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We need the Links to be consistent, it is frustrating not knowing what each link will do.

Every link in FamilySearch has a different function and it is very confusing not knowing what to expect when you click on a link. Some links open pop up windows which cover up your work space, some links open a pop up box that goes below the bottom of the screen and you can not see the content and can't scroll to see it, some links go to new pages and close your current work space but you can still come back to that same work space undisturbed, some links go to new pages and close your current work space but when you come back your work space is reset and you have to start over, some links open in new tabs and leave your current work space open. It is very frustrating and hard to remember what each link does.

Right clicking and selecting open in a new tab does not always work either, on some links you just get a blank tab page (try it on a source link) the default on source links is to open in a new tab, but if you select "Open in a new tab" option in the right click menu because you don't always remember what each link does you get a blank page in a new tab. I am trying to learn the function of all the different links so I don't click the wrong link and loose all my work but it is very frustrating. When teaching a class you have to warn people not to click some links because they will loose all their work but to click others because they work correctly. The worst problem comes in Descendancy view when you have a lot of lines expanded. The first hints link opens a pop up window, the next link in that window opens another pop up window, the next link in that pop up window opens a new screen in the same window to attach the source and you loose your expanded descendant view and when you finish attaching your source and you click the back arrow on the browser your expanded lines are all collapsed and you have to start all over again. It is very frustrating trying to explain this to new students. You have to warn them which links they can click and which links will erase all their work so they need to right click and open those links in a new tab.

The best solution is to have all links open in a new tab, other functions are nice some times but when every link does something different it is to confusing, if you want to provide a pop up view window there needs to be a way to know what that button will do so it is not confusing. The best option for links should be to open in a new tab so you don't loose your current work space and so you can still compare the new info to your current work space. Since pop up windows cover your current work space they are not that helpful anyway. What is the worst option is to load new content in the same window causing you to loose what you are working on.
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  • Amen. Thanks to Garysturn for researching what all these links do. Perhaps this will make it easier for the programmers to make all the changes.
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  • Links often do different things, all through Windows. Somehow it has never bothered me before, but I have noticed the same frustrations as Garysturn in FamilyTree. Sorry I have no suggestions to offer.
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  • I agree with the comments in the posts above. Surely a FamilySearch employee could at least acknowledge this problem will be looked in to. I'm very surprised more patrons have not expressed frustration regarding this issue!
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  • Thanks for posting this, this is a problem we are looking in to and discussing frequently. Many of our patrons don't know how to open a link in a new tab and are disheartened when their work is lost, and others don't even understand the concept of a new tab and wonder why the back button no longer works. It's a balance we're still trying to figure out.
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    We have found the same lack of understanding in many of our patrons, and new consultants. The concept of multiple windows is still not widely understood in the over-50 crowd, it seems. Most don't know what a cursor is, and have no clue why it frequently changes shape. Of course, most people are unaware of what the various icons, boxes and pull-down menues in the Open/Save window are for.

    Understanding these Windows fundamentals makes computer genealogy 1,000% easier. Lacking that understanding seems to create immense frustration. It is like joining the Church and failing to learn the Mormon jargon - a challenge that many new members mention ruefully when looking back on their early months in the Church.

    We work hard at teaching our people what "cursor", "window", "address bar", "browser", "program", "search", "shortcut", etc. mean. We teach them why and how to open new windows and tabs, how to cut and paste. We also stress [Ctrl-f] rather than scrolling down pages tediously looking for the information one wants.

    I just submitted a draft training page about how to search more easily online. We couldn't find anything about that in the wiki. Is there a specific term that would lead to such materials there? "Computer terms" and "computer glossary" bring up nothing. This wiki topic seems vital to our work here.
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    Here's an easy solution that would help people who know how to use tabs, and might help educate people who don't know about new tabs/windows.

    Just make a little icon that shows if it will open in a new tab. Place that next to any link which will open a new tab. Hovering over that icon would give a little dialog that says what it is. Just putting the title attribute on the icon ought to be enough for that if you don't want to make it more slick looking than that.

    Also, when you hover over any link, it could also say something to the effect of:
    This link will open in a new tab.
    Or
    This link will stay in this window.

    Boom. Problem solved. And it won't take weeks of development. It's been four years since this issue was first brought up here, and this problem keeps changing even, with links that used to stay in the same window becoming new window links, and vice versa. Making changes like that to the users is confusing, but it would be less so with the solution added above.

    Another option:
    Have slightly different colors of links for new tabs vs. same tab.
    That would work best if done in addition to the above.
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  • Link colors are a browser function, unless controlled by software (which adds overhead, affecting load speed and stability).

    The following example, though illustrates the problem. Since a major rework is happening across the system, I am hoping that these link irritations will be made consistent. Here is an image from the source linker.



    The top two links (dark arrows) will respond to a right-click and display the option to open the link in a New Tab or a New Window. The bottom two links (red arrows) will not provide the open in a new... option with the right-click. In fact, those two links will overwrite the source linker. They are, in my mind, worse than useless because they can interrupt and destroy what may have been very hard to locate.

    While your suggestions have a lot of merit, getting it implemented all across the site will be a major task. I am not against this by any means, but first, I would like to see a concentrated effort to clean up the links that overwrite existing data, such as will happen in the source linker. Then tackle the job of adding various symbols (such as those you find in the FamilySearch Wiki) to indicate the kind of link that could be used.
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