Minor tweaks to the site

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Over the last few weeks I've had several people request that links to other sites are set to open in a new window. Generally it's regarded as bad practice which is why I didn't do it much before. However several people came up with good reasons for doing it, such as when viewing the site on a tablet or phone where right-clicking to select 'open in new window' is not an option.

So, I've implemented some JavaScript to automatically convert links to external sites to open in a new window. I don't think there are any side-effects, but if you notice any do let me know. If some people object to this, I could possibly make a profile option to disable it.

Another thing I've done is to differentiate between 'proper' sets and others in the set listings. For a while 'Gear' has been shaded with a light grey background to make it easier to see (and ignore if you want to), and I've just done the same for sets without a numeric set number (which generally means that the number has been made-up by the community and therefore there's something irregular about the set, and is not part of LEGO's 'core' product line) and also product collections (which many people are not interested in).

As always, I welcome your feedback on these changes, and indeed anything about the site.

23 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Surely most modern phones, and all tablets - if you hold your finger on the link an option list with 'open in new window' should appear.

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By in United Kingdom,

I think it makes perfect sense for links to Amazon, S&H, ebay etc to open in a new window on a site like this where 9 times out of 10 that would have been your intention anyway. Using the back button in the browser is not always the answer, e.g. if you've gone through to ebay and purchased something, involving the use of logging in to PayPal etc, you wouldn't/couldn't use the back button to get all the way back to Brickset.

I agree with what you've done Huw, but also thought it had been like this for some time anyway.

^ yes,certainly in Safari on iOS you can hold your finger on a link to get an option to open in a new window, but it makes for a much less streamlined browsing experience when linking to external sites IMO.

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By in United Kingdom,

Amazon and eBay links generally opened in a new window, but there was some inconsistency.

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By in Netherlands,

It now opens a new tab, which is perfect. If you open a new browser windows, now that would be annoying. So this is perfect, I wish google would work this way....

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By in United Kingdom,

The 'Brickset' app is the way forward! But this site just keeps getting better and better. It would be nice to have a MoC gallery :-)

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By in United States,

Please fix the collection analyzer so it will only count proper sets. Thanks. :)

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By in United Kingdom,

^ That's the next job :-)

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By in United States,

Also, can you make it so that if you own a complete Series of CMF (only) it will count as owning the whole subtheme?

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By in United States,

^Not to mention excluding full boxes of sixty.

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By in United Kingdom,

I prefer to be the one who decides whether a link should open in a new tab or not. Can't you use the User-Agent header to disable this "feature" for anyone running a desktop OS?

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By in United States,

Google news opens links in a new window, this way I can close the article, and keep reading. Same on this site, I like to return here after venturing off lol

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By in United States,

I open all links in a new tab as a matter of fact.
I find that whiny article about it "being bad practice" to be, well, whiny. :D
Or 'whingy' for you non-US folks. :D

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By in United Kingdom,

I love the fact that the "bad practice" link about opening in a new window, opens in a new window!
Hate having to go "back", like to keep the page I am on "open" and not have to click back to it - as sometimes the back button doesn't load properly (in general I mean, not necessarily this site). So new windows gets the vote from me.

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By in United States,

The new Google Chrome app for iOS makes tabbed browsing pretty streamlined...

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By in Japan,

Most modern web browsers open "new window" links as a new tab, so there's no resetting of the back button and no cluttered task bars as that article suggests. Makes me wonder how old that article is (the article that article references is from 1999!).
Personally, I prefer opening external links in new tabs. Closing the tab is easier than clicking the back button, especially if you've gone a few links deep.

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By in United States,

Zrath, I'm 100% with you on the whinyness of that article. I've never had a problem with links opening to new tabs and/or windows, and I disagree wholeheartedly with the statements made in that article.

Your Mileage May Vary. :)

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By in New Zealand,

Huw, Everytime I click on photos to like, enlarge them aka frontpage, they open in a new tab.
That's not great as I don't want a giant new tab photo, I just want to enlarge the pics somewhat.

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By in United Kingdom,

Try pressing ctrl-F5 in your browser to refresh all locally cached resources.

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By in South Africa,

I definitely prefer any links I click opening in a new tab. I completely disagree with the notion that it is a 'bad practice'. If I was a webmaster I would hate to let people navigate away from my website by opening another site over my own. If you open any link in a new tab and your webpage is still open in its original tab people are more likely to come back to browsing your site.

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By in Germany,

One more thing - an unopened CMF-bag does not count towards the amount of minifigs I own. This is probably because the fig is undetermined and cannot be displayed in the collection front-end. Perhaps adding a "undetermined" sub-group might do it.
Opening in an extra-tab - great, I do that all the time anyway. :)

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By in United States,

This feature is helpful, but it can be annoying if you have five different windows open.

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By in United States,

I agree with the tabs idea. I dont love the windows.

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