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This annoying behavior pops up when browsing sites like reddit, which has an option to display a toolbar with the post title, quick access to comments etc. I frequently open several links in different tabs then read and close them one by one.

Expected behavior is for stackoverflow to either wait patiently for me to close the frame or close it quietly in the background. Actual behavior involves rudely dismissing anything else I was doing the moment it finishes loading and becoming the active tab. This usually leads to me closing the tab to go back to whatever I was doing.

Tested in chrome 12 and firefox 6.0alpha2 (IIRC. I'm on the aurora channel). chrome asks me to click ok before getting rid of frames while firefox does it by itself, but both sites steal focus from my active tab (possibly because of the use of a javascript alert?).

As an example of preferred behavior, flickr likewise does not allow framing, but handles it in a much nicer way, so it must be possible to get this minor UI issue out of the way?

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I suspect the subtle hint here is to stop using whatever brain-damage is trying to cram the site into a frame... –  Shog9 Jun 22 '11 at 1:12
    
@Shog9 - perhaps, but given that SO already has an anti-framing mechanism built in, it perhaps wouldn't hurt to make to do it flickr style (although personally I think that it's fine the way it is, if you're trying to frame the site, I would automagically remove frames too) –  Mark Henderson Jun 22 '11 at 2:05
    
I agree; I read a lot from reddit.com/r/programming and when doing so I middle-click most links to open them in new tabs. Reddit is not about to change their framing (been asked time and again) and personally I think the alerts are a bit too much; I know "a sane browser" wouldn't let them steal focus but they do. A sane developer though would have an alert replaced in no-time with something a bit less intrusive. Even better; why not break out of the frame and not bother the user at all? We did that already back in the nineties. –  RobIII Sep 28 '12 at 19:48
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2 Answers

Sounds like a browser bug to me; a background tab should not be able to steal focus from a foreground tab, regardless of how hard it tries.

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I agree. Firefox nightlies now have alerts in the tab, so we might be closer to getting them non-focus stealing as well. Now if only they would fix the "Continue..." box for Windows Live... –  Soumya Jun 22 '11 at 4:06
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@Soumya92, cool! Do they let you say "Just show the stupid file in the browser even though you can't handle its mime type?" yet? I'm pretty sure I filed that one about 11 years ago... –  sarnold Jun 22 '11 at 5:19
    
Agreed. Sane browsers have had this for a year now, the others are only now "inventing" the idea. (How could you possibly have guessed I'm using Opera? ;o) ) –  Piskvor Jun 22 '11 at 6:55
    
Yes, this is bug 332195 - javascript alert steals focus from other tab , reported 7 years ago, still unfixed. Maybe voting for it would help (that s a suggestion!). –  David Balažic Oct 29 '13 at 11:52
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We are not going to offer a "smooth and friendly" experience for sites that "frame" us.

If this gets community support and a real use case AND is not a browser bug, we can talk.

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