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

From: kenny heaton <kennyheaton@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 07:50:58 -0800
Message-ID: <65b4e01f0511220750n3c40e46cy804860447fc67fa3@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-webapi@w3.org

Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:
> * kenny heaton wrote:
> >I know this is starting to get (already gotten) off topic but I
> >believe they already are obsolete. The Web is not two dimensional with
> >only forward and back, it's goes in all kinds of directions (that's
> >why it's called a web).
>
> They are not concerned with how the web goes but how the user goes...

Good point, you are right. I use the back button just as much as
anyone, and I hope I didn't sound like I wanted to do away with them.
I just think that there could be better controls to navigate around
the web than a simple back and forward button and that users have been
limited by what browsers have to offer. But it would be up to the
browsers to implement new controls, in this area I don't think there
is anything wrong with the standards.

Lachlan mentioned Gmail and and there are two ways I think you can
look at that application. First is that it breaks the back button
because when you click back, it doesn't take you to what you were just
looking at, it takes you out of Gmail all together. The second way I
see to look at it is that Gmail is just a one page application and
that the back button takes you out of the application is correct
behavior.

Maybe the reason someone might feel the need to click the back button
is because of the way Google designed the page layout. It looks like
it is a normal way page, and each section (settings, inbox, etc...)
look like separate pages. So the user will think they are separate
pages and think the back button will take them back to the page
before.

Another example is Google maps. I am less inclined to try and click
the back button there because of the way the page is designed, updates
seem to be contained into specific areas, not affect the whole page. I
could still see someone trying to use the back button with Google maps
though.

Flickr uses Ajax and I don't think anyone would try to use the back
button to undo the page updates caused by Ajax. When you move to
another section of the site, it actually pages, so the back button
still works as expected.

I guess what I am getting at is maybe we do not need more tools to
help us develop dynamic application and not break the back button.
Maybe we just need to be smart about the way we design and develop our
applications, and a set of best practices perhaps. Maybe if you create
a web app that "breaks the back button", and your users are still
trying to click the back button, them maybe you need to re-look at the
way you created and designed your application? Better web application
usability.

I wonder what everyone thinks of that, or do web developers really
need the ability to save the state of a page into history so the user
can go back to it?

Kenny
Received on Tuesday, 22 November 2005 15:51:45 GMT

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