I know SO's (and some / most of its users) stance about opening links in new windows. And I'm fine with that.

However in chat all links are opening in new windows/tabs. Again I'm fine with this. But I want the behavior to be consistent by opening in same window on SO and in new window in chat, but when someone is @mentioned in chat and you click it, it will open in the same window instead of a new tab (as with all other links in chat as stated above).

It would be nice to also let this link open in new tab.

why you open in same window

1 Answer 1


This is very much by design. Chat is designed so that a user can be active in several rooms without having to actually have a browser tab open for every single room. That's why there's the "other rooms you're in" list in the side bar that shows you what's happening elsewhere.

The reason for links that take you somewhere else (i.e. not just to a different room) being opened in a new tab is simply that if we opened it in the same tab, that essentially means you're leaving the chat, which is probably not your intention. But just switching to a different room (whether it's by clicking the "you've been mentioned" thing, or just clicking any of the room links in your sidebar) wouldn't cause this – after going from room A to room B, you can still see what happens in room A.

If you really want to open the room in a different tab, there are of course well-known ways to do that, but for the normal usecase "Hey, something interesting is happening in that other room, let's jump over there" (whether you were mentioned or not), having this open a new tab every time would just be annoying.

  • Still: how come when I post a chatroom e.g. chat.stackoverflow.com/rooms/17/javascript in chat and click on it it DOES open in new tab. This behavior is inconsistent. This contradicts with what you just said.
    – PeeHaa
    Apr 27, 2012 at 8:36
  • That's actually a good point. Not a particularly huge issue at that, but you're not wrong. The correct solution for that, however, would be to have those links open in this window, not having all room links open in a new one.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Apr 27, 2012 at 8:39
  • It's not a drop everything and first do this issue at all :) I just like things to do what I expect it to do.
    – PeeHaa
    Apr 27, 2012 at 8:41

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