Middle click awareness campaign



  • I can't be alone in feeling like I want a quid for every site where middle-click (open link in new tab) fails to work. I've been invited to check into a site to see how it can be improved, and the first thing I discovered was that image galleries have broken href properties on thumbnail image links. Middle-click and you're shown a tab containing a page titled "401" and a big rude 404 page. What you are supposed to do is left-click, so that JavaScript can open a whole new window with the right image address.

    It just seems to be a lack of awareness, that just about everyone involved in Web design is stuck in the Dark Ages and has no idea about tabbed browsing or, likely, anything outside of Internet Explorer. Either that or everyone is deeply vindictive about middle mouse and I've not noticed yet...



  •  You have a middle mouse button?



  • I'd say most people do, except the die-hard Mac lovers. It's called "the scroll wheel". Mine's mapped to double-click.



  • My first computer was an Acorn BBC Micro (British 8-bit home computer), for which I bought a mouse -- and it had three buttons. Then I upgraded to a PC, and was reduced to two buttons. Finally, when I moved to Macintosh I was left with only one button.

    Now, my old Mac has a two-button Microsoft mouse, my PC's mouse has three (wheely mouse) and the OS X Mac mouse has four, one of which is on the side and due to cramped space gets pushed every time the mouse collides with the keyboard.



  • My recent purchase from Logitech annoys me, because not only does it have the traditional two buttons, then another two on my thumb, as well as the scroll sheel.  Now the scroll wheel is actually a tri-directional button.  Original mapping was:

    press wheel to the left: scroll left
    press wheel to the right: scroll right
    press wheel straight down: middle click.

    Problem is that it's virtually impossible to click exactly in the middle.  So I have teft and right mapped to middle click, then actual middle click mapped to nothing (to avoid the accidental double middle click).

    Does anybody really scroll horizontally enough that the standard middle-click scrolling doesn't work for them?



  • @MarcB said:

    I'd say most people do, except the die-hard Mac lovers. It's called "the scroll wheel". Mine's mapped to double-click.


    Thanks for the lesson. See that little switch on the humor detector? Flip it to 'on'.



  • @vt_mruhlin said:

    My recent purchase from Logitech annoys me, because not only does it have the traditional two buttons, then another two on my thumb, as well as the scroll sheel.  Now the scroll wheel is actually a tri-directional button.  Original mapping was:

    press wheel to the left: scroll left
    press wheel to the right: scroll right
    press wheel straight down: middle click.

    Problem is that it's virtually impossible to click exactly in the middle.  So I have teft and right mapped to middle click, then actual middle click mapped to nothing (to avoid the accidental double middle click).

    Does anybody really scroll horizontally enough that the standard middle-click scrolling doesn't work for them?

     

    I have the MX Revolution, and I love it.



  •  You know, if you browse in legacy machines, all we care about is the fact that EVERYONE can browse in any browser eh? Maybe we should set browser compatibility to "new" mode and ... and...




  • I have lots of logitech mice, and I love the side scroll. Also, I dont' think I've ever had a problem with middle clicking... perhaps your dexterity is just deteriorating in your old age ;)



  • @vt_mruhlin said:

    My recent purchase from Logitech annoys me, because not only does it have the traditional two buttons, then another two on my thumb, as well as the scroll sheel.  Now the scroll wheel is actually a tri-directional button.

    You occasionally get the same problem in the up/down direction too. I solve this by rebinding button 2 to the thumb button that is on most decent mice nowadays. It also means that I don't have to move my index finger out of the natural grip position in order to click it. 



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    I have the MX Revolution, and I love it.

     

     

    I've had an MX Laser for two years and it's great.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

     You have a middle mouse button?


    You don't need one to middle click.



  • Let me guess, it was a gallery running Coppermine, right? I hate that pile of poo.



    You should be glad your mouse actually works, though. When I middle-click, I end up opening 2-3 new tabs. :(



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @MarcB said:

    I'd say most people do, except the die-hard Mac lovers. It's called "the scroll wheel". Mine's mapped to double-click.


    Thanks for the lesson. See that little switch on the humor detector? Flip it to 'on'.

    Yeah see, I know you're American and therefore don't understand, but the thing about humour. the really important truth-or-FILE_NOT_FOUND factor in the whole affair, is that it's supposed to be funny.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    [snip]

    It just seems to be a lack of awareness, that just about everyone involved in Web design is stuck in the Dark Ages and has no idea about tabbed browsing or, likely, anything outside of Internet Explorer. Either that or everyone is deeply vindictive about middle mouse and I've not noticed yet...

