I discover a way to make links work as I want!

I almost always open links in a new tab. Be it with primary click while holding down ctrl; or as I do nowadays with a middle click emulated by the scroll wheel or a three-finger tap on the touchpad. That was a long sentence that I most certainly could have framed better.

I have no idea. I know my mother uses the secondary-click → open in new tab flow. But I have not watched a lot of other people use their computers.

Maybe I should start watching people who code stream and observe.

When I have an <a> tag in my site, during the initial stages of making this blog I thought

I want all links to always have target=_blank

But now I am wiser. I know that

  1. I want links embedded in my post to have _blank as their target
  2. I want navigational links to targe _self

Today I discovered that it may be possible to achieve this using HTML!

What’s a blog post by me without a long and unnecessary tangent?

I was trying to think of a semantic tag that I could use to group a set of action buttons in my website’s header. Normally elements in a header are grouped using <nav. But I wanted to use buttons for print and contact. And neither was destined to be a navigation.

I could think of <section> but it did not seem right. Maybe I should just use a <div>. Nonetheless, I was on mdn <3 — the Mozilla Developer Network Web Docs verifying the semantics of the section tag. Then I had the idea of looking at all tags. So I went to the HTML Elements Reference

breadcrumbs on the MDN page leading to the section tag's page

The feature that many sites have started to adopt to show the logical path in the website that leads to the current page. I learnt recently it’s called “breadcrumbs.” Such a cute name. I forget where I learnt it from. This is what I get for not writing my “diary” regulary.

Also props to Google Chrome’s DevTools finally introducing node screenshots. Makes things a bit easier while writing pieces like this.

The <base> tag

While perusing the list of elements, I chanced upon the base tag. I had never heard of it before. Opening the MDN reference page for <base> I find out it’s used to specify a canonical uri that serves as the base for relative uris within the page.

But it can also be used to define the default target behaviour for anchors that do not have anything specified.

This exactly what I wanted!


But the target defined using base does not differentiate between internal navigation and external embeds. So everything opens in a new context :(

Maybe this isn’t the right solution. But it was a fun discovery!

Other news

Getting better at vim

I use vim as my main editor most of the time. And I recently watched a set of videos on YouTube by The Primeagen— “Vim as your editor”. And I have got three videos in and started to use some of the tricks. Slowly incorporating it into my work.

The F command has been useful. I used to keep doing f and , to go search backwards in the line to jump. Horizontal movement. It was not until recently that I even started using the f command. Used to hl like a caveperson.

Also discovered :set relativenumber from the videos. So I am also trying to use relative vertical movements instead of smashing down on jk. I even added it to my ~/.vimrc. I have not got around to using it as effectively as I would like. But baby steps, right?