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external links wrapped & prevented from opening new window/tab with cmd-click or middle click

Any links in an instructable that go an external site use some sort of javascript trick to prevent these links from opening in a new tab if cmd-clicked (on both Firefox & Safari) and middle-mouse button clicked (on Safari). A website should not override standard browser behavior configured by the user.

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kelseymh7 years ago
Could you point to a concrete example? One of my own Instructables has many external links, and I can open them in the same tab, a new tab, or a new window, using the usual [Ctrl-click] popup menu on Firefox. I don't see any "JavaScript tricks" going on.
todbot (author)  kelseymh7 years ago
Do you have any ad blocking plugins installed on your browser? It appears that Instructables is using a Javascript API from http://skimlinks.com/ to turn all outbound links into potential affiliate links. (like if you were to link to an Amazon page using your affiliate id, I think skimlinks will rewrite it to use Instructables instead) This kind of rewriting is something that adblockers will often prevent, so perhaps that's why you don't see it.

For me, any external link is wrapped. The two instructables I list above both have several outbound links, all wrapped if you ctrl-click, choose "Copy Link Location", and then paste into a text window.

I don't really mind that Instructables is doing this wrapping. It's a little disingenuous but whatever. What I don't like is how (from perhaps a bug in the implementation), i can no longer easily open these links in a new tab to peruse while reading the main instructable.
Groxx todbot7 years ago
It annoys me too, as I typically have literally dozens of tabs open while I browse.  This completely breaks my workflow, and it's just plain bad internet-form to break common behavior.
todbot (author) 7 years ago
All the links in these two instructables:
- https://www.instructables.com/id/David-3D-scanner/
- https://www.instructables.com/id/XBee-adapter/
Doing a cmd-click doesn't open in a new tab. And for instance, while the status bar for the link shows the true URL, doing a "copy link" and pasting it shows the link to be something like:
http://redirectingat.com/?id=487X782&url=http%3A//www.ladyada.net/learn/multimeter/index.html
So a separate (but related) question is: Why is this link wrapping going on?
kelseymh todbot7 years ago
Hmmm....I have seen the "redirectingat.com" at various times on I'bles, but not in this case. I looked at the XBee-adapter, and copy copy-link+paste just gives the true original URL, for example
   http://www.ladyada.net/learn/soldering/index.html

I'm not disputing that you are seeing what you describe, but I wonder if there is some interation with your ISP or some other weird effect. I'm also on a Mac (MacBook running Leopard 10.5.7) so I don't think it's an OS issue.
todbot (author)  kelseymh7 years ago
It's definitely something Instructibles is doing. If you look at the Javascript they are including on the page, one of them is the file:
http://instructablescom.skimlinks.com/api/skimlinks.js
which is a function for wrapping URLs in various types of redirecting & tracking stuff.
Did you copy the link and paste into a basic text-editor? It must be embedded in the source for me to pick it up. Unless your browser is working differently to mine? L
Actually the above was done using copy-link and paste directly into the I'ble text window here.
lemonie todbot7 years ago
Right-click (FF) no problem.
What's this cmd-click thing, and does it plain do nothing?
You're right about http://redirectingat.com though, it'll be some kind of tracking the site uses for a purpose.

L
Cmd-click is a Mac-ism. Since the Mac mouse/touchpad is effectively single-button, the three control-keys, Ctrl, Option, and Command, are used to provide emulation of a three-button mouse.
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