    I think theres there is an option within Tab Mix Plus for Firefox that allows you to open javascript popups as tabbed windows. I would try and find it but I don't have Fx here -- only IE6 <FONT color=orange>woo!</FONT>



  • I use Opera, SHIFT + left click will open the link in new tab. Works fine on js links. The middle click has the same function, but I don't use that.

    IMHO it's a browser WTF if middle clicks are not translated to left clicks.



  • I have a MX1000, and I never even attempted to install the driver that came with it - had bad experience on another computer (where I had to disable wheel side-scrolling, too). Instead, I just use PowerPro to configure the side buttons, and make the wheel scroll any window under cursor without bringing it to the front (unfortunately, I haven't yet found a way to configure the 3rd side button).

    Oh, and as for broken pages where middle-click doesn't work to open the link in new tab, at least in Opera, doing Ctrl+Shift+left click usually does the trick.



  • @vt_mruhlin said:

    My recent purchase from Logitech annoys me, because not only does it have the traditional two buttons, then another two on my thumb, as well as the scroll sheel.  Now the scroll wheel is actually a tri-directional button.  Original mapping was:

    press wheel to the left: scroll left
    press wheel to the right: scroll right
    press wheel straight down: middle click.

    Problem is that it's virtually impossible to click exactly in the middle.  So I have teft and right mapped to middle click, then actual middle click mapped to nothing (to avoid the accidental double middle click).

    Does anybody really scroll horizontally enough that the standard middle-click scrolling doesn't work for them?

    The ones who have ever used a real operating system know, that all these fancy wherever clicks are just wirthless. The real power lies within interclicks.



  •  @ChZEROHag said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @MarcB said:

    I'd say most people do, except the die-hard Mac lovers. It's called "the scroll wheel". Mine's mapped to double-click.


    Thanks for the lesson. See that little switch on the humor detector? Flip it to 'on'.

    Yeah see, I know you're American and therefore don't understand, but the thing about humour. the really important truth-or-FILE_NOT_FOUND factor in the whole affair, is that it's supposed to be funny.

    Awww I am sorry if you felt left out and had to comment...



  • @Cap'n Steve said:

    Let me guess, it was a gallery running Coppermine, right? I hate that pile of poo.



    You should be glad your mouse actually works, though. When I middle-click, I end up opening 2-3 new tabs. :(

    This is just some hand-rolled Perl script by the looks of it. All the href attributes point to 404s. And the mouse doesn't work, but it's the left button's microswitch that's going. I should replace the mouse ... I will, one day ... Maybe.

    The other thing is that the thumbnails have no borders, so you can't tell which links are visited. This is Web Design 101 for goodness sake.

    @yet another Matt said:

    I think theres there is an option within Tab Mix Plus for Firefox that allows you to open javascript popups as tabbed windows.

    I use the Smart Middle Click extension to achieve the same effect, although it won't read onClick, only href, which makes middle click simply give me a four-headed arrow cursor on some sites. And in this case, all href attributes are broken anyway, so nothing would work.



  • I...I didn't even know that the middle mouse button did that. I've been pushing ctrl pretty much all the time because of that. Wow. I'm now supporting this campaign.



  • I think this problem could be solved if the web page gave an indication on what was going to happen once you click a link. For example, if you browse any car manufacturer website and build your own car, there are tons of links related to the optional features that you can add.  My natural reflex is to try to middle click these guys because I don't want to lose the progress I've made so far in the customize-your-car wizard.  However, these links actually open up a pop-up window when you use a left click so opening in a new tab isn't needed (in fact, I think sometimes this doesn't work at all, as per the OP).

    Wikipedia has this right.  Links that open a new tab/window and go to external sites are a different color and have a little "arrow shooting out of a box" icon next to them.



  • @Outlaw Programmer said:

    I think this problem could be solved if the web page gave an indication on what was going to happen once you click a link.

    Try Link Alert for Firefox.



  • @vt_mruhlin said:

    My recent purchase from Logitech annoys me, because not only does it have the traditional two buttons, then another two on my thumb, as well as the scroll sheel.  Now the scroll wheel is actually a tri-directional button.  Original mapping was:

    press wheel to the left: scroll left
    press wheel to the right: scroll right
    press wheel straight down: middle click.

