Chapter 6. Managing Browser Windows


Perhaps the most controversial aspect of applying DHTML techniques to web sites is messing with the browser window or windowing system. On the one hand, windows are pretty much outside the scope of Dynamic HTML, in as much as windows are merely containers for documents that adhere to one object model or another. But since the earliest days, windows have been part of the scripter’s bag of tricks, standing ready to enhance a user’s experience or torment the user with a variety of unexpected nonsense.

Most activity surrounding windows involves the window object. Although the window object has gained a large number of properties and methods over the years, the implementation across browsers is far from uniform. Part of the reason behind the disparity of window object features in browsers is that the window object is the most global context for scripting tasks. Browsers such as Internet Explorer for Windows take advantage of this context to embed numerous properties and methods that are tied to the browser application and the Windows operating system. In contrast, Netscape Navigator (especially since Version 4) empowers the window object with properties that are so potentially threatening to user privacy that they are accessible only through scripts that are electronically tagged on the server as being from a source to whom the user has explicitly given permission to operate (called signed scripts ).

Window Abuse

It’s unfortunate ...

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