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I can't tell you how many times I've discussed whether and when links should or shouldn't open a new tab. It's one of those topics that is impossible to settle; it just fires up occasionally.

It was March 2024, and we were just doing another round. While I had always been in the "let me decide when I want to open a new tab!" camp, I discovered three valid arguments for opening a new tab.

  1. โœ… Clicking a link while filling out a form could lead to data loss.
  2. โœ… Connected information needs to be visible in two places. I'm having a hard time coming up with a reasonable example for this, but I can see this happening.
  3. โœ… Media is playing and would stop when navigating somewhere.

Are there more reasons? Maybe... Let's see what comes up in the next round.

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About Stefan Judis

Frontend nerd with over ten years of experience, freelance dev, "Today I Learned" blogger, conference speaker, and Open Source maintainer.

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