Why is GMail using pop-ups at all?

I’ve been using Gmail lately. Overall it’s a great user experience, but two kinds of windows popping up annoy me.

First, why do links in the message body pop up in new windows, and why is there no way to change that?

Second, why use old-fashioned question popups for “there is no subject, are you sure?” messages? I’ve seen some cross-browser javascript for modal boxes in front of a page that seems to work fine. And unlike the standard popups, they aren’t modal across the tabs, only modal across the browser page.

I think there’s a geek consensus about the annoyingness of pop-up windows. Why is Google going with the stuffy, professional way of doing things?

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