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
    5 Awesome New Mozilla Technologies You’ve Never Heard Of

    My trip to Mozilla Summit 2013 was incredible.  I've spent so much time focusing on my project that I had lost sight of all of the great work Mozillians were putting out.  MozSummit provided the perfect reminder of how brilliant my colleagues are and how much...

  • By
    fetch API

    One of the worst kept secrets about AJAX on the web is that the underlying API for it, XMLHttpRequest, wasn't really made for what we've been using it for.  We've done well to create elegant APIs around XHR but we know we can do better.  Our effort to...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    Introducing MooTools ElementSpy

    One part of MooTools I love is the ease of implementing events within classes. Just add Events to your Implements array and you can fire events anywhere you want -- these events are extremely helpful. ScrollSpy and many other popular MooTools plugins would...

  • By
    Create a Context Menu with Dojo and Dijit

    Context menus, used in the right type of web application, can be invaluable.  They provide shortcut methods to different functionality within the application and, with just a right click, they are readily available.  Dojo's Dijit frameworks provides an easy way to create stylish, flexible context...

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!