JavaScript Redirects and window.open

By  on  

One of the sweet parts in the simplified HTML5 spec was allowing A elements to wrap DIVs and other block level elements.  For too long we added JavaScript listeners and window.location redirects when a wrapping A would have probably sufficed.  But there are also times when the wrapping A wouldn't work -- for example, a block with A elements already within it -- you just want clicks on anything else within the parent to land at a given location.

Of course a basic listener like this would work:

someElement.addEventListener('click', function(e) {
	// not important what the URL is but assume it's available on
	// the element in a `data-src` attribute
	window.location = someElement.get('data-url');
});

...but it would succumb to one of my biggest pet peeves:  COMMAND+CLICK'ing a block and the link opening in the same window.  The closer we can get custom-coded blocks to native browser functionality the better.  So take a moment and fix your event listener callbacks:

someElement.addEventListener('click', function(e) {
	var url = someElement.get('data-url');

	if(e.metaKey || e.ctrlKey || e.button === 1) {
		window.open(url);
	}
	else {
		window.location = url;
	}
});

I've implemented this on my blog and it's something I keep in mind whenever I use a window.location redirect.  It's a minimal code addition but a major usability boost!

Recent Features

  • By
    Being a Dev Dad

    I get asked loads of questions every day but I'm always surprised that they're rarely questions about code or even tech -- many of the questions I get are more about non-dev stuff like what my office is like, what software I use, and oftentimes...

  • By
    5 More HTML5 APIs You Didn’t Know Existed

    The HTML5 revolution has provided us some awesome JavaScript and HTML APIs.  Some are APIs we knew we've needed for years, others are cutting edge mobile and desktop helpers.  Regardless of API strength or purpose, anything to help us better do our job is a...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    Elegant Overflow with CSS Ellipsis

    Overflow with text is always a big issue, especially in a programmatic environment. There's always only so much space but variable content to add into that space. I was recently working on a table for displaying user information and noticed that longer strings were...

  • By
    Introducing MooTools NextPrev

    One thing I love doing is duplicating OS functionalities. One of the things your OS allows you to do easily is move from one item to another. Most of the time you're simply trying to get to the next or the previous item.

Discussion

  1. Peter Galiba

    Or maybe just put a link there. You can put block elements inside links, and you can make links block elements.

  2. This is an excellent step in the right direction (I hate that too), but is there an equivalent for long-pressing on mobile?

  3. I think so: window.location redirect will give us usability boost. Thanks…

  4. Przyb

    But it will still suck on mobile. Would be nice if we could fix this with html5 context menu, shame for no support in WebKit http://davidwalsh.name/html5-context-menu

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!