    Problem is that it's virtually impossible to click exactly in the middle.  So I have teft and right mapped to middle click, then actual middle click mapped to nothing (to avoid the accidental double middle click).

    Does anybody really scroll horizontally enough that the standard middle-click scrolling doesn't work for them?

    Apple's Mighty Mouse has a scroll ball rather than a scroll wheel. This makes it easy to middle click without accidentally scrolling left or right. Instead, I'm always getting
    accidental vertical scrolls. So I'll position my mouse over a link, middle click, and the link will have scrolled away before the click takes effect. The wheel is starting to wear
    out anyway, and not always responding to vertical scrolls, so when I replace it I'm going for a more conventional mouse without the unnecessary side-scrolling.



  • I'm such a big geek that I use Vim for Windows.  I open up sql, java, html, whatever in it and it does the syntax coloring for me.  I'm so used to the Vim commands that it's really intuitive for me.

    Anyways, I used to run into trouble with it because middle click is "paste" in that version.  So I'd be scrolling through code, accidentally middle click while mouse wheeling, and BOOM! I have a new paragraph of code (or a URL) in the middle of my code.  

    I have a Micro Innovations mouse and it's the worst mouse I ever paid money for.  It's a wireless laser mouse (awesome) but sometimes when I scroll down, it actually scrolls up (WTF?).

    Also, consider me added to the middle click crusade.  Actually, I think you should be able to middle click form-submission buttons.  Some paypal image-links are actually form submission buttons that open in a new window.  Fortunately, Firefox has treated "new window" as "new tab" since 2.0. 



  • @belgariontheking said:

    I'm such a big geek that I use Vim for Windows.  I open up sql, java, html, whatever in it and it does the syntax coloring for me.  I'm so used to the Vim commands that it's really intuitive for me.

    UltraEdit is my choice for windows syntax-hilighting text editors, but I always try to use VI commands, so I end up with ":wq" in the middle of my code all the time, and it annoys me.  Maybe I'll just switch to vi.

    @belgariontheking said:

    I used to run into trouble with it because middle click is "paste" in that version.  So I'd be scrolling through code, accidentally middle click while mouse wheeling, and BOOM! I have a new paragraph of code (or a URL) in the middle of my code.

    Another reason I should switch.  I get so used to copy/pasting things between two telnet windows that if I'm trying to copy something from a windows app, I just hilight it, then middle click where I want it to go.... not very useful.



  •  @belgariontheking said:

    I have a Micro Innovations mouse and it's the worst mouse I ever paid money for.  It's a wireless laser mouse (awesome) but sometimes when I scroll down, it actually scrolls up (WTF?).

     

    Isn't the scrolling software related? 



  •  @Exteris said:

     @belgariontheking said:

    I have a Micro Innovations mouse and it's the worst mouse I ever paid money for.  It's a wireless laser mouse (awesome) but sometimes when I scroll down, it actually scrolls up (WTF?).

    Isn't the scrolling software related? 

    The mouse had special software that came with it, so that could be the culprit, but I've had other scroll mice on that computer that did not have this issue.  Once you scroll down with the wheel, it doesn't stay down, and sometimes is scrolls back up.  Sometimes it scrolls back up further than it scrolled down in the first place.  It's a mechanical issue, as far as I can tell. 

    TRWTF is that I continue to use it and just use the scrollbar rather than the mousewheel.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    I can't be alone in feeling like I want a quid for every site where middle-click (open link in new tab) fails to work. I've been invited to check into a site to see how it can be improved, and the first thing I discovered was that image galleries have broken href properties on thumbnail image links. Middle-click and you're shown a tab containing a page titled "401" and a big rude 404 page. What you are supposed to do is left-click, so that JavaScript can open a whole new window with the right image address

    If will also happen if you left-click with javascipt turned off. With noscript and the like perhaps more of an issue than it used to be.

    What I find amazing is the number of sites that go to the effort of providing hrefs but go no further. They have a href that contains the relevant info needed to return the correct content then just don't do anything else. Why go to the effort of constructing and emitting hrefs if you have no intention of implementing what they point to?



  • @stinch said:

    What I find amazing is the number of sites that go to the effort of providing hrefs but go no further. They have a href that contains the relevant info needed to return the correct content then just don't do anything else.

    That is, the URL contained within the href is a 404?

    This is one of my favourite mouse wheel issues: the RedSquirrel Archimedes emulator installs a module in RISC OS to handle wheel scrolling, and I am not sure where it's going wrong, but you should not be able to scroll toolbars:

    oops!

    @belgariontheking said:

    Also, consider me added to the middle click crusade.  Actually, I think you should be able to middle click form-submission buttons.

    There's no actual campain, we can all just sit in this topic and pretend that there is one. I felt sure that at some stage, iCab on the Mac would submit a form to a new tab if you cmd-clicked the button, but it seems not, not these days anyway. It just shows you the address of the form's destination in the status bar like with a normal link, which is handy.



  • What always gets me is when all the links use an onclick event and just have "#" as the href. Is there some reason they don't even want to use "javascript:whatever();" as the URL?



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    @Outlaw Programmer said:

    I think this problem could be solved if the web page gave an indication on what was going to happen once you click a link.

    Try Link Alert for Firefox.

     

     

    Whoa that's awesome.  Thanks! 



  • @Cap'n Steve said:

    What always gets me is when all the links use an onclick event and just have "#" as the href. Is there some reason they don't even want to use "javascriptwhatever();" as the URL?
     

     It's worse when the onclick function doesn't return false so the page scrolls to the top. (eg onclick="doSomething(); return false;")

    BTW Ctrl-Enter should submit this form! 



  • @Cap'n Steve said:

    What always gets me is when all the links use an onclick event and just have "#" as the href. Is there some reason they don't even want to use "javascript:whatever();" as the URL?

    Ha, I just realized that Community Server apparently thought my post was a hack attempt. Just so you know, I didn't post invalid Javascript, I really posted "javascript{COLON}whatever();".



  • @Cap'n Steve said:

    Ha, I just realized that Community Server apparently thought my post was a hack attempt. Just so you know, I didn't post invalid Javascript, I really posted "javascript{COLON}whatever();".
    That would be a feature Alex added, to prevent cracking.



  • @Cap'n Steve said:

    What always gets me is when all the links use an onclick event and just have "#" as the href. Is there some reason they don't even want to use "javascriptwhatever();" as the URL?

    Because that'd cause a lot of errors when Javascript is turned off; the ones that look like "Address type unknown or unsupported: javascriptwhatever()". At least a single # is harmless, basically a no-op.

    Or that's my theory anyway...



  • @magetoo said:

    @Cap'n Steve said:
    What always gets me is when all the links use an onclick event and just have "#" as the href. Is there some reason they don't even want to use "javascriptwhatever();" as the URL?

    Because that'd cause a lot of errors when Javascript is turned off; the ones that look like "Address type unknown or unsupported: javascriptwhatever()". At least a single # is harmless, basically a no-op.

    Or that's my theory anyway...

     

    # tacked to the end of a url is not a noop. It's an empty in-page anchor that scrolls the page to the top. Very annoying in case of popups.

    If you must use popups, make sure the correct url is present in the href of the link, and don't forget to return false from the click event.

    For other click-situations, avoid using a link. IE7 supports :hover on things other than A, if you need it.



  • @ChZEROHag said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @MarcB said:

    I'd say most people do, except the die-hard Mac lovers. It's called "the scroll wheel". Mine's mapped to double-click.


    Thanks for the lesson. See that little switch on the humor detector? Flip it to 'on'.

    Yeah see, I know you're American and therefore don't understand, but the thing about humour. the really important truth-or-FILE_NOT_FOUND factor in the whole affair, is that it's supposed to be funny.

     

    Oh the irony in that sentence.  Two attempted jabs at humor and neither was funny.  Perhaps you should go sit on your couch and read a bunch of laffy taffy jokes to get some tips on humor. 



  • @dhromed said:

    [quote user="magetoo"]
    Because that'd cause a lot of errors when Javascript is turned off; the ones that look like "Address type unknown or unsupported: javascriptwhatever()". At least a single # is harmless, basically a no-op.

    Or that's my theory anyway...

     

    # tacked to the end of a url is not a noop. It's an empty in-page anchor that scrolls the page to the top. Very annoying in case of popups.

    [/quote]
    You forgot to add "...in my browser". Anyway, that was just my attempt at a plausible explanation for why people do it.



  • @magetoo said:

    @dhromed said:

    # tacked to the end of a url is not a noop. It's an empty in-page anchor that scrolls the page to the top. Very annoying in case of popups.


    You forgot to add "...in my browser". Anyway, that was just my attempt at a plausible explanation for why people do it.
     

    Indeed.

    Opera ignores a single #. I think that's better, yes. 


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