it up if you are really interested to get into details.

I wanted to appeal to one aspect that is not strictly technical and that I believed could make all, not just you, understand why I was arguing against the idea of opening in new tabs by default.

So please, try to re-read my words thinking of me as if I was your buddy, happy smile and calm tone of voice, you’ll see how I didn’t mean to lecture you.

Ok? :wink:

I mean, seriously, I was truly not ill-spirited.

This is unfair.
The implication being that I am standing in the way of people speaking their minds? :frowning:

I hope I have cleared things up with Rob, my phrasing could have been better and I understand how it could have led to some confusion, but if the spirit is hearing all thoughts, then I am just speaking my mind.

Well, some could say that sometimes, someone, can be right about something.
The developers will tell you exactly the same thing I’m saying (and more) because, as I said, it is pretty well known in webedevelopment that it is a bad practice to open links in new windows/tabs.

Admins will decide of course, but opinions are opinions, tastes are tastes and facts are facts.
The facts is that if the default becomes to open links in new tabs, some will definitely be denied the freedom to do otherwise, while if the default is to go with the same page, anyone can do whatever they choose.
That is a fact and if one cares about not denying to some users their ability to choose, then I can argue that I am right in saying it would be a bad move.

My implication was that I do think that people who buy Fairphones and “start the movement” are as passionate about freedom and not imposing choices on others as are about environment, labor fairness and all that Fairphone stands for.

I think that being fair doesn’t stop at tin and tantalum, is it fair to say that I am confident most, if not all, here feel the same too? :wink:


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I’ve created a small guide on how to use the forum and what you can change in your preferences.