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Re: Ajax Back/Forward History problem document state by document.save()

From: Sylvain Hellegouarch <sh@defuze.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 00:53:08 +0100
Message-ID: <1132617188.43825de4ee140@webmail.defuze.org>
To: public-webapi@w3.org

Hi there,

> I have to agree with Sylvain, that I think users would evolve as web
> application do and the need for that back button might become
> unnecessary. Of course in the mean time there should be something to
> help the who still want to use the back button, but as fast as Ajax is
> growing, users may evolve before new technology can be implemented.

I wonder if we should not step back and ask ourselves what should be the next
correct use for the next/previous buttons.

I mean, let's take an example.

On one side of the panel you have people like, say, my mum who have so little
knowledge of what's a computer, Internet and else that asking her to "type the
URL in the URL field to reach the correct web page" is like asking us to pilot
a plane. On the other side you have kids who are 6 and already know how to surf
the Internet better than they can read or write. In between you have hackers who
understand well the concepts but very little human beings ;-)

Now my point is that most people use the back and previous buttons because those
buttons are dumb and don't require much understanding. They just allow the user
to go where he or she wants to.

I'd be interested in seeing on how people actually use links that are provided
on the page they are currently viewing. (Should we ask Jakob Nielsen?)

Therefore, shouldn't we instead wonder what would be the next use of those
buttons?

My 2 cents are in two words "semantic web". Now I'm not an expert on that field
(far from it) but I assume that those buttons could well be a good way for
browsers vendors and/or web application designers to specify where they want
the user to go when he or she hits those buttons. Afterall why not
"controlling" also what the user can experience that way?

A website could well contain tags saying "in case the user presses the forward
button, offers him a set of destination that could fit the same interests".
Then we could actually build a topic map that would be travelled through those
two simple buttons.

Thoughts?
- Sylvain

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