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From "Alayne Wartell" <>
Subject "deferring" an action
Date Thu, 14 Nov 2002 17:25:33 GMT
This is something I haven't seen discussed before. Our web application has
a large, dynamically built tree in its own frame by which users navigate to
input screens. ( They can also click on menu options -- slightly different
but raises the same issue for us.) Data entry is freeform -- users can
navigate anywhere at any time. So far, no big deal. The unusual part is,
when a user finishes entering data on a screen, then clicks to go to
another screen, we automatically save the screen they're leaving. In a
sense, we have to defer the page load action to do a save action on the
prior page. So we're trying to come up with a clean way to fit this into

The sequence is:
Click link -> save current page  -> respond with reassuring message in
another frame (i.e. "screen has been saved") -> go to clicked link

We haven't come up with any designs we like yet. One example of something
we don't like:

1) user fills out form, call it currentPage
1) user clicks to go to
2) javascript puts "" in hidden field on currentPage, and
       then initiates a submit of currentPage
3) submit to
3) action forwards to jsp with hidden form -- '' is the form
action (also, javascript puts confirmation message in header frame)
4) immediately submit that form using javascript

Ideas, anyone? (Sure, we could do away with the auto-save to make our app
more webbish -- if it weren't a business requirement. Besides, it really is
nice for the users.)